A memorandum of understanding was signed between the University of Sri Jayewardenepura and the Ministry of Rattan, Brass, Pottery, Furniture, and Rural Industrial Promotion to develop locally adaptable quality assurance standards for imported/local timber, wooden products, and Furniture. MOU was signed at the board room of the University of Jayewardenepura by Prof Sudantha Liyanage; Vice Chancellor, and Mr. Vijitha Bandaranayaka; Secretary to State Ministry, on 1st October 2021.
Hon. Prasanna Ranaweera; State Minister of Rattan, Brass, Pottery, Furniture and Rural Industrial Promotion, said they expect to promote local alternatives to import Furniture and develop internationally accepted standards for the wood-based products through this project. He said that Sri Lanka spends Rs. 6 billion per annum for importing Furniture, and it is expected to reduce this amount in the future by promoting local furniture production. Prof Sudantha Liyanage, Vice Chancellor said University is glad to contribute government efforts in developing local industries in the country to the international level. University will provide research and development inputs from the Department of Forestry and Environmental Science through the recently established Timber Process Innovation Center.
University of Sri Jayewardenepura established Timber Process Innovation Center last year, collaborating with COSTI of the Ministry of Science and Technology. The Ministry of Rattan, Brass, Pottery, Furniture and Rural Industrial Promotion provided Rs 3.3 million as an initial investment for this project. In the future, it is expected to be developed as an independent revenue-generating center without incurring any expenditure to the State Treasury.
Prof. Hiran Amarasekera (Professor in Forestry and Environmental Science), Prof. Priyan Perera and Mr. Rajitha Lakshan Rupasinghe (Department of Forestry and Environment Science, University of Sri Jayewardenepura), and Mr. Buddika Lakmal (Director Development), Mr. Priyantha Madukumara (Private Secretary to Hon Minister), Mr. Buddhi Jayasinghe (Coordinator Secretary to Hon Minister) from the State Ministry participated this event.