EDB conducts awareness session on NRC’s PPP program | Sunday Observer

EDB conducts awareness session on NRC’s PPP program

Naduni Hansana
Naduni Hansana

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) Program at the EDB auditorium recently, targeting the exporter community.

The PPP program was introduced by the NRC in 2012, to promote partnerships between scientists in public research and development institutions, universities and the private sector. The NRC provides grants up to 50% of the total cost of the research project.

The program promotes 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 program.

Private sector participation is encouraged by providing tax concessions in relation to Research & Development (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 five projects worth Rs. 89.2 million.

NRC’s Scientific Officer for PPP Programs, Naduni Hansana outlined details 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 involved private partners such as Lina Manufacturing, CIC Holdings, Sadaharitha Plantations, and DSI Samson Compound. 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 and discovering treatments for post-harvest diseases affecting the exported mango variety – Tom EJC - carried out by Ellawala Horticulture and the National Institute of Fundamental Studies.

Acting Additional Director General (Finance and Administration) of the EDB, Saman Maldeni, the Chief Executive Officer of the NRC, Manisha Rajapakse and the Assistant Director (scientific affairs) of the NRC, A.S.R. Nonis were also present.