The Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) in association with the National Research Council (NRC) held an awareness session on the NRC’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Programme on 29th July, 2019, at the EDB Auditorium targeting the exporter community. The aim of the session was to educate exporters about the modalities of the PPP programme.
The PPP programme was introduced by the NRC in 2012, aiming to promote partnerships between scientists in public research and development institutions, universities and the private sector. The NRC under this scheme provides grants representing 50% of the total cost of the research project. The programme intends to promote research and development in Science and Technology leading to economic development by way of increased exports and a more diversified export products and services base. All innovative research leading to the development of new or better products, processes, services, value addition and solving technical problems with commercial potential are considered for this programme. The private sector participation is encouraged by providing tax concessions in relation to R&D expenditure undertaken by an enterprise with public sector partnership. The NRC interface between the government – local institutes – ministries – universities – R&D institutes – the corporate sector – the SME sector, in providing research-based solutions to national needs. Between 2014 and 2016, the NRC had co-funded 5 projects worth Rs. 89.2 million.
During the awareness session, Ms. Naduni Hansana – the NRC’s Scientific Officer for PPP Programmes – shared information pertaining to the application, selection, financing, and monitoring of projects. The session was attended by a cross section of exporters representing agricultural and industrial sectors, and particularly IT companies. The completed PPP projects had involved private partners such as Lina Manufacturing Pvt Ltd, CIC Holdings PLC, Sadaharitha Plantations Pvt Ltd, and DSI Samson Compound (Pvt) Ltd. Some of the ongoing PPP projects include export-oriented initiatives such as developing electrical conductive natural rubber compound for non-marking solid tires undertaken by the University of Sri Jayawardenapura and Elastometric Engineering Pvt Ltd and discovering treatments for post-harvest diseases affecting the exported mango variety – Tom EJC – carried out by Ellawala Horticulture Pvt Limited and the National Institute of Fundamental Studies.
Mr. Saman Maldeni, the Acting Additional Director General (Finance and Administration) of the EDB, Ms. Manisha Rajapakse, the Chief Executive Officer of the NRC, and Mr. A.S.R. Nonis, the Assistant Director (scientific affairs) of the NRC graced the occasion.