Collaboration between startup ecosystems and Webinar on AgriTech and WaterTech
The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Germany initiated and facilitated the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) of Sri Lanka and ENPACT e.V. in Berlin, Germany, which represents the Berlin Senate’s startup initiative “AsiaBerlin”, on 08 April 2021.
The MoU was aimed at fostering a strong bridge between Berlin, the startup capital of Europe and Sri Lanka’s startup ecosystem. ICTA CEO Mahinda B. Herath and enpact Managing Director Jan Lachenmayer placed their signatures on the MoU in a virtual ceremony.
During the ceremony, Ministry of Technology Secretary Jayantha de Silva welcomed the MoU, and highlighted some of the initiatives being implemented in the digital transformation journey of Sri Lanka, including the establishment of “Techno Parks” across the island, as a part of the vision of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to build a technology-centric economy.
At the event, ICTA Chairman Prof. Lalith Gamage described Sri Lanka’s to nurture the startup and innovation ecosystems, and emphasised that the MoU was a great initiative to share knowledge, and encourage technology-focused investments and related services.
enpact Managing Director Lachenmayer welcomed the initiative by the Embassy to connect the relevant Sri Lankan agency for collaboration, and expressed his confidence that the MOU will pave way for greater collaboration for innovation and create opportunities for both parties.
The virtual ceremony, moderated by AsiaBerlin Ambassador Aravinth Panch, was followed by a webinar on agritech and watertech, attended by around 60 participants, globally.
In the panel discussion moderated by enpact Corporate Innovation Head Matthias Schmidt-Rex, Ambassador of Sri Lanka in Germany Manori Unambuwe highlighted the importance of technology infusion to the agriculture sector in Sri Lanka, and the emphasis placed by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on the same in the country’s development agenda.
Ambassador Unambuwe further stated that the MoU between ICTA and enpact is a significant milestone to foster innovation and opportunities between both startup ecosystems, especially in the fields of agritech and watertech.
Berlin Senate Energy, Digitalisation and Innovation Division Deputy Head Dr. Rainer Seider, while welcoming the participants, thanked the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Germany for promoting co-operation between the two countries.
AsiaBerlin Ambassador and Vitreo Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder Mike Richardson, BASF Advisor Ronnie Tan, Pansan Ventures Singapore’s Christopher Aw, and Thai Union Group Global Innovation Director Tunyawat Kasemsuwan presented business models and case studies of innovations by startups in the fields of agriculture and water. The participants held in-depth discussions during the virtual breakout sessions that followed.