SLIBTEC collaborates with USAID to establish Sri Lanka’s first ‘Biotechnology Innovation Park’
Daily FT: The Sri Lanka Institute of Biotechnology (SLIBTEC) will collaborate with the US Government’s development arm — the US Agency for International Development (USAID), to boost innovation in the biotechnology sector by establishing Sri Lanka’s first Biotechnology Innovation Park.
By unleashing change through bio-innovation, SLIBTEC expects to increase Sri Lanka’s hi-tech exports by at least 1%.
Following the signing of a Letter of Cooperation with USAID’s PARTNER project, Treasury Secretary and Chairman of SLIBTEC S.R. Attygalle said: “SLIBTEC Park and SLIBTEC Research Facility will open doors in Sri Lanka and internationally for multidisciplinary research and hi-end biotech development. This will facilitate and promote innovation in all spheres of biotechnology, including medical, agricultural, and industrial sectors. This will also usher in a new era for sustainability, as well as facilitate the creation of a more technologically advanced nation.”
To support the development of the park, the Finance Ministry worked closely with USAID to secure technical expertise through USAID’s PARTNER project for the next two years. SLIBTEC will use this support to develop the operational framework that will help it to develop a modern business model based on international best practices.
PARTNER will also provide support in areas such as the park design, research management policy and training opportunities.
“As one of Sri Lanka’s longstanding development partners, USAID has provided development and humanitarian assistance to Sri Lanka for over six decades, making substantial investments in almost every sector. Today, we are proud to extend our support to ensure the country’s potential in biotechnology is pursued, promoted and developed,” USAID Mission Director for Sri Lanka and Maldives Reed Aeschliman said.
“The socio-economic impact of this investment to Sri Lanka will be significant as it creates jobs, increases innovation, and promotes entrepreneurship,” he added. The SLIBTEC Biotechnology Innovation Park will be a 13.2-acre facility in Pitipana, Homogama that will house high-end biotechnology innovation and manufacturing firms.
An on-site research facility will provide a centralised multidisciplinary research and service facility, with initial areas of research in Biopharma, Biofuel, Agro Biotech, and other emerging fields. The park will become a centre point of innovation in biotechnology in Sri Lanka and will attract investments and partnerships from local and international firms.
SLIBTEC Ltd., was incorporated in October 2020 as a State-owned entity (www.slibtec.gov.lk). The Treasury is the sole shareholder and the Secretary to the Treasury is the SLIBTEC Chairman.
USAID’s PARTNER project is a $ 19 million, five-year initiative to facilitate trade and strengthen Government efficiency to fuel broad-based economic growth in support of the Government of Sri Lanka’s vision for economic development and improved international trade.
Sri Lanka’s ongoing development programme and the positioning of the country as an emerging business destination have opened up a host of new business/investment opportunities in key economic sectors in the country. Given the growing business potential in Sri Lanka and the expanding opportunities, foreign donors as well as multilateral financial institutions have expressed support to carry out the development programmes in the respective economic fields. Several sectors like ICT, biotechnology and digital infrastructure development are fast growing in Sri Lanka while presenting a host of business/investment opportunities.
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