'Knowledge and research should go hand-in-hand'
"Knowledge enterprises such as universities and research institutes, have to work hand-in-hand with the industry to complement the strength of each party in achieving a common goal," Moratuwa University's Deputy Vice Chancellor Prof R Athalage said, when he addressed a gathering at the "Transport Research Forum 2012" held in Mount Lavinia Hotel recently.
He said that there was a strong positive relationship between the highways and transport infrastructure and economic development. This development encompasses factors influenced by regional accessibility, inter-regional merchandise exchange and mobility and employment generation being responsible for generating economic activity.
In Sri Lanka, the highways and transportation sector has shown good progress. However, a growth of 150 % in private cars,186% in dual purpose vehicles, 24% in motorcycles, together with significant losses in the state owned transport services as per statistics in 2011, had been a cause of concern.
Prof Athalage said that under this scenario, it was observed that there existed a significant potential in incorporating new knowledge, new practices and technological trends successfully used elsewhere in view of seeking efficient, safe, economical and ecologically balanced solutions that could be innovatively used in the local context. Meanwhile, a sum of Rs 12 million an year, had been allocated for research, making the Moratuwa University ways ahead and interacting, with industry, which would give the right direction for investment, Acting Head of DCE Prof Sohan Wijesekara said.