The SLASSCOM Technology forum recently hosted the first-ever conference on emerging technologies, under the theme ‘Age of Disruption’, featuring a panel of acclaimed speakers from around the world who covered some of the most spoken technological advancements of today.
Participants were able to gather insights in developing a range of breakthrough technologies and they were also able to immerse themselves in the endless possibilities of emerging global trends.
The two-day event, which covered everything from advanced computer vision to AR/VR and quantum computing, catered to a wide range of participants from C-level and senior management to tech experts, undergraduates, academics, students, and even parents.
The esteemed panel featured some of the leading experts from the global arena, such as SINTEF Research Scientist and Leader of the Gemini Center on Quantum Computing, Norway Dr. Franz G. Fuchs; Vega Innovations Director and Co-Founder Dr. Beshan Kulapala; Axiata Digital Labs VP – Engineering and Emerging Technology Namal Jayathileke; Alchemy AI Co-Founder and CEO Jennie-Marie Larsen; Epic Games Evangelist, India/ASEAN Arvind Neelakantan; Lockheed Martin Senior Software Engineer Dr. Kalana Withanage; Huawei Asia Pacific Chief Digital Officer and Executive Consultant Michael MacDonald; Wavenet International CEO Suren Pinto; R3 – India Country Head Vivek Gupta; Yaala Labs Technical Lead Amitha Dissanayake; Yaala Labs Senior Software Engineer Koumudi Ganepola; FlexID Director and Co-founder at 230 Interactive Sanjay Mendis; Wavenet International Product Manager – Strategy and Innovation Sumaiya Suhail; NVIDIA Graphics Solution Architect Sasikumar Ramachandran Nair Sr; Arimac Director and Head of Game Development Thilina Premasiri; Ingame Entertainment CEO and Sri Lanka eSports Association President Raveen Wijayatilake; Program Manager Asosiasi Game Indonesia Ken Natasha Violeta; Gapstars Community Manager Zahra Nalir; Space Hero Air & Space Lawyer Isi Casas Del Valle Pacheco; Rocket Women Space Systems Engineer Supreet Kaur, International Space University’s Brooke Owens; Space Hero Global Events Lead Kavindi De Silva and Blue Sky Analytics Founder and CEO Abilasha Purawar.
The event also featured two major topics, space and gaming industry. The panel discussion on space business was an impressive highlight as it is the very first time Sri Lanka broached this topic on such a large scale. Some of the topics covered by the panel included the evolution and privatisation of the space industry and how this will give more people access to space and to commoditise resources; combining government and private sector efforts; space travel; business models around the space industry; opportunities for tech startups and entrepreneurs; and whether Sri Lanka could also play a role in it and options for collaboration with space-faring countries; space laws, ethics, sustainability; and more.
The gaming industry panel discussion addressed the importance of this rapidly growing industry thanks to a plethora of new tech and covered gaming development, the e-sports community, and the possibility of creating an ecosystem between the two. Some of the topics covered included gaming market and opportunity – both global and local; ease of access into the game market and barriers to entry; the rise in game-centric decentralised, metaverse projects; game development, GTM and monetisation strategies; how could Sri Lankan creators leverage the platforms out there; e-sports and synergy with game development; bridging the gap between technical knowhow and artistic expression; gamification and evolution of touchpoints; and more.
Speaking on the success of the conference, SLASSCOM Chairperson Sandra De Zoysa said: “Providing a supportive platform for businesses in emerging tech to scale up and expand is one of SLASSCOM’s five key focus areas aimed at developing and growing the industry by the year 2025. As a catalyst for growth in the Sri Lankan IT and BPM sphere, we hope to continue facilitating trade and business, propagating education and employment, and encouraging research and innovation. This conference is just one step in our long-term efforts to bring Sri Lanka’s IT/BPM industry to the forefront of the global stage.”
Moving forward and adapting to disruptive innovation opportunities created by new and emerging technologies requires a forward-looking view and SLASSCOM intends to play a key role in working interactively with their combined capabilities, to support local organisations and the industry to successfully adapt to many of the new and emerging technologies that in turn will result in disruptive innovation.