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DateLine Wednesday, 17 October 2007

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First Nanoscience Park in Homagama:

Nano technology to address industrial sector needs

The Government will establish two public - private companies with BOI status, under the modified proposal for the Nano-Technology Institute with a NanoScience Park.

The private sector will hold up to 50 per cent of shares and with equal representation in the boards of directors where the Government shares of the two companies will be vested with the National Science Foundation.

Science and Technology Minister Prof. Tissa Vitharana who was the chief guest and speaker at the Techno Engineering and Technology Conference 2007 held at the BMICH yesterday said the first company NANCO would address the long term needs by establishing the Nanoscience Centre and the Industrial Estate (Nanoscience Park) at Homagama.

The land has been already obtained for this. The other company SLINTEC would address the immediate needs of industries, such as textiles, rubber, telecommunications, healthcare and energy to be located in Biyagama loaned by one of the private sector partners.

Cabinet approval was obtained for this last week and the Government expects more foreign donors and private investor support.

Minister Vitharana said according to the amended project proposal the National Nano Technology Board as a single apex body will promote and regulate nano technology in the country with the President as Chairman and the Minister of Science and Technology as Vice Chairman and with private sector and scientific representation.

The Rs. 5 billion Government funded project is an investment of five years.

Minister Vitharana said Sri Lanka has fallen behind in introducing nano technology, which can bring high economic benefits to the country.

"When some scientists briefed President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the advantages of this technology two years ago he immediately set up an action committees to study these proposals and also obtained cabinet approval for it. The releasing of finances and the idea behind setting up the laboratory is a result of follow up action taken by the President since then," he said.

Already over 70 countries including India are usefully implementing Nano technology and it is the responsibility of the Government to introduce it to the country, the technology could be introduced to local raw material so that value addition could be done in the country to bring more foreign exchange to Sri Lanka.

"Sri Lanka exports mineral to manufacture chips which are used for computers, cell phones, medical equipment and other products. With nano technology Sri Lanka can manufacture these chips in the country," Minister Vitharana said.

He thanked the three Sri Lankan scientists attached to leading universities and institutions for coming to Sri Lanka to assist in the introduction of this technology free.

 

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