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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2557

Capacity Building to boost private sector ICT

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune

Colombo, 17 February, (Asiantribune.com): The ICT Capacity Building Programme (ICBP), a US $ 5.2 million initiative to provide a short term boost to private sector ICT firms, is to launch several categories of grants, to encourage innovation in the ICT industry, by providing part subsidies for innovative ICT projects. The Programme is implemented by the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) and the initiative intends to provide a short term boost to private sector ICT firms.

At the Press Conference held to announce the modalities of this grants programme, Prof Tissa Vitharana, Minister of Science and Technology said that the Indian city of Bangalore once a sleeping cold city, with ICT taking off has found dramatic and drastic changes. There software engineers have come out with so many solutions

He said that in India in ICT private sector plays a big role, whereas in Sri Lanka the private sector involvement is inadequate while there is over-dependency on the government. He said that to develop ICT sector in Sri Lanka there should be much involvement by the private sector. Sri Lanka has talents of international standard and using this talent and the participation of the private sector Sri Lanka too should reach in par with the ICT world standard.

These grants would be utilized in three ways. The first is for R & D in ICT priority areas, to support the development of ‘Centres of Excellence”. Companies with a domestically incorporated legal presence in ICT, proposing commercially useful research and development in a priority field are eligible to apply. Two grants per annum, each equal to the lower of US $ 35,000 or 60 percent of the total cost incurred is available under this category.

The second is for innovation in software for specific industries where Sri Lanka has potential for market specialization, provides support for ICT research and development initiatives to thrust industries such as the garment, spices, gem and jewellery, tea and tourism industries. Two grants per annum would be awarded each equal to the lower of US $ 25,000 or 50 percent of the total cost incurred.

The third grant provides small and medium scale entrepreneurs seed money to develop ICT concepts that have broad application in the ICT industry or to Sri Lankan businesses in general. This grant is available for small and medium domestic ICT companies. Ten grants per annum, each equal to the lower of US $ 5,000 or 60 percent of the total cost incurred is available under this category.

- Asian Tribune -

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