The National ICT Week 2015 declared by President H.E.Maithripala Sirisena to coincide with Asia Pacific ICT Alliance (APICTA) Awards 2015 came to an end on Sunday with the conclusion of the Infotel IT Expo. Many events organized by various organizations were held throughout the week. This is a brief summary of all the events that was held.
APICTA (19th – 21st November 2015)
After a successful pitch in 2014 to the APICTA Executive Committee, Sri Lanka won the rights to host the 15th edition of APICTA Awards in Colombo. The events in Sri Lanka was jointly organized by the Federation of IT Industry Sri Lanka (FITIS) and BCS the Chartered Institute for IT Sri Lanka Section (BCSSL) with the support of the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka coming in as the National Partner. Many other organizations joined in as partners for individual events. Nearly 400 international delegates from 16 different countries came to Sri Lanka to participate in this event.
The APICTA Competition was held on the 19th and 20th of November 2015. 60 judges from various countries adjudicated hundreds of applications from 16 different countries including Sri Lanka for the APICTA Awards 2015. The event was held at Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel in Colombo.
APICTA Business Forum
The APICTA Business Forum was jointly organized by the APICTA 2015 organizers, Export Development Board (EDB) and the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BoI). The event was held on the 20th and 21st of November. More than 100 local businessmen met with over 30 foreign delegates at this forum where several fruitful deals are reported to have been made.
APICTA Awards 2015
The APICTA Awards 2015 was the main event on the APICTA 2015 agenda. The event was held at the Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksha Theatre on the evening of the 21st of November 2015. The gold and merit winners of the APICTA Competition were recognized and awarded at this event which was held with the participation of the Minister of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure Hon. Harin Fernando, Secretary to the Ministry Mr.Wasantha Deshapriya, Chairman of FITIS Mr.Chinthaka Wijeywickrama, CEO/MD of ICTA Mr.Muhunthan Canagey, Chairmen of APICTA Dr.Dileepa de Silva, Chairmen of BCS Prof.Gihan Wickramanayake along with the organizing committee of APICTA, judges and competitors, participants from member countries and other invitees.
Zone 24×7 (Pvt) Ltd. and Informatics International Ltd. won Gold awards from Sri Lanka while CAMMS (Pvt) Ltd., Axienta (Pvt) Ltd. won Merit awards. Hashan from Dharmaraja College, Kandy won a Merit award in the Schools Category. A student from the University of Colombo School of Computing and a team from Institute of Information Technology also won a merit award in the Tertiary Category.
At the conclusion of the event, CEO/MD of ICTA Mr.Muhunthan Canagey handed over the APICTA Flag to the delegation from Chinese Taipei who will host APICTA 2016.
The event was followed by a gala dinner for all APICTA 2015 participants.
SLASSCOM Tech Talks (16th – 20th November 2015)
INFOTEL IT Expo 2015 (20th – 22nd November 2015)
INFOTEL, Sri Lanka’s premier IT Expo was held for the 15th time at the BMICH from th 20th – 22nd November 2015. This year, nearly 200 companies in Sri Lanka exhibited in the exhibition. This year, the exhibition was visited by over 50,000 people from around the country including business personal, students, teachers and the general public.
Sri Lanka Telecom PLC organized the National eSports Championship in partnership with Redline Technologies and Xiphos eSports. Several hundred gaming enthusiasts participated in this event which had a prize pool of over one million rupees which is also the largest in the history of eSports in Sri Lanka.
The ICT Agency of Sri Lanka under the Spiralation and Big 80 programs also organized the IT SME Pavilion under which 16 IT startups and SME’s were given opportunity to participate, exhibit and sell their products and solutions.
INFOTEL Career Guidance Program (20th November 2015)
The INFOTEL Career Guidance Program was also conducted this year on the 20th of November 2015. More than 8000 students from the Western Province participated in this program. As a precursor to this event, career guidance programs were conducted in Gampaha, Kaluthara and Colombo while the last event in the series is to be held in Kurunegala in the near future.
CIO Forum (20th November 2015)
A CIO Forum was organized by FITIS and the Computer Society of Sri Lanka in which 300+ CIO’s from Sri Lankan companies attended making it the largest CIO forums ever to happen in the country. The event was held at the Committee Room A in BMICH. An panel of speakers included Mr. Allen Yeung Tak Bun (Government CIO, Hong Kong), Mr. Vineet Mittal (Former Senior Director, RSA Technologies, India), Dr. Harsha Subasinghe (CEO, Codegen (Pvt) Ltd), Mr. Shyam Gopalkrishna (VP Global Strategy, Acer, India), Mr.Dumindra Ratnayake (Former CEO, Etisalat Lanka) and Mr.Conrad Dias (CIO, LOLC Group & CEO/MD, LOLC Technologies Ltd.) with the panel discussion being moderated by Mr.Fayaz Hudah (Former Programme Head at ICT Agency of Sri Lanka).
Women In IT Forum (22nd November 2015)
The first ever Women in IT Forum jointly organized by FITIS, Millenium IT and TechAdvisor was held on the 22nd November 2015 at the Committee Room D in BMICH. The event was attended by many females in the IT industry. The speakers at the forum included Chitranganie Mubarak (Chairperson, ICTA), Ho Se Mun (Executive Director, Singapore infocomm Technology Federation (SiTF)), Vidumini Ranasinghe (Project Director, MillenniumIT), Vishaka Nanayakkara (Senior Lecturer, Dept of Computer Science & Engineering, University of Moratuwa), Yashinka Jayasinghe Alles (Education Programmes Manager, Microsoft Sri Lanka) and Sharmini Wickremasekera (Chief Risk Officer, LOLC Group).
Launch of Xeleration (21st November 2015)
Startup Sri Lanka, an initiative of SLASSCOM signed an Memorandum of Understanding with Infocomm Investments, Singapore to take in Sri Lankan Startups and accelerate them toward growing in the Asian region. Another MoU was also signed with the Open University of Sri Lanka for partnering with this initiative. The event was held at the ICTA Auditorium.
Government – Government Discussions (21st November 2015)
CEO/MD of ICT Agency of Sri Lanka Mr.Muhunthan Canagey, Chief of Projects and ICT Agency of Sri Lanka Mr.Arunesh Peter along with other ICTA representatives met with the Hong Kong Government Chief Information Officer Mr. Allen Yeung Tak Bun to discuss on various projects and partnerships to be taken forward. This meeting was held at the ICTA.