Innovation is the key to growth and management of humanitarian and environmental challenges we face as a nation

Merrill J Fernando Awards 2021 is aimed at supporting innovators to develop a prototype or concept of their sustainable inventions. The Award will aid participants in protecting their invention and deriving benefits while supporting environmental, humanitarian and general development priorities in Sri Lanka. This year, the theme ‘Sustainable Environmentally-friendly Packaging and Resource Efficiency’ focuses on sustainable packaging innovations and concepts such as Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Repurpose.

Sustainable Packaging
Resource Efficiency
Waste Management


The contest is open to:

  • Students from schools, undergraduate and postgraduate programmes;
  • Scientists and academics;
  • Individuals from community-based organisations and civil-society organisations;
  • Industry and corporate sector members;
  • Artists, designers, grassroots organisations, etc;
  • Entrepreneurs;
  • Government and non-governmental organisations; or
  • Anyone interested in sustainability and resource efficiency

How to Submit:

  1. Register by filling the form given here
    තරඟ විස්තර සිංහල භාෂාවෙන් මෙහිදී ලබාගත හැක
  2. Upload Video or PowerPoint Presentation (see submission format below for more details)
  3. Click submit

Submission Format

  • Video or PowerPoint presentation (The video does not need to be edited. A basic video from a mobile phone is acceptable).
    • In the video or presentation clearly explain your concept, product, or service.
    • If you have a prototype, please include it in the video or slides presentation.
    • Duration: Video should be a maximum of 3 minutes (File size no more than 1 GB - HD quality). The PowerPoint presentation should be a maximum of 10 slides.
    • Video or Presentation should contain the following:
      1. The proposed idea or concept (submission of ideas which haven’t been previously executed or published will be encouraged)
      2. How it would address the challenges posed by packaging or resource efficiency
      3. How the objective will be achieved
      4. The proposed idea
      5. Materials needed for the proposed product, concept, service
      6. Core steps of manufacturing
      7. Uses of finished products
      8. Market for the proposed product
      9. Necessary budget to produce product or to provide proposed service

Selection Criteria

Ideas that meet most or all the criteria listed below will be up for strong consideration:

  • Simple and smart solutions
  • Cost-effective
  • Quantitatively measurable targets
  • Potential for large scale impact


  • Winners will produce a finalised product/service
  • Where the final product/service is not available, the winner will produce a detailed business proposal and details related to launch of the product and market

Selection Process

  • Judges will view all the submitted videos, review the applications and shortlist applicants for the next round
  • Shortlisted applicants will join the second round where one-on-one interviews will be conducted and experts will mentor the shortlisted applicants
  • Finalising applicants who will join the exhibition and give them 02 months to develop their product/service
  • Final exhibition and announcement of winners

Judging Panel

  • Dr. Ilmi Hewajulige - Additional Director, R&D ITI
  • Ms. Padma Abeykoon - Director, Operational Focal Point Biodiversity Secretariat, Ministry of Environment
  • Mr. Jeevan Gnanam - Founder/Group CEO of Saksglobal
  • Ms. Savera Weerasinghe - Founder, Ananta Sustainables
  • Ms. Shiranee Yasarathne - Advisor, Biodiversity Sri Lanka
  • Prof. Ajith de Alwis - Dean, Faculty of Studies, University of Moratuwa


1st Prize - Rs. 750,000

2nd Prize - Rs. 500,000

3rd Prize - Rs. 250,000

Merit awards - Rs. 50,000 (7 prizes each at this value)


  • Concept launch and opening applications: 06th May 2021
  • Closing date for applications - 11th July 2021
  • Application shortlisting - August 2021
    (Shortlisted applicants will be given two months to develop their products)
  • Final exhibition - December 2021

Click Here to view the Sinhala Version Click Here to view the Tamil Version

You can submit your application in either English or Sinhala by clicking the below buttons. Choose and submit your application in ONLY ONE language