The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

“Ray Award” recognising Sri Lankan inventors


The Ray Wijewardene Charitable Trust, in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Inventors Commission and Commercial Bank is pleased to announce “The Ray” Award. The biennial life-time award, given in memory of the late Ray Wijewardene, the foremost inventor produced by Sri Lanka, will help a recognized inventor to commercialise his or her invention. The Trust invites all Presidential Award winners of the Sri Lanka Inventors Commission to apply for this prestigious award.

The RWCT, which has appointed an eminent independent panel of judges, will award a distinctive plaque and a citation to the winner of “The Ray” whilst Commercial Bank will award a substantial credit line to assist the winner to prepare his/her invention for commercialization. The University of Moratuwa will provide the technical support necessary to convert the winner’s invention to a product or process ready for the market. The Commercial Bank will also consider raising the required funds.

In 1955, Ray Wijewardene looked critically and scientifically�at the farming practices prevailing at the time and thus�pioneered the world’s first two wheeled tractor – the Landmaster. In the years that followed, over 300,000 units were sold in 27 countries�including Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom, Australia, the Philippines, Malaysia and Japan.

The Ray Wijewardene Charitable Trust was established in January 2011, to promote and sustain his vision and ideas. It aims to recognize and support innovations in sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, engineering and aeronautics – disciplines and pursuits that were close to his heart. “The Ray” is presented in order to encourage on-going innovation and enterprise in areas of public interest and continue his vision of innovation amongst Sri Lankans, especially the youth.

In December 2011, the RWCT together with the Institute of Engineers of Sri Lanka, presented the inaugural Ray Wijewardene Memorial Lecture “Grassroots Innovations for Inclusive Development”, delivered by the distinguished Indian Professor Anil Gupta , Professor at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmadabad and holding the Executive Vice-Chair of the National Innovation Foundation of India. The lecture showed how innovation can make extensive changes in a rapidly developing country, affirming the need for south Asia to seize and harness the myriad ideas that emerge from innovators, designers and people whether they be highly trained or illiterate, and to go out and find them, respect them and help them via entrepreneurs and technicians to transform their inventions into applicable solutions.

The award ceremony is scheduled for mid-October and it is very much hoped that all Presidential Award winners of the Sri Lanka Inventors Commission will perfect and submit their applications by July 31, making “The Ray” a reality and a success!
For more information see www.raywijewardene.net.


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