1. Virtual Symposium on
    “Enhanced Entrepreneurship Skills for Scientists in the ‘New Normal’ Environment” 25th July 2020, 4.30pm to 7.30pm
    Organized by the Sri Lanka National Chapter of Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (SLNC-OWSD) under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences Sri Lanka (NASSL)
    The Sri Lanka National Chapter of the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (SLNC-OWSD) held a Webinar on “Enhanced Entrepreneurship Skills for Scientists in the ‘New Normal’ Environment’ on 25 July 2020, from 4.30 pm to 7.30 pm with the participation of about 200 scientists from 30 countries across the world, in addition to others who watched the live stream of the event via Facebook.This webinar included participation of two world-renowned scientists cum entrepreneurs;. Dr Shahani Markus (Chief Technical Officer and Chairperson of Emojet Pvt. Ltd, Co-founder, President and Board Member of Auxenta Pvt. Ltd and Million Spaces Pvt.Ltd.) as the Chief Guest and Vidya Jyothi Dr.Bandula Wijay (The Ambassador for Science Technology and Innovation for Sri Lanka, Honorary Visiting Professor, General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University Sri Lanka and CEO of ProSum Inc. Houston, Texas) as the Keynote Speaker.Dr. Markus delivered a motivational speech titled I CAN!’ instead of ‘CAN I?’. Her talk highlighted the importance of developing the courage and a mind set to step out of the stereotyped framework to achieve the desired goals. Vidya Jyothi Dr.Bandula Wijay’s speech was titled ‘Post pandemic economic vitality through innovation where he stressed the need to inculcate an innovative mind set from childhood, which may be introduced through the school education system. Each of these  presentations was followed by a question and answer session that provided an opportunity for the world-wide audience to interact with the two distinguished scientists.The first panel discussion on the theme “To start, rise and stay at the top as an entrepreneur: challenges in the ‘new normal’ environment’ involved the participation of eminent speakers who were have proven records in the theme under discussion.  Ms. Chathuri Ranasinghe (Chairperson, Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce) delivered a short presentation on Challenges for start-ups in the ‘new normal’ environment based on her experience of leading the Chambers. Mr. Heminda Jayaweera (COO, SLINTEC) elaborated on how he floated a new idea so that others could use their know-how to cater to social needs, especially during challenging times. Mr. Shalen De Silva (Founder and CEO Vincere Health, USA) described how a research idea may be transformed into a business venture through the use of modern day technology while fulfilling social needs of the day and used his work directed at helping people to quit smoking, with apparently simple mobile phone application that his team developed, as an example.The second session consisted of a panel of 3 speakers: Mr. Janaka Karunasena, Head, Technology Division, National Science Foundation (NSF) , Ms.Manisha Rajapakse, Chief Executive Officer, National Research Council (NRC) and Mr Deepal De Silva, Deputy General Manager-Branch Banking, representing the Sampath Bank (sponsor of the event). The discussion that ensued was centred around financial opportunities that could be accessed by scientists to convert research ideas generated within laboratories in to business ventures out there in the society, highlighting also the gaps in policies or challenges to such processes as they exist now. Helpful insights on transforming science into business were widely discussed, with special emphasis on challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Manisha highlighted the private-public partnerships that are supported by the NRC, which promote the essential links between research and development needs of the private sector with research scientists, who have the expertise in providing research-based solutions.  Janaka highlighted the technology development grants awarded through the NSF, which support projects that lead to technology-driven innovations (TDI). The financial schemes promoted by the Sampath Bank that support start-ups were discussed by Deepal that can ensure the financial capital required to take the research ideas forward.Each panel discussion was followed by a question and answer session, which made the event very interactive and satisfying experience for all parties involved.The symposium was chaired by Prof. Nadira Karunaweera (President, SLNC-OWSD), Prof. Priyan Dias (President, NASSL) and Dr. Ranjith Mahindapala (Immediate Past President, NASSL).YouTube link for the symposium video can be accessed through:


  2. Publication on ‘Profile of Women Scientists in Asia’ was locally launched on 8th March 2019 at the Hilton Colombo Residences Hotel by Prof. Cheryl Praeger, Chair of the Committee on Women in Science, Education and Mathematics, AASSA.
  3. Ms. Nadeeka Manthrirathna, Research officer, Gem and Jewellery Research and Training Institute attended the training workshop on ‘Technopreneurship for Women in Science and Technology’ held from 9-12 July 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as the SLNC OWSD nominee.

  4. Launch of the Sri Lanka National Chapter of the OWSD
    Sri Lanka National Chapter of OWSD (SLNC-OWSD) was officially launched on the 29th March 2018 in parallel with the South Asian Biotechnology Conference-2018 held in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

    SLNC-OWSD was established under the umbrella of the National Academy of Sciences of Sri Lanka (NASSL). Congratulatory messages received included messages from Prof Jennifer Thompson, President of the OWSD,   Prof. Cheryl Praeger, Chair, Women in Science, Education and Engineering (WISE) Committee of the Association of Academies and Societies of Sciences in Asia (AASSA), and Prof.Andrew Holmes, President, National Academy of Sciences of Australia, Prof. Haseena Khan from Bangladesh, Prof. Azra Khanum from Pakistan and  Prof. Anjana Singh  from Nepal representing their respective National Academies of Sciences. Many other scientists from various national and international organisations including the President and Council members of the NASSL, representatives of the National Science Foundation of SriLanka and International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB, Italy) also graced the event and extended their heartiest wishes and support for the future activities of the SLNC-OWSD. Inaugural address at this occasion of launching the Sri Lanka National Chapter of OWSD was delivered by the eminent Sri Lankan female scientist Prof. Savitri Gunatilleke, Professor emeritus, University of Peradeniya.
    The logo designed for the Sri Lankan Chapter of the OWSD portrays a woman carrying a lamp surrounded by light rays. Hair bun symbolises the Asian origin of the woman. The symbols ‘atom’ denotes science and ‘heart’ denotes devotion to family, compassion and love. Illustrating both the atom and the heart in the head denotes the fact that a woman scientist has both her scientific knowledge and her compassionate and loving heart making her a guiding light (depicted by the lamp) to the family and others and brightens the world around her (depicted by the light rays surrounding the woman). The symbol atom is similar to the atom in the logo of the OWSD parent body denoting that the National Chapter is connected to the parent OWSD organisation. Light rays are similar to that found in the logo of  NASSL denoting its establishment under the umbrella of the NASSL.
    Aim of the SLNC-OWSD is to promote female participation in science and technology, in scientific leadership and decision-making processes, both at national and international levels.
    Professor Nadira Karunweera who spearheaded the establishment of SLNC-OWSD will serve as the inaugural President. The members of the executive committee look forward to working with the local and international scientists to achieve the aim of the SLNC-OWSD. SLNC-OWSD is contactable via srilankanowsd@gmail.com.