The first-ever regional chapter of TRACE (Technologically Re-Awakening the Culture of Excellence), the founding and governing body of the TRACE Expert City Maradana, was launched in Uva Province on Saturday the 17th of April 2021 at the Bandarawela Hotel. The Uva chapter launch took place as the TRACE team has decided to establish their first-ever regional facility in Uva Province to foster the innovation culture in the region. The launch was graced by a diversified audience of tech entrepreneurs, professionals, freelancers, academics, researchers, government officials. Mr. Anura de Alwis, the Chief Digital Economy Officer of ICTA, Mrs. Vajira Kularathna, the Assistant Director of Export Development Board, Professor Jayantha Lal Ratnasekera, the Vice-Chancellor of Uva Wellassa University, Professor Udaya Rathnayaka, the Vice-Chancellor of Sabaragamuwa University, Brigadier Chandra Jayaweera & Badulla DIG GKJ Aponsu were few of the elegant characters to grace the launch.
A few months ago, Uva Startup Hub, the community of entrepreneurs, investors, professionals & freelancers with the primary objective of bringing foreign currency to Uva province working in collaboration since 2016, developed a proposal to have a Technology & Innovation center in Uva Province. The proposal has been developed considering all the crucial factors related to the Uva Tech industry. Uva Startup Hub presented the proposal to the TRACE board of directors via a zoom discussion. Industry stakeholders such as EDB, ICTA, SLASSCOM, Orel IT also took part in this discussion. Followed by the series of discussions, the TRACE leadership team visited the proposed sites and announced their decision to establish the preliminary regional facility of TRACE.
Forming the TRACE Uva Chapter is the maiden step in establishing TRACE Uva facility.
The professional forum was welcomed by an introductory session that recalled the revolutionary history that Uva Prince and the people hold for 200 years since the first-ever rebellion for freedom that happened on earth in 1818 on the soil of Uva Province. Mr Kushan Wanniarachchi, the Creative Consultant of Artha Creative carried out this session connecting that audacity of the history with the next technology revolution of Uva Province that will take place with the TRACE UVA initiative.
Firstly, Dr Prasad Samarasinghe introduced Eng Ranjith Ganganath Rubasinghe, the chairman of TRACE Expert City, Maradana, who shared his precious insights with the audience, educating what TRACE means? Why is TRACE expanding to Uva Province? And what TRACE expects from this initiative? The fruitful awareness was an eye-opener for the audience as the philosophy behind TRACE was unique and something new to the people.
Followed by that, Honorable Parliamentarian and the Chairman of Badulla District Coordination Committee, Major Sudarshana Denipitiya RSP addressed the audience via zoom technology. He has taken this concept into the hands of His Excellency the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who is also the Minister of Technology. The president has paid keen interest in this project and agreed to take the political leadership to take the project to the next level.
Thirdly, Mr Kusal Subasinghe, Mr Gemunu Senanayake, and Eng Ranjith Ganganath Rubasinghe headed the forum to get the TRACE Uva Chapter Board appointed.
The board of Directors was,
The Chairman – Mr. Chameera Wijebandara, The Chief Executive Officer of LiveRoom (Pvt) Ltd The Vice-Chairman – Mr. Kalinga Gunawardhane, The Chief Executive Officer, Ceydigital (Pvt) Ltd The Secretary – Mr. Kushan Wanniarachchi, The Creative Consultant, Artha Creative (Pvt) Ltd
5 Board Members Mr. Kosala Sandaruwan Dissanayake, The Chief Executive Officer, Insfra Technologies (Pvt) Ltd Professor Jayantha Lal Ratnasekera, The Vice-Chancellor of Uva Wellassa University Mrs. Damayanthi Paranagama, The Badulla District Secretary / Government Agent (GA) Mr. Sampath Pradeep Kumara Nissanka, The Assistant Secretary of Ministry of Tourism, Uva Provincial Council Mr. Janaka Walisundera, The Business Consultant
3 Board Members were appointed as representatives from the main TRACE Board of Directors. Dr Prasad Samarasinghe, The Managing Director, Lanka Bell Ltd Dr Sankalpa Gamwarige, The General Manager, Zone24x7 (Pvt) Ltd Mr. Kusal Subasinghe, The Director, CodeGen International (Pvt) Ltd
After the appointments took place, the Chairman-elect Mr. Chameera Wijebandara, the Chief Executive Officer of LiveRoom (Pvt) Ltd addressed the forum and was grateful to the audience for the presence and trust that have been put on him.
Then Mr. Kalinga Gunawardhane, The Founder of Uva Startup Hub and the Chief Executive Officer of Ceydigital (Pvt) Ltd addressed the gathering on the journey of Uva Startup Hub, the strategic plan, the development of the proposal, and the unique potential in Uva province.
After that, one of the expatriates from Uva Province working for Intel Corporation USA, Dr. Randil Gajasinghe’s well wishes were played via a recorded video.
Followed by that Mr. Anura de Alwis, the Chief Digital Economy Officer of ICTA shared his ideas and wishes on this initiative.
Assistant Director of Export Development Board, Mrs. Vajira Kularathna, one of the government officers who is well aware of the effort of Uva Startup Hub for years, expressed her views over the TRACE Uva initiative.
Professor Jayantha Lal Ratnasekera, the Vice-Chancellor of Uva Wellassa University, and Professor Udaya Rathnayaka, the Vice-Chancellor of Sabaragamuwa University, shared their thoughts and pledged to work in collaboration to take the tech industry of Uva Province to the next level.
The forum gave an open opportunity to the audience for questions and ideas.
Finally, Mr. Nirmal Marasinghe, the Coordinator of Uva Startup Hub, made the vote of Thanks to EDB, Orel IT & TRACE for initiating the project and the attendees and supporters for making the event a success.
The formal session of the event was concluded by a unique performance by Welimada Koradekumbura Uduhawara “ඌව පුරාණ හටන්” (Uva Purana Hatan)” group lead by Jayaweera Master, which took the audience back to the brave memories of 1818.
The event was concluded after the felicitation and dinner, along with lots of positive vibes for a technological revolution in Uva Province!