ECONOMYNEXT - Sri Lanka's Business Management School (BMS), a UK affiliated college, and state-run Industrial Technology Institute, a research agency has forged a partnership to boost the scientific base in the country, officials said.
BMS President W A Wijewardene said Sri Lanka had to move to higher technology products to earn higher salaries and to move beyond producing basic goods.
"When we asked major pharmaceutical firms why they were not coming to Sri Lanka they said one reason was the non-availability of a scientific base in biomedical sciences," he told a forum in Colombo.
"It is the scientific base that will determine the future prosperity of the country. Sri Lanka's main problem has been that we have been concentrating on simple technology when producing goods for the rest of the world."
"If we are to becoming a leading nation is Asia, or even in South Asia it is necessary for us to build up the scientific base."
BMS had started a higher national diploma in biomedical sciences for the first time in Sri Lanka with Britain's Northumbria University and Edexcel UK where students could earn a degree by completing a third year in Britain.
Already over 500 students had followed the diploma and about a 100 have completed the degree.
But from September this year, Northumbria University had allowed the full degree program to be taught in Colombo at BMS, which is the regional centre for Northumbria University in Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
Wijewardene said under the public private partnership with the Industrial Technology Institute, BMS students who are following a biomedical degree awarded by Britain's Northumbria University will work with researchers at ITI.
The faculty of BMS and ITI could also engage in collaborative research and ITI staff would also be able to work with Northumbria University.
ITI Chairman Niroshan Perera said the collaboration with BMS to provide internship opportunities for biomedical and biotechnology students will only be a first step to upgrading the knowledge of young people both in Sri Lanka and Maldives.