The “Symposium on Creating University-Industry Links” was held on 12th March 2018 at the Ministry of Primary Industries, Battaramulla, Sri Lanka. The symposium was jointly organized by the Ministry of Primary Industries (MOPI), Sri Lanka and University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), UK in partnership with CABARET (Capacity Building in Asia for Resilience EducaTion) and ASCENT (Advancing Skills Creation to Enhance Transformation) projects funded by the EU Erasmus+ programme. Prof. K.D.N. Weerasinghe – Consultant of MOP, and Dr. Champika Liyanage – Reader at UCLan, were the co-chairs of the Symposium.

The symposium brought together more than 60 academics, policy makers, industry professionals and financial institutions involved in university – industry collaborations. The event consisted of several inaugural speeches from distinguish invitees, thematic presentations of related to university – industry links and a final roundtable discussion. The distinguished invitees included Mr. Daya Gamage (Hon Minister of Primary Industries); Eng. Bandula Wickramarachchi (Secretary of MOPI); Prof. Ananda Jayawardana (Director general of National Science Foundation); Prof. P.S.M. Gunarathna (Vice Chairman of University Grants Commission); Prof. Sampath Amaratunge (Vice Chancellor of University of Sri Jayawardenepura); Prof. Kapila Perera (Vice Chancellor of University of Moratuwa); and Dr. Martin Brown (Director of Business Development at UCLan). The symposium unveiled a number of practical implications to develop university – industry links based on both Sri Lankan and UK experiences. During the roundtable discussions, current status, best practices and challenges related to creating university – industry linkages in Sri Lanka were discussed in-detail. The symposium concluded by identifying prospective policy priorities to improve university – industry linkages in Sri Lanka.