IT/BPO Industry collaborate with academia to enhance undergraduate’s
Sri Lanka Association of Software and Services Companies (SLASSCOM)
facilitated a successful one day workshop on research projects for the
SLASSCOM has been working in the last few years to create awareness
in IT related new trends and, employment opportunities. One such
initiative is the SLASSCOM directlink, which focuses on engaging the
industry with academia. SLASSCOM directlink initiative provides a
platform for collaboration between the IT industry and the academia.
A sound dialogue and strong relationship between the academia and
industry is essential to ensure that the IT/BPO industry stays relevant
and competitive in the global market.
The workshop highlighted current research needs for the industry and
provided a platform for continuous dialogue between the universities and
the industry. The research ideas discussed at the workshop was for both
undergraduate and postgraduate level.
Many IT faculty members from University of Moratuwa- Engineering,
University of Moratuwa Faculty of IT, University of Peradeniya,
University of Rajarata, University of Ruhuna, University of Sabaragamuwa,
University of Sri Jayawardenapura, University of Colombo School of
Computing, Open University, Jaffna University, South Eastern University
and other private universities were participants at this workshop.
The workshop was a collaborative effort between the industry and
academia. Presentations were done by leading IT companies in Sri Lanka
such as IFS, MIT, Virtusa, and Motorola Solutions on educating the
University faculty members on the relevant research with the industry
taking into account the current global IT trends.
The workshop participants were able to gather knowledge on
Intellectual Property Rights in Sri Lanka through a presentation done by
Dr. Karunaratne, Director General of National Intellectual Property
Office of Sri Lanka.
In addition, the participating faculty members had the opportunity to
visit some of the leading IT companies based at Orion City – the IT Park
in Sri Lanka at the end of workshop.
“It is nice to see how the Sri Lankan IT companies are willing to
collaborate with universities to do research.
I feel that postgraduate level research collaborations are lagging
behind in Sri Lanka compared to other countries. Need to focus more on
postgraduate research initiatives as well”, said one of the participants
commented on the workshop.
Another senior faculty member stated that, “It was a good session.
Industry and academia collaboration in research is quite essential in
taking the industry forward.
This is a good start in creating a platform and taking the ad-hoc
collaboration into a common forum in a coordinated effort”.
“There is a mismatch between the needs of the industry for R&D in
line with current global IT trends and what the research done by
students at the Universities.
Further a larger student community lack research ideas when it comes
to their final year projects. We need to bridge this gap by providing
constant feedback from the industry to the Universities so that relevant
and up to date research will be done by students which would also
enhance their career options in the industry”, said Anuradha Tennakoon,
Director of SLASSCOM and Director/ Country Manager for Motorola
solutions Sri Lanka addressing the participants.
Madu Ratnayake, Vice President of SLASSCOM and Vice President and
General Manager of Virtusa – Sri Lanka addressed the participants on
“how student projects can drive the national agenda”.
The presentation focused on how the rapid increase in ICT adoption in
the emerging regions is creating significant opportunities. Furthermore,
he went on to reiterate that significant innovation for the emerging
regions can only come from within the emerging nations where people see
the opportunities and needs day in and day out.
He went on to state that, in this rapidly growing emerging market
there is a real opportunity to address local problems and build local
entrepreneurs to create a national level competitive advantage in the
region to make export revenue. Getting students to apply technology for
local and regional problems and challenges working across multiple
disciplines like agriculture, health care, defense, etc. will get the
seed of this started.
He went on to request academia to have a special incentive for
student projects who try to address local and regional issues, further
he encouraged cross department collaborations within universities for
research and projects.
All SLASSCOM’s capacity building initiatives are geared towards
driving Sri Lanka to reach our national goal of becoming the #1 industry
to lead Sri Lanka to the Knowledge economy while achieving the target of
US$1 billion in revenue and employment to over 100,000 by 2015.
More information could be obtained from SLASSCOM Corporate Office on