Introduction

University-Industry Partnerships (UIPs)

University is a hub of knowledge. University—Industry Partnerships lead to creation of successful innovations. In other words, if university research programmes could meet the industrial demands, it may make a positive change for the economic development of the country. Furthermore, involvement of science and technology in industries is becoming a strategic need to tally with the changing global economic trends.

Therefore, interexchange of knowledge between academia and industrialists is essential to diversify and modernize the market in a more scientific way. Still Sri Lankan industries cannot undertake research programmes on its own in order to meet the needs of the economic growth. This is why the collaboration between industries and academic institutions to share updated knowledge to gain hands on experience is vital.

Ministry of Social Welfare and Primary Industries (MoSWPI) has taken the initial steps towards the development of University-Industry Partnerships to support the economic growth of Sri Lanka. As a result, the Ministry has formed a five-year programme with the University of Lancashire (UCLan), UK, in order to uphold the innovation capacity of the industrialists and academia to promote the entrepreneurial culture within institutions. The five-year programme is based on following five objectives; pre planning, policy formulation, capacity building, performance evaluation, and monitoring and evaluation.

In order to reach the objectives to promote university and industry linkages, and advancement of research and innovation field a memorandum of understanding between Ministry of Social Welfare and Primary Industries and University of Lancashire, UK, has been signed.

There had been several successful meetings and workshops organized by the Ministry of Social Welfare and Primary Industries for the development of this programme, led by Prof. K.D.N.Weerasinghe (Consultant, Research and Development division of the Ministry) and, Dr. Champika Liyanage (Reader/Associate Professor, University of Lancashire, UK).