Playing with fire in Sri Lanka’s fireworks village
Al Jazeera / Businesspeople / Innovators

Playing with fire in Sri Lanka’s fireworks village

The heavy, metal apparatus standing in R. Lorrence’s garage seems out of place. Its design is simple enough – a pneumatic pump helps pack a mix of explosive chemicals into a slender plastic tube, exerting pressure that a human hand couldn’t hope to match. But it is the only machine in this little cottage firework … Continue reading

Asoka Obeyesekere:  an ‘MP monitoring scorecard’
Activists / Innovators / Politicians / SciDev.Net / Scientists

Asoka Obeyesekere: an ‘MP monitoring scorecard’

[Colombo] In the run-up to critical parliamentary elections on 17 August, Manthri.lk, a parliamentary performance monitoring website, is providing unprecedented insight into the workings of Sri Lanka’s government. Asoka Obeyesekere, leader of the Manthri.lk team, says the site was created to bridge the information gap “between the parliament and the public.” The site is run … Continue reading

Parenting in the Age of Digital Media
Academics / Activists / Bloggers / Innovators / Journalists / The Sunday Times

Parenting in the Age of Digital Media

The tragic suicide of a friend when he was 13 years old inspired Arun Ravi to develop Mevoked. He remembers his friend’s parents wishing they had only known of the despair their son was feeling. Decades in the making, Arun’s new app is an answer to them. When you install it – a basic version … Continue reading

Deepal Sooriyaarachchi, Malik Ranasinghe, Shantha Lenadora, Indresri Karunathilaka, Dhammika Rathnayake: Individual innovators thrive in Sri Lanka
Innovators / SciDev.Net

Deepal Sooriyaarachchi, Malik Ranasinghe, Shantha Lenadora, Indresri Karunathilaka, Dhammika Rathnayake: Individual innovators thrive in Sri Lanka

[COLOMBO] Sri Lanka’s innovators need state recognition and funding to foster an innovation culture, a meeting has heard. “Our inventors need state recognition, society’s appreciation and funding to commercialise their ideas,” Tissa Vitharana, Sri Lanka’s senior minister for science, said at a ceremony to award the country’s innovators last month (17 Oct) in Colombo. Despite limited government support … Continue reading

The SLINTEC Team: Making History
Academics / Engineers / Entreprenuers / Innovators / Researchers / The Sunday Times

The SLINTEC Team: Making History

At the Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology (SLINTEC), today is someone’s birthday – the riot of pink and yellow post-it notes decorating Prof. K.M Nalin de Silva’s door single him out. For the Science Team Leader it’s a fine day to meditate on the world of his ancestors and to imagine the one his children will … Continue reading

Sohan Dharmaraja: Turning touchscreens into braille type writers
Entreprenuers / Innovators / The Sunday Times

Sohan Dharmaraja: Turning touchscreens into braille type writers

In late 2011, a 28 year old Sohan Dharmaraja was just wrapping up his PhD thesis in Computational Mathematics at Stanford. With a Masters from MIT in the subject already under his belt, his current interest was in how excruciatingly accurate high fidelity real world simulations could be played out on computers – if you crashed a Prius into a … Continue reading