Sri Lanka ‘innovation accelerator’ for small businesses
Dec 22, 2015 18:56 PM GMT+0530 | 0 Comment(s)
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka plans to set an ‘innovation accelerator’ to help small businesses do research and development and commercialise results by bringing products to market quickly.
Most Sri Lankan businesses are small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that need support for R&D, said Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen.
“Innovation efforts in a country like Sri Lanka need to be well focused so that innovation to market cycles are faster and cost effective, especially for financing organisations,” he told for SMEs and R&D outfits on collaborative research.
“This is true not only of private sector R&D but even public sector R&D agencies. It is here that the public-private partnership model becomes a practical solution.”
An SME innovation accelerator will enable SMEs to take part in R&D and demonstrate marketable products based on new technology and applications, Bathiudeen told the forum.
This in turn is expected to enhance the R&D capacity of the island’s SMEs by bringing new ideas and accelerating them into commercial outcomes.
But Bathiudeen said the initiative should be tailor made to suit local conditions, noting that the focus on innovation should not be allowed to be a temporary passing fashion.
“Real innovation with commercial potential must be delivered and faster,” he told the forum held by the National Enterprise Development Authority, Coordinating Secretariat for Science Technology and Innovation and the Asian Development Bank Institute.
“Our innovation requirements are not always urban and hi-tech but need to be used in the grassroots and rural society,” he said.
Innovation models successful in developed economies may not be equally successful in an emerging country like Sri Lanka, he added. (Colombo/December 22 2015)