The University of Peradeniya, one of the leading partners of the project FOUNTAIN (Fostering sustainable university-industry techno-entrepreneurial collaborations and innovations in Asian universities) led by the University of Ruhuna, cofounded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union, is proud to announce its commencement on 1st July 2023. The kick-off meeting was held at the gap HQ in Colombo 07 (hybrid) on 19th – 20th July 2023. The University of Peradeniya team comprising Senior Prof. Ranjith Dissanayake, Dr. Chaminda S Bandara and Mr. Lahiru Dissanayake of the Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, contributed to the FOUNTAIN Project at the forefront.
The FOUNTAIN Project will address the lack of strategic university-industry partnerships in Asian universities in terms of student employability, blended learning, invention and innovation, techno-entrepreneurial skills, curriculum development, multidisciplinary joint research and many other aspects. Through need assessments conducted with partners in Thailand and Sri Lanka, FOUNTAIN identifies gaps in university-industry collaboration, aiming to align industrial interests with public interests, particularly in agro-industries. Its objectives include enhancing university curricula with robust industrial training programs, strengthening university-business links, and establishing a community of practice involving university and industry actors in the field of agro-industries. Additionally, the project seeks to facilitate the transition of ideas into practice, promote business start-ups, and establish a centre of excellence in the invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship to meet the needs of graduates, academics, farmers, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and other industries in the country and the region.
The FOUNTAIN Project boasts an impressive list of partnering organizations, including the University of Ruhuna, University of Peradeniya, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, Horizon College of Business & Technology, Naresuan University (Thailand), Chiang Mai University (Thailand), Tallinna Tehnikaülikool (Estonia), Vilniaus Gedimino Technikos Universitetas (Lithuania) and Mid Sweden University (Sweden).
Addressing the gathering on behalf of the Vice Chancellor of the University of Peradeniya, Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Terrence Madhujith emphasized the importance of these projects and the institution’s commitment to fostering collaboration and advancing sustainable development. The event’s keynote speakers, Dr. Ravi Liyanage, Co-founder, and present Chairman/CEO of the Raigam group, and Senior Prof. Ranjith Dissanayake, Senior Professor at the University of Peradeniya and Chairman of the Green Building Council of Sri Lanka (GBCSL), shared valuable insights on sustainable business practices and green infrastructure, inspiring the audience to work towards a greener future.
The highlight of the event was the official launch of the FOUNTAIN Project’s website, serving as a digital gateway to access information about the project’s activities, achievements, and research opportunities. This platform is set to facilitate communication and collaboration among project stakeholders and partners worldwide, furthering the FOUNTAIN Project’s mission towards a sustainable and prosperous future.
As the meeting concluded, the University of Peradeniya reaffirmed its commitment, taking on leadership roles in two vital work packages, WP3 – Development of University Industry Digital Transformation Platforms (Nationally and Internationally) and University Industry model development and, WP7 – Dissemination and Exploitation.