In a world that requires 600 million jobs in this decade, inventions is the answer. This was the view expressed by Deepal Sooriyaarachchi, Commissioner, Sri Lanka Inventors Commission (SLIC) on the occasion of launching the SLIC website and recognizing he commercially successful inventors held at Waters Edge, Battaramulla, last week.
|Deepal Sooriyarachchi and the Minister launch the website.
Pic by Nilan Maligaspe
He said that according to the ILO (International Labour Organisation), over 600 million productive jobs are required and quoted William J, Baumol, a senior advisor to Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, as saying that innovative entrepreneurs, with their new products, new processes, new markets and novel approaches putting inventions to effective use are the key to an economy’s long-term growth.
Mr Sooriyaarachchi said that the best way to go for inventions is first to observe people’s behaviour and find out whether there are any problems and a solution to it could be a commercially successful invention that could be marketable. He said Sri Lanka grouped inventors only in 1979, while this was done in Japan as far back as 1904 and what Japan did first was to closely study the existing patents available and carefully improve on them and the improvement creates a new invention. This would be a tested and successful method to follow.
In this manner he said Japan has captured a major portion of the automobile market, while stressing on the niche which most are unable to notice, but would always have the potential of a new innovation.
He said that income group data show patent activity to be more concentrated than GDP and the share of high-income economies in total patent applications (74.1%) is 15.4% points higher than their GDP.
Mr Sooriyaarachchi said that they would get all the inventors together and arrange for them to form ‘Sri Lanka Inventors Business Chamber’. He said that now the country has felt the high importance of commercially viable new inventions and they are now formulating key strategies for 2012-2014. They are: Re- position presidential awards aligning them to national development goals; “Sahasak Nimevum” national exhibition and inventions month to widespread innovative culture; Revitalize school level programmes leveraging the power of electronic media; Web strategy as a key enabler; International recognition for inventors; Update the Act to reflect the needs of the day; Capability development of the staff and strong governance framework.
He said that there are 14 commercialized inventors below Rs 1 million capital; six with one million to five million(rupees), two between 5 and 10 million while there are five inventors who have a capital over 10 million. Ms Pavitha Wanniarachchi, Minister of Technology and Research was the Chief Guest at the event.