In efforts to further its post-war socioeconomic development, the Ministry of Technology and Research brought together local and expat Sri Lankan scientists at an international forum. The forum titled ‘The Global Forum of Sri Lankan Scientists’ was organized by the National Science Foundation in collaboration with UNESCO and was held in Colombo. The three-day forum, exploring the theme “Empowering Sri Lanka through networking and knowledge sharing,” drew more than 100 local scientists and experts and 50 Sri Lankan expatriate scientists.
The forum discussed scientific and economic empowerment and explored themes of national interest that included different sectors of energy, health care, agriculture, tourism, consumer goods and promoting exports. Hoping to contribute to national development, the scientists also collaborated in scientific areas such as Nanotechnology, Biotechnology and Green Technology, amongst others.
Sri Lankan expats have played an integral role in the rebuilding of their society and have positively represented the country in the international media. Following the three-decade long civil war that ended in 2009, the Sri Lankan government has invested over 6 billion rupees in massive infrastructure programs and aims to maintain its growth above 8 percent in 2012. However, only 1.5 percent of Sri Lanka’s manufactured exports are based on advanced technology. Additionally, due to rising poverty, low income and lack of resources in Sri Lanka, thousands of scientists and academics prefer to migrate in efforts of finding better opportunities.
The government launched this initiative to gain the knowledge of renowned Sri Lankan scientists who have left the country.