By Cheranka Mendis
The country needs more inventors to come forth with their creations in order to achieve economic development and growth, Commissioner of Sri Lanka Inventors Commission Deepal Sooriyaarachchi said.
Speaking at a ceremony organised by the Commission to recognise commercially successful investors and to launch their new website, Sooriyaarachchi noted that records indicate developed countries to have a large body of inventors and patents fuelling the growth in economies. “As such, Sri Lanka too needs to increase support and encouragement towards the inventors in the country.”
He also stated that inventors can contribute to the employment of the global economy with the ILO report in January 2012 stating that the world needs over 600 million productive jobs in the next decade for development.
On the local context he noted that most of the patent marks come from those within Colombo city limits and that the general age category of inventors in Sri Lanka is those between 20 and 40.
“Also, most of the inventors are those who have studied up to GCE A/Ls and a minimum from graduates and those who have studied at a higher level. Ironically one would expect those with scientific knowledge to lead the inventors category. I do not know what the education system is doing to hold back inventors.” Most of the local inventions are machinery and industry base, Sooriyaarachchi said.
The co-competency of the inventors are to look at a problem and come up with a solution.” He also stated that inventors should not only concentrate on building new equipments but also on improving on what is already in existence.
Sri Lanka Inventors Commission has formed a 10 point key strategic plan for 2012-2014 to boost the level of inventors in the country. The plan includes to reposition Presidential Awards aligning them to the National Development goals, to organise ‘Satasak Nimewum,’ a national exhibition for inventors showcasing 1000 of the best inventions, revitalise school level programs leveraging the power of electronic media, facilitate greater access to funds and to private sector for inventors and empowering investors through provision of knowledge and access to expertise to enhance global recognition.
The plan also includes a web strategy as a key enabler, getting international recognition for local inventors, updating the act to reflect the need for development in the area, capability development of staff and putting in place a strong governance framework.
“I want the inventors to one day establish a Sri Lanka Inventors Business Chamber so that their voices can be heard and they can lobby for their issues as one body. We want to have a situation where the successful inventors are grouped as an economical community,” Sooriyaarachchi said.
“I also hope to get them into venture capitals and to one day have a grading system by turnover for the sector.”
At the event 20 commercially successful inventors were recognised while their new website www.slic.gov.lk was launched. The website has been developed taking a futuristic view to achieve the strategic objectives of linking up with industries, inventors to be portrayed as problem solvers, linking up inventors and well wishers, promoting young inventors, showcase inventions, resource centre and as providing blog space.