The Centre of Excellence of COMSATS in Sri Lanka, Industrial Technology Institute (ITI), organized its 6th Biennial Research Symposium / International Research Symposium – 2023, on 7-9 November 2023, in Colombo (in hybrid mode). The Institute regularly hosts Biennial Research Symposiums with the aim of cultivating and promoting scientific and technological research for the advancement of industries in the country. These symposiums serve as a platform for research scientists, engineers, and technologists to showcase their research findings. The theme of this year’s Symposium was “Advance Research, Development and Innovations towards the Fourth Generation Industrial Development”.
The Inaugural Ceremony of the event was held on 7th November 2023. Hon. Dr. Ramesh Pathirana, Minister of Industries and Health, Govt. of Sri Lanka, attended the ceremony as the Chief Guest, while the Executive Director COMSATS, Ambassador Dr. Muhammad Nafees Zakaria, made online participation as a Special Guest. Scientists and scholars from various countries of the world, representatives of international organizations, and officials from Sri Lankan government/institutions participated in the event.
Prof. Zhaohui Lin, Director, International Center for Climate and Environment Sciences (ICCES – COMSATS Centre of Excellence in China) participated as a keynote speaker and delivered presentation beating the theme “Drought Variation and Changes under a Warming Climate and its Future Projection”.
The Minister of Industries and Health, Dr. Pathirana, acknowledged the constructive role of ITI in promoting industrial development in Sri Lanka. He stated that establishment of ITI was integral to the Greater Colombo Plan, that focused on fostering industrial development and supporting the Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) sector. Since its establishment in 1955, ITI’s endeavors have exhibited a comprehensive scope, encompassing a diverse range of subjects. Its services have played a pivotal role in offering essential support to the industrial landscape of Sri Lanka.
The Executive Director COMSATS, in his online address, underscored the fundamental role of research, development and innovation in shaping the future. He stated that in order to excel during this Fourth Industrial Revolution, developing nations must devise strategies, embrace digitalization, invest in knowledge and skills. Amb. Zakaria highlighted the pivotal role of collaboration among governments, academia, industry, and society in harnessing the advantages brought forth by Industry 4.0. He introduced COMSATS’ initiatives for Member Countries in areas such as AI-based data analytics, digitalization and IT training, precision agriculture, renewable energy, industrial biotechnology, tech-enabled health sciences, climate and environment, and electric vehicles. Amb. Zakaria conveyed COMSATS’ readiness to collaborate with like-minded institutions to aiding Member Countries’ technological pursuits in line with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and for socio-economic development. He also highlighted the mutually beneficial cooperation taking place between COMSATS and ITI.
Other dignitaries that attended the august gathering included Ms. J. M. Thilaka Jayasundara Secretary, Ministry of Industries, Govt. of Sri Lanka; Prof. G.A. S. Premakumara, Chairman ITI; and Prof. J.K.R.R. Samarasekara, Director General ITI.
The technical sessions of the 3-day Symposium comprised 50 talks focusing on the topics of food technology, herbal technology, environmental technology, chemical technology, material technology, electrotechnology and biotechnologies, converging technologies, Internet of Things, etc.