ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday April 13, 2008
Vol. 42 - No 46
Financial Times  

Investment opportunity for local inventors

By Bandula Sirimanna

Sri Lankan inventors with limited financial and other resources are to be provided with a “win-win” formula to transform their creative ideas into a product and market it locally or internationally under a new initiative launched by the Sri Lanka Inventors Commission.

The Commission plans to extend assistance for inventors to incubate their prototype ideas to finished product levels as they don’t have the money or the technology towards this end. Speaking to The Sunday Times FT, Secretary to the Commission S. Janaka Sri Chandraguptha said that they have allocated a sum of Rs. 25 million for the first time to provide loans for new products, new promotions and technical plan development under the Inventors Fund this year. A maximum financial grant of Rs. 500,000 will be provided to develop a new idea with a commercial value up to an invention and a credit facility up to Rs. 5 million will be provided with an interest rate of 5 percent to introduce an invention, new promotion or technical plan with a commercial value to the market without any collateral. The Commission has already selected 17 inventors who have the ability to design machinery for the products of small and medium scale entrepreneurs and to solve technical problems of local factories as well as to design agricultural equipment and machinery. These inventors have been selected by a technical evaluation committee approved by the board of directors of the Inventors Fund. Chandraguptha said the Commission has taken measures to introduce inventors to major private sector establishments such as the Ceylinco Group of companies, Jinasena and Company and Hunters to produce their inventions as finished products and to help them commercialize their idea. The Universities of Moratuwa, Peradeniya Ruhuna and the NERD Centre will provide technical assistance to improve the quality standard of new inventions. He added that the Commission will recommend inventors to government lending institutions to give long term loans to manufacture their inventions with just their patents as security. The Commission will also set up an Incubation Centre at the industrial estate at Horana at a cost of Rs.25 million to assist inventors to display their creations and to provide technical research and other facilities for them under one roof. It will maintain a public research laboratory and experimental station where authorized inventors and researchers may avail themselves of its facilities and services for carrying out or perfecting their approved inventions and researches.

Since its incorporation till 2005 the emphasis of the commission has been on setting up inventors circles in the schools and organizing the national inventors’ exhibition and sending a selected number of inventors to participate in international exhibitions like Geneva, Japan and Malaysia. The commission has set up 6,000 young inventors clubs in schools countrywide.

Chandraguptha said that the National Inventor’s Exhibition will be held at the BMICH in Colombo on May 7 and 8 this year.

He disclosed that Sri Lanka’s young inventor Charith Fernando, an assistant lecturer of the University of Moratuwa has won a gold medal for his invention of a virtual mouse at the recently concluded international exhibition of inventions held in Geneva, Switzerland.


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