2016 Winners

Professor Ajith De Alwis speaks on ‘Way Forward: Innovation and the Sri Lankan Economy

2016 Prototype Winner: B. G. Harsha Abeywardana Main

Viable Approach on Value Addition to Refuse Tea by Producing Bricks, Papers, Cardboards and Orchid Pots

The use of natural resources to create products such as paper, construction material and everyday objects is causing added strain on the natural environment. Using readily available renewable material to create these items will take away much of this pressure and aid in protecting the natural environment and contribute towards mitigating climate change. Harsha Abeywardana discovered a completely eco-friendly method of using refused tea from tea factories to produce items such as paper, cardboard, brick, pots etc.

Refused tea is a byproduct generated during the tea manufacturing process. This is a major problem in the tea sector as on average about 10 to 12 percent of total production is refuse tea. There are little avenues for the reuse of this waste tea and the tea often takes up space and can be harmful to the environment.

This sustainable method of reusing tea waste will go a long way in reducing use of natural resources and reducing waste accumulation.

2016 Concept Winner: K. K. L. Madusanka Main

Tank Purifier

Invasive species are highly destructive to a countries health and economy, and is second only to habitat loss in its ability to reduce biodiversity. Two invasive plants that have caused great economic and environmental damage to Sri Lanka are the Water Hyacinth and Salvenia plants. These plants grow extensively in Sri Lanka’s reservoirs and other minor and major scale water bodies causing reduction in biodiversity and damaging the agriculture and fisheries industries. Attempts to remove and irradiate these plants have been expensive, time consuming and temporary due to the fast growth rate of the plants.

The Tank purifier conceptualized by Lahiru is designed to easily wade through the waters infested with these species and extract them quickly and effectively. The machinery contains a compressor that removes the plant moisture and dries it after collection and transports the dried plants to shore where it can be collected, moved away from the water body and destroyed.

2016 Blue Economy Concept Winner & Blue Economy Prototype Winner: H. Mahendra Prasad Peiris Main

Strip-Spreading Tea Bushes

The tea industry is one of Sri Lanka’s largest agricultural industries and has a major impact on the environment. Conventional methods of maintaining tea bushes leads to soil degradation and loss in productivity which generally leads to higher use of chemical fertilizers and soil enhancers.

The Concept proposed by Mr. Peiris, Strip-Spreading of Tea Bushes, suggests a new way to prune and maintain tea bushes that improves the health of the plant, increases yield and productivity, reduces need for chemical inputs, minimizes pollution and waste and improves water quality.

Herbicide Free Integrated Weed Management (HFIWM)

Chemical compounds used to control weeds in agriculture are harmful to both the environment and human health. This innovation proposes a herbicide-free integrated free management system over chemical weeding to reduce economic, environmental and social impacts. The method selectively controls troublesome weeds by modifying and engineering the biodiversity of the natural vegetative regeneration on the ground, including natural and introduced plant communities, instead of using herbicides.

The method demonstrated incomparable ability to improve soil conditions favoring crop growth, increasing land productivity and yield. This sustainable and natural management is not only environmentally friendly but reduces public health issues from chemical as well. Increase in crop yield demonstrated can also improve socio-economic conditions.

2016 Waste Concept Winner: Raveen Perera Main

Plass Game Box

The plass game box contains a bucket with a target that ‘players’ can aim at and throw in their plastic bottles. If the player is able to throw a certain number of bottles in the given amount of time, the machine will release a small gift.

In an effort to encourage public participation in collecting plastic bottles, Raveen conceptualized and designed a game box or vending machine that gives people gifts when they put in plastic bottles. This invention is aimed at motivating people especially kids to recycle their plastic waste.

2016 Water Prototype Winner: I. S. W. Karunatilake Main

Wave-Less Eco Friendly Boat

In Sri Lanka there are nearly 100 inland water bodies that are not utilized for commercial or tourism purposes due to damage caused by boats to the ecosystems. This boat can solve this issue, helping to elevate transportation issues while also ensuring environmental protection.

The waveless boat has a non-symmetric shape that is rectangular on the outside but has curves inside. It contains twin hulls which allow water to travel through the hollow mid-section and prevents waves being formed outside the boat as it moves. The boat is eco-friendly; it consumes less energy conventional boats and is made of steel and aluminium, which are recyclable materials (unlike conventional boats that are made with fiberglass material which are not generally recyclable). Moreover, due to absence of waves, the boat does not damage biodiversity and species lifecycles.

2016 Waste Prototype Winner: T. Sunil Somasiri Gomes Main

Invention of Technology of Spherical Container to World Centrifuge Latex Industry

Sri Lanka is the 7th largest natural rubber latex producer in the world where latex processing and manufacturing industry plays a major role in global economy and makes a huge economic impact on rural livelihoods. However, the centrifuged latex production technology has many environmental, health and economic impacts such as environmental pollution from chemical discharge, atmospheric degradation by excessive ammonia evaporation; Ammonia is corrosive, causes acidification and eutrophication, and contributes to climate change.

This innovation proposes a new efficient and effective technology for centrifuged latex production to reduce wastages, improve productivity and prevent adverse effects on the environment. Mr. Gomes designed an eco-designed spherical tank that has the capacity of 22000 liters for centrifuged latex maturation process. Patented as the ‘Technology of Eco-designed Spherical for Latex Handling’ this invention will enable the centrifuged latex production industries to successfully address global climate change challenges and is a definite contribution to a sustainable future.

2016 Energy Prototype Winner: W. M. Jeremy Fernando Main

Power Line Communication Based Energy Saving and Management System

A system of home and industrial automation based on Power Line Communication (PLC) technology for communication between the devices and a central server, which is more cost effective and easy to deploy than the available high-end and wired or wireless based systems. This system is ideal for home and industrial automation with energy conservation as the primary target. The system includes touch switches and electronic plug sockets, which are next-generation digital products that would eventually replace the existing toggle switches and plug sockets which are very old designs. This system has potential for Automatic Meter Reading (AMR), Street Light Management and many other industrial and commercial applications that could be deployed in the SAARC region with manufacturing facilities established in Sri Lanka.