IFS announced its partnership with the University of Moratuwa to establish an IFS Endowed Chair for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Moratuwa, at a press briefing held in Colombo. An agreement establishing this was signed between IFS and the University of Moratuwa in the presence of dignitaries and members of the media.
The partnership marks a milestone in the industry-academia collaboration in the country and will strengthen the research capability across all Faculties of the university and foster a culture of creative thinking, innovation and entrepreneurship amongst both its teaching faculty and students alike. Under the partnership, IFS will grant 18 million Rupees over a period of 3 years to establish a position of an IFS Endowed Professor/Senior Fellow for innovation and entrepreneurship at the University of Moratuwa.
IFS recognises that a strong collaboration between industry and academia is necessary to significantly enhance the innovation entrepreneurship culture of the country. Creative thinking and an innovative mind-set is imperative for propelling economic growth and technological advancement in emerging economies such as Sri Lanka. Consequently, nurturing and building human capital, thereby creating an enabling environment, is a key driver towards achieving this.
University of Moratuwa (UoM) is also mindful of the impact of creating an innovative and entrepreneurial culture within the university, in view of adding value and wealth creation towards the country’s economic growth. The university’s vision is to be “the most globally recognized knowledge enterprise in Asia”, hence the importance of transforming UoM in to a world class university.
“We are a knowledge based company and we recognize the importance of developing intellectual infrastructure and giving it the freedom to thrive. We’re excited about partnering with the University of Moratuwa – one of the premier universities in the country – and to be a part of establishing the next generation of Sri Lanka’s creative thinkers, game-changers, entrepreneurial minds, and the workforce for the future,” said Ranil Rajapakse, Vice President/Chief Operating Officer of IFS World Operations in Sri Lanka, reaffirming the company’s commitment towards strengthening its long standing relationship with the University of Moratuwa.
The Vice Chancellor of The University of Moratuwa, Prof. Ananda Jayawardane, underscored the significance of this milestone in industry-academia collaboration. Said Prof. Ananda Jayawardane: “The University of Moratuwa, an internationally recognized seat of learning and research, recognizes that nurturing activities related to research & innovation, knowledge creation, technology transfer and invention have positive ripple effects which extends beyond the parameters of academia. The concept of an Endowed Professor/Senior Fellow at the university has been proposed to complement and amplify the efforts of the university and foster a culture of innovation while reinforcing its position as the premier technological university in Sri Lanka.”
Alastair Sorbie, President and CEO of the IFS group, emphasized that a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship benefits both the industry and the nation and noted the need for industry and academia to work closely towards developing a conducive environment. “Technology is never static and innovation cannot exist in isolation. There is always a dynamic cycle of engagement, improved understanding and continuously evolving knowledge-sharing between both the industry and the academia. It is important to foster creativity and industry-academia partnerships towards future advancement, both in the business world and academia,” highlighted Sorbie.
“Over the years, IFS has a tradition of collaborating with tertiary education institutions, sharing our expertise, providing industry opportunities and building rewarding partnerships through mutual exploration and learning. We are confident that this program will assist in augmenting the talents of the students and pave the way for innovative research initiatives,” said Jayantha De Silva, President & CEO, IFS Sales & Consulting, Sri Lanka.
This partnership is poised to act as a catalyst towards fostering new innovations and commercialization, establishing start-ups, enhancing creative and innovative thinking in the future workforce and bridging the gap between industry and academia. It is also anticipated to enhance the nation’s academic competitiveness on a global platform.