Business Times

Sri Lanka setting up first electronics incubator

Sri Lanka is setting up its first technology incubator for its electrical and electronic industry at the University of Moratuwa. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for this purpose was signed between the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MIC) and the University of Moratuwa (UM) to set up the first technology incubator for E&E industry in Sri Lanka. The Ministry of Industry and Commerce is providing initial capital of US$90,000 to launch the E&E incubator which is expected to serve between 5 to 10 innovators and entrepreneurs at first. “This initial funding is directly sourced from the MIC with no outside funding yet,” Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said during the a ceremony where the MoU was signed recently.

The Ministry says Sri Lanka’s $141 million E&E industry (2009 data) consists of home appliances, home appliances (electronic), electrical parts, industrial products (electronics), and industrial products (electrical). There are more than 100 firms engaging in E&E, employing about 10000 workers. Products are mainly exported to USA, UK, Australia, Finland, Singapore, Taiwan, India, Pakistan, Italy, Belgium, the Middle East, and Africa. The MIC has identified India and Pakistan as untapped potential markets.

The incubator will verify whether the prototyped new product is commercially viable. “After concept viability, prototyping follows. The prototyping of conceptual models saves a huge sum of money since we can avoid the costly moulding stage,” said Prof. Malik Ranasinghe, the university’s Vice Chancellor was quoted as saying in the Ministry statement. “When both the concept viability and prototyping stages are passed, the business plan stage emerges. The incubator will assist in all these three stages and highlight the commercial viability of our new products that are on test,” he said.

T.M.B.Menike, a Director at the Ministry said using the initial funding from the MIC, the university will assist entrepreneurs on product design, prototyping, knowledge, skills building and more importantly, easy access high tech research and design facility. “Among the new products we are keen to see are precision electronics, specially in automotive and medical technology,” the director noted.

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