official opening of the Research Laboratory of John Keells Research the R&D and Innovation arm of John Keells Holdings PLC,
was held on Wednesday 31 May.
This facility – located at the Technology Incubation Centre Building at the SLINTEC Nanotechnology and Science Park in Mahenwatta, Pitipana, Homagama – will greatly enhance JKR’s capabilities in its core areas of nanotechnology and advanced materials, sustainable energy and energy storage, biotechnology and synthetic biology, food and water and physics and Internet of Things (IoT).
Amongst the invitees at the occasion were John Keells Holdings PLC Chairman Susantha Ratnayake, Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology CEO Harin de S. Wijeyerathne, John Keells Group Deputy Chairman Ajit Gunewardena, John Keells Group Executive Directors Krishan Balendra and Gihan Cooray, John Keells Group President of HR, Legal, Sustainability and ERM Dilani Alagaratnam and representatives from partnering research institutions and universities.
John Keells Research Head Dr. Muditha Senarath-Yapa in his welcome address said: “Innovation is one of the core Values of John Keells Group; therefore, the environment and practices at JKH makes it easier for our team of scientists to create value through innovation.”
Speaking at the occasion Rathnayake said: “We are pleased to see the progress that John Keells Research has made, since its launch just five years ago; filing the first patent within this short time, is indeed a significant achievement.”
Preceding the opening of Research Laboratory the invitees were taken on a tour of the Science Park by SLINTEC representatives, to highlight the key facilities available and the tour was followed by a presentation by de S. Wijeyerathne about SLINTEC, which manages the Nanotechnology and Science Park and is a public-private partnership between the Sri Lankan Government and the local corporates – MAS Holdings, Brandix, Dialog, Hayleys, Loadstar and Lankem.
Cooray, who is also the Group President overseeing John Keells Research, said that he was “proud of the achievements of the JKR Team, and their commitment towards the work we do”.
Based on an idea generated by the John Keells Research, John Keells Holdings PLC filed its first patent in December 2016 jointly with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research – India, in the area of energy storage materials. This patent application was a result of a research project carried out in India at the National Metallurgical Lab.