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SLT-MOBITEL establishes pioneering Group R&D initiative ‘The Embryo’ driving multiple innovation pipelines in building digital solutions for Sri Lanka.

 With the aim of driving a multi-channel innovation pipeline to build cutting-edge digital solutions to serve the nation using the valuable knowledge and skills within the SLT Group and collaborating with Academia, Industry, Integrators and Entrepreneurs, SLT-MOBITEL, the National ICT solutions and Mobile Services Provider, established ‘The Embryo’, the Group’s pioneering Research and Development initiative recently.

‘The Embryo’ initiative will be driven through three main pillars namely as the Intrapreneurship Studio, the Entrepreneurship Studio and the Venture Capital Studio, and will serve vibrant eco-system partners to work in a range of verticals spanning health, education, environment, agriculture, tourism, finance, etc., creating breakthrough technological innovations with the aid of state of art technologies such as 4G, 5G, GPON, Cloud Computing, Open RAN, Intent Driven Network, IoT, Open Source Applications, Blockchain, Analytics including AI / ML / DL, Hyper Automation (RPA / DPA), Open Digital Architecture (API, Micro services, Zero touch Networking) and Developer Platforms.

The initiative creates a platform for the next generation of innovators to tap into the wealth of knowledge and skills of the Group, establishing a strong partnership that fosters the growth of innovative digital products and services.

‘The Embryo’s Intrapreneurship Studio, which has already commenced its programme, aims to drive innovation by supporting the Group’s employees to be the entrepreneurs with their inherent skills to define technology of the future. Empowering and encouraging in-house teams within the Group, the Intrapreneurship Studio provides the impetus to harness their talents, and set in motion a new wave of entrepreneurship and a robust platform for the intrapreneur programme.

The Entrepreneurship Studio, is designed to provide an attractive opportunity for early-stage tech entrepreneurs to gain access to funding, mentoring and to build connections in the tech ecosystem, enabling them to reach an impressive scale. The first programme of the Entrepreneurship Studio was launched in May 2021 and currently progressing at the mentoring and coaching stage.

The selected Entrepreneurs receive mentoring and coaching from high-calibre experienced resources, participate in workshops and boot camp sessions. Furthermore, they have the opportunity to present their solutions which have been enhanced through mentoring, at a Demo Day.

Ensuring the start-ups are not stifled by a dearth of investment capital, ‘The Embryo’ ’s third pillar, the Venture Capital Studio aims to drive innovation through a partnership formed for co-financing. Nurturing these businesses, this programme will provide the capital injection that start-ups critically need by creating strategic partnerships to drive value creation.

‘The Embryo’ has also undertaken to use technological innovations to address pressing social challenges affecting the nation. Through the 'The Elephant Decoder Hackathon’, ‘The Embryo’ aims to address the growing human-elephant conflict by seeking disruptive and practical solutions to help curb this recurring issue.

With the aim of expanding the partner eco system for innovation and research, ‘The Embryo’ has entered into Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with leading academia in the country notably the University of Moratuwa, University of Peradeniya, University of Ruhuna, University of Kelaniya, University of Colombo School of Computing and the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University. This will be strengthened with the inclusion of other leading academia in the country, in the future.

Additionally, ‘The Embryo’ is also collaborating with prominent Academia by operating Research and Development centers within their premises and hopes to expand this footprint.

Through ‘The Embryo’, SLT-MOBITEL aims to continue to drive the nation’s aspiration towards a technology-based smart nation building a strong eco system with the participation of all stakeholders.