Sri Lanka to become a knowledge-based hub | Daily News

Sri Lanka to become a knowledge-based hub

Evening session. Pictures by Mahinda Withaanachchi
Evening session. Pictures by Mahinda Withaanachchi

The vision of the Government is to establish an innovation driven economy in line with the Government’s policy to make Sri Lanka a knowledge based hub, Industry and Commerce Minister Rishard Bathiudeen said.

In this regard, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) had contributed in a major way providing Sri Lanka with assistance through their development agenda, the minister said.

He was speaking at the World Intellectual Property (IP) Day Seminar under the theme “Innovation-Improving Lives” organised by the National Intellectual Property Office (NIPO) in collaboration with the Department of Commerce, Washington D.C. at the Taj Samudra Hotel on March 26.

A provisional programme for the World IP Day was also held under the theme “Intellectual Property and Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions” jointly organized by the NIPO and WIPO at Hilton Colombo.

Bathiudeen also said WIPO, Department of Commerce of Washington D.C., United States Patent and Trademark Office, University Grants Commission of Sri Lanka and Ministry of Science and Technology of Sri Lanka would contribute to a modern University Intellectual Property Policy in Sri Lanka helping to establish a framework for University staff and students to protect and commercialise new inventions beyond granting patents.

The Minister said, “Innovation creates new markets, jobs and industries and it gives new life to existing industries. Also granting exclusive rights such as patent rights, registering industrial designs and copyrights can help innovation to be successfully commercialised.”

NIPO Director General Geethanjali Ranawaka said the action plan for the Madrid Accession Project for the period 2016 to 2017 had been drafted with the aim of facilitating international registration of trademarks.

Intellectual Property Automation System (IPAS) will be launched and NIPO website will be upgraded to ease the execution of the Madrid project, she added.

The Director General further said that E-NIPO Project will be implemented with the collaboration of the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) Sri Lanka to create a platform to carry out activities related to copyrights and trademarks online.

She also said that the ultimate goal would be to promote Sri Lanka as a hub of traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions.

WIPO Assistant Director General Minelik Getehun said, “WIPO is an international organization with 189 member states dedicated to promote protection and beneficial use of innovation and creativity and productions of human mind among and between the member states.” Industry and Commerce Ministry Secretary Chinthaka S. Lokuhetti said that Intellectual property protection and the patent system promotes innovations and encourages economic growth while creating a favourable atmosphere for the creators to engage in further creative work.

WIPO Director Wend Wendland, US Embassy Chief Economic Officer Partha Mazumdar, University Grants Commission Chairman Prof. Mohan De Silva, NIPO Assistant Director Dilini Ratnayake, Attorney General’s Department Senior State Counsel Avanti Perera, Industry and Commerce Ministry Additional Secretary M.A. Thajudeen and Intellectual Property Advisory Commission Member Dr. Danister Perera also participated. 

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