Science, Technology & Innovation

Sub-sectors:
(i) Technology
(ii) Health
(iii) Human Resource Development

Sri Lanka is the lead country for the coordination of activities in the Science, Technology & Innovation Sector and the Technology, Health, and Human Resource Development Sub-sectors.

The establishment of the Science, Technology & Innovation Sector, and the Technology, Health, and Human Resource Development Sub-sectors were approved by the 5th Summit (Colombo – virtual – 30 March 2021) following a process of rationalization and reorganization of sectors and sub-sectors.

The Joint Working Group consisting of representatives from all seven BIMSTEC Member States which will oversee cooperation in this sector is in the process of being established.

 Sub-sectors:

(i) Technology
As decided during the Seventeenth BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting (Colombo – virtual, 01 April 2021), the establishment of an Expert Group on Technology is in the process of being pursued to coordinate cooperation in the Technology sub-sector. The Expert Group consisting of representatives from all seven BIMSTEC Member States, once established, will develop a Plan of Action/ Work Programme to strengthen cooperation in Technology.

Establishment of a BIMSTEC Technology Transfer Facility (TTF)

A key component of cooperation in the Technology sub-sector is the establishment of the BIMSTEC Technology Transfer Facility (TTF).

Based on a decision taken at the Second BIMSTEC Summit (New Delhi, 13 November 2008) to establish a BIMSTEC Technology Transfer Facility (TTF) in Sri Lanka to further the transfer of technologies, particularly those appropriate for micro, small and medium sector, a BIMSTEC Expert Group on the Establishment of the BIMSTEC Technology Transfer Facility finalised the text of a Memorandum of Association (MoA) for the purpose.

The MoA was signed during the Fifth BIMSTEC Summit, and currently awaits ratification by Member States for entry into force. Once the MoA enters into force, the Governing Board of the TTF, comprising seven persons (with one member appointed by each Member State), will be vested with the overall activities of the TTF.

The TTF is envisaged to facilitate the transfer of technologies among the BIMSTEC Member States inter alia in the following priority areas which may be extended as agreed upon by the Member State: Biotechnology, Nanotechnology, Information and Communication Technology, Space technology applications, Agriculture technology, Food Processing technology, Pharmaceutical technology, Automation, New and renewable energy technology, Oceanography, Nuclear Technology Applications, E-waste and solid waste management technology, Health technologies, Technologies pertinent to Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation.

(ii) Health
As decided during the Seventeenth BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting (Colombo – virtual, 01 April 2021), an Expert Group on Public Health is in the process of being established to examine the scope of collaboration in this sub-sector, and to develop a Plan of Action/ Work Programme. As recognized and underlined by the Ministers during the meeting, the Expert Group will also take into consideration, in their work, the need to strengthen regional capacity on public health through training of health care personnel, development of regional value chains for pharmaceutical industries and collaborative research, as well as the need for coordination and cooperation with international organizations to address the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases and other public health emergencies.

The BIMSTEC Task Force on Traditional Medicine (BTFTM) comprising experts from all seven BIMSTEC Member States has held four meetings so far. The programmes currently underway based on decisions taken at the meetings include working towards the harmonization of curricula for the mutual recognition of traditional medicine degrees of BIMSTEC countries, and development of a Traditional Medicine Portal.

(iii) Human Resource Development

As decided during the Seventeenth BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting (Colombo – virtual, 01 April 2021), an Expert Group on Human Resource Development is in the process of being established to examine the scope of collaboration in this sub-sector, and to develop a Plan of Action/ Work Programme.