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Although COVID-19 has hit economies hard this year, the Global Innovation Index 2021 illustrates an innovation boom around the world. This shows that ideas are crucial in overcoming the economic challenges of post-pandemic economic growth. Therefore, the Ecovation Awards, inaugurated in 2019 to create a culture of innovation and empower Sri Lankan eco-innovators, could not have resumed their second edition at a better time.

Dilmah Tea, CEO, Dilhan C. Fernando, said: “” Ecovation seeks to encourage practical or scientific innovation on the part of young people, women and men in academia or any field, by devising creative solutions and impactful to our most pressing ecological problems. Our schools and universities are full of brilliant ideas and we hope to be able to offer recognition, support creative innovators with mentorship to refine the idea into an action plan and initiate a collaboration that will have a positive impact on our environment while benefiting. to the innovator. “

Having received an overwhelming number of nominations, this year 16 eco-innovators qualified for the next round. The shortlisted candidates (A to Z) are Anupama Kulasinghe, Banuri Gammanpila, Couleur (group), Danushka Jayasooriya, Food for All (group), Gamini Alexander, Hesith Rajakaruna, Keshala Amarasena, Manjula Jayampathy, Prof. RU Halwatura and Himahansi Galkanda, Ransirige Dhammika, Sandani Wijenayake, Selvarajah Thevakumar and her team, Sudhara Suneth, Sujatha Weerasinghe and her team and Tharaka Weddagala.

Durability, profitability, simplicity and practicality are the common points of the shortlisted innovations. The 16 eco-innovators hope their eco-innovations will contribute to waste management, resource efficiency and sustainable packaging – the main areas of focus at this year’s awards.

The jury is composed of Professor Ajith de Alwis, Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Moratuwa; Teacher. Ilmi Hewajulige, Additional Managing Director, R&D, ITI; Mr. Jeevan Gnanam, CEO of Saks Global Group; Ms. Pathma Abeykoon, Director, Secretariat of the Operational Focal Point for Biodiversity, Ministry of the Environment; Ms. Savera Weerasinghe, founder of Ananta Sustainables; and Ms. Shiranee Yasarathne, Advisor, Sri Lanka Biodiversity.

Innovation requires collaboration between a wide range of groups, including business leaders, start-ups, university leaders, faculty and students, investors and government officials.

“Ecovation is not about silo innovation, it is about supporting and evolving social enterprises that can contribute to a sustainable and robust ecosystem of products and services that can make our daily consumption a little more conscious; a little more impactful. ”Said Ms. Savera Weerasinghe.

Therefore, as you progress through the competition, the top 16 will have access to one-on-one mentoring-mentee sessions with our Ecovation judges. The constructive criticism and ideas received by contestants during the mentor-mentee sessions will help contestants improve their innovation in time for the final. The aim of the Ecovation Awards is not only to select the best eco-innovations, but also to nurture eco-innovators and give them the means to market their innovations while preserving their intellectual property rights.

The tea brand is no stranger to innovation. “Dilmah founder Merrill J. Fernando was the first disruptor, the first tea producer to break out of the colonial business model and deliver his tea directly to customers around the world. He built Dilmah on a basis of taste, kindness, and purpose. We want to support the many women and men who have the same dream, a unique perspective and a commitment to do good for the environment, ”said Dilhan C Fernando.

Some of the notable innovations of the tea company are Dilmah’s Seasonal Flush Tea, Tea School, and Tea Gourmet Program. The brand is also one of the first to introduce value-added tea products with flavored teas, infusions, iced tea and real tea syrups.

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