President to open South Asian Biotechnology Conference on 28 March

Monday, 26 March 2018 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The South Asian Biotechnology Conference (SABC 2018) will be held at Hilton Colombo Residences from 28 to 30 March. The theme of the conference is ‘Biotechnology: Role in Regional Development’.

The conference is being organised by the National Academy of Sciences of Sri Lanka (NASSL), together with the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka (NSF), the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) and the South Asian University (SAU). The conference will be declared open by President Maithripala Sirisena.

Registration for the Inaugural Program and Dinner to follow. Registration will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. on 28 March and registration for the Technical Programs will begin on the mornings of the following two days (29 and 30 March). 

This year’s conference will be enriched by the participation of several eminent scientists from the Asian region. The program includes keynote addresses and plenary lectures by distinguished scientists, parallel sessions on a range of biotechnology fields, a panel discussion on ‘University, Institution-Industry Partnerships – The Way Forward for Sri Lanka’ and the launch of the Sri Lankan Chapter of Organiszation for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD). 

The Conference will provide a collaborative platform for all participating scientists for promoting scientific exchange and cooperation in the SAARC region especially focusing on the development of biotechnology based products, both for the market and for the public good in agriculture, health, environment and industry sectors and disseminating successful best practices.  It is expected that this event will forge collaborative links between scientists and scientific institutions including links between researchers and industry in the SAARC region.

History of SABC

South Asian Biotechnology Conference (SABC) was conceived by the Faculty of Life Science and Biotechnology, South Asian University (SAU) in 2015. First meeting was held in New Delhi. It was attended by the delegates from all SAARC countries. Towards the end of the meeting, it was decided to hold SABC in other SAARC countries in order to promote the SAU and create new collaborations. 

The second SABC 2016 conference was held in Dhaka and the third SABC 2017 in Kathmandu. Both these meetings were jointly organised by the SAU and the host country’s higher educational and other bodies related to science with additional sponsorship from local and international bodies related to science and technology.


Two world-renowned scientists will deliver the keynote addresses. Prof. Andrew Holmes President, Australian Academy of Science and Melbourne Laureate Professor Emeritus will talk on ‘A Journey to the Market Place using Chemistry as a Vehicle to Engage with Physics and Biology’ and Padmashri Prof. Virander Singh Chauhan from ICGEB, India will deliver a lecture on ‘Challenges in Research; Basic versus Translational’.

The Plenary Speakers will be: Prof. Subhra Chakraborty of the National Institute of Plant Genome Research, India; Prof. Sirimali Fernando of the National Science Foundation, Sri Lanka; Prof. Deepak Gaur of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, India; Prof. Parakrama Karunaratne of the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka;  Prof. Sarman Singh of the all India Institute of Medical Sciences, India, Prof. Haseena Khan of University of Dhaka, Bangladesh and Prof. Bhupal Shrestra of Kathmandu University, Nepal There will also be a Special Lecture on ICGEB by Prof. Lawrence Banks of ICGEB,  Italy.

The two days of Technical Sessions will have more than 30 short presentations by various South Asian experts in the relevant fields as well as posters. There will be a ceremony to end the whole program to be followed by a bus tour for the foreign participants.