EU supports Sri Lanka’s innovation and startup ecosystem

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – The European Union and the Sri Lankan innovation and startup community are organizing a series of interactive sessions as part of an EU-funded pilot project kicking off this week.

Members of the EU and Sri Lankan innovation and startup ecosystem are meeting in Colombo from March 2-5 to discuss ways to connect research to markets and foster partnerships between the EU and Sri Lanka.

The project, named “Support to the Sri Lankan Innovation and Start-up Ecosystem–SLISE”, will bring a team of ten specialists from the EU, with extensive experience in developing research and innovation networks and infrastructures, in implementing incubation, acceleration and scaling up programs and in facilitating access to finance for early stage start-up companies in Europe.

The aim is to identify collaboration opportunities between the EU and Sri Lanka in research and development and see how these can be commercialized and scaled up through partnerships with entrepreneurs and start-up companies.

The week-long program will comprise six interactive sessions including two dedicated sessions on FinTech (integration of technology into financial services) and Artificial Intelligence that will take place in three different locations (the Hatch co-working space, Colombo Innovation Tower and at Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology/SLINTEC) and host a broad range of Sri Lankan researchers, incubators, start-ups, and entrepreneurs.

Denis Chaibi, the Ambassador of the European Union to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, said the pilot project is a first step towards new Sri Lanka-EU areas of cooperation where exciting opportunities have been identified.

“The EU’s top priorities include investment with partners in climate change action through green technologies and developing a broad digital transformation. The EU is therefore delighted to collaborate with Sri Lankan researchers and entrepreneurs to develop innovative solutions such as new energy storage technologies and grain fortification to grow healthy food in a more sustainable way,” he said.

The project will be implemented throughout 2020 until June 2021 in cooperation with Sri Lankan stakeholders.

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