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Head of ATI honoured by Sri Lankan President

Professor Ravi Silva, Head of Surrey’s Advanced Technology Institute, has been given an award by the President of Sri Lanka for his exceptional contributions to nanotechnology in the country.

(L-r) Professor Ravi Silva; the President of Sri Lanka, HE President Sirisena; the Hon Minister of Science, Technology and Research (Hon Susil Premajayantha); and Hon State Minister of Science, Technology and Research (Hon Lakshman Senewirathna).

The honour was awarded to Professor Silva by His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena, President of Sri Lanka, in recognition of the many contributions he has made in the field of nanotechnology which have had a positive impact on industry and society in Sri Lanka.

For the past 20 years, Professor Silva has worked with colleagues in Sri Lanka to promote nanotechnology, helping to establish the Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology (SLINTEC) in 2008 when he was on sabbatical, acting as a science adviser in the country. Now a leading institute in Asia, SLINTEC is a partnership between the government and leading private sector companies, aimed at promoting the development of innovative products and adding value to natural resources.

Professor Silva also recently helped to organised the prestigious Science and Technology for Society (STS) Forum in collaboration with Sri Lanka’s Minister of Science, Technology and Research, the Hon Susil Premajayantha MP. Taking place in Colombo in September, the event brought together over 1,200 international delegates to foster equitable and inclusive development through science, technology and innovation, and integrate Sri Lankan industries into the global value chain.

Professor Silva said: “I was surprised and deeply honoured to receive an award from the President. As a non-executive and founder director of SLINTEC, I have seen it grow to the premier institute it has now become – a private-public partnership catalysing high value manufacturing products using nanotechnology within a 50 acre science park in the outskirts of Colombo.

“SLINTEC continues to work with the premier blue chip companies of Sri Lanka and has helped expedite change to the entire innovation landscape in the country. Credit for this partnership lies with the steadfast support it has received from the Government of Sri Lanka, National Science Foundation and the private sector in the country. It is an exemplar institute in Asia in the delivery of the societal change promised by nanotechnology to the people.”

During his recent visit to Sri Lanka, Professor Silva, who is a Fellow of the country’s National Academy of Science, took part in a live national television broadcast when he discussed the positive impact of science, technology and nanotechnology on society.

 

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