Opening doors to a new era in science, technology and innovation the inaugural STS Forum Sri Lanka concluded on 9th September 2016 with the declaration of the Colombo Resolution on Science and Technology for Society.
Organized by the Ministry of Science and Technology Research, the Forum aimed at using Science, Technology and Innovation for the development of the Srilankan Society in a much more sustainable manner.
A total of over 700 leading scientists, including Mr Koji Omi, Chairman of the STS Forum Japan, policymakers including ministers, business executives and leaders in science and technology sectors attended the STS Forum representing 23 countries.
The Forum had been organised in a series of 5 plenary sessions followed by 21 breakout sessions covering the themes a) STI for Sustainable Development Goals b) Citizen Science c) Research and Innovation Eco system d) Emerging Technologies and e) Nanotechnology. All most all the All the breakout sessions generated greater enthusiasm among the participant on the discussed topics, and followed by discussions that were equally interesting and informative and paved the way for a greater interaction between the world leading scientists and the local participants.
On Saturday, the final day of the forum rapporteurs representing each of the themes produced a summary of findings for the concluding plenary session.
The Colombo Resolution
Participants of the final plenary session adopted the followings as the Colombo Resolution on Science, Technology and Innovation for Sustainable development of Sri Lankan Society.
- We the participants of the STS Forum Sri mLanka 2016, recognizing the holistic approach adopted in the formulation of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and that the importance of innovation is highlighted in goal number 9 of the SDGs, agree that STI whether it may be scientific or social innovation is a key driver of sustainable national development.
- We believe that economic development should go hand in hand with Social and environmental progress. Hence we appreciate the key role that STI plays in the improvement of industrial and economic growth, while at the same time recognizing that STI plays an important role in ensuring that industrial process and output conforms to protecting and managing our environment in sustainable manner.
- We recognize that new emerging technologies, such as Bio-technology, renewable energy, data science, robotics, and nano-technology may be harnessed for economic progress and poverty alleviation.
- We see STI and social innovation as being linked and complementary and may work hand in hand to support socially related SDGs such as quality education, gender equality, reducing inequalities and peace justice and strong institutions.
- We recognize that STI may play a significant role to assist the attainment of SDGs including those related to zero hunger, good health and well being, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy and sustainable cities and communities.
- We note that in addition to the support provided by STI to enable cleaner process that mitigate environmental degradation in the context of the SDGs related to climate action, life below water and life on land; new technologies relating to to space and satellite communication as well as remote sensing will also assist the attainment of these goals.
- We are concerned that there may be a current mismatch between development priorities as stated in national development plans and budgets, and the role of STI and STI practitioners in the development process. We see an urgent need for requisite alignment by developing and sustaining the human capitol required to incorporate STI in sustainable national development.
- With the above in mind, we therefore call upon all policy makers, scientific practitioners and legislators to foster STI through a supportive innovation-led eco-system that includes advocacy, appropriate policies, adequate resourcing, international partnerships and investing in people and institutional capacities in order to facilitate and achieve sustainable national development.
Science and Technology Minister Susil Premajayantha, Prof. Thissa Witharana, and the Secretary of the ministry of Science and Technology Ms R. Wijialudchumi headed the final plenary session.