LIRNEasia is a regional ICT policy and regulation think tank active across the Asia Pacific

Innovation as a selling point for a country

Many see the promotion of innovation simply in terms of increasing reported R&D expenditures. I disagree. That is why I like the Global Innovation Index which is a composite index that looks not only at inputs, but also at outputs and innovation efficiency. Sadly, Sri Lanka is failing according to the GII. When compared with lower-middle-income countries, Sri Lanka is not in the top ten in anything.

Instead of doing more of we have been doing I suggested at the Chamber of Commerce organized Sri Lanka Economic Summit that we do something new: make Sri Lanka an experiment nation, a test bed for new products and services that would be tested here and quickly rolled out to the regional markets.

I tried hard not to say negative things but could not desist when the government official on the panel pointed to the 49 research institutions under 18 government ministries as the foundation of our efforts. I asked whether the government had examined the output of these research institutions. I hypothesized that in most of them the principal output was jobs for the boys (and a few girls).

Here are the slides that I used.

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