Nearly 1,000 people took part in this month’s highly successful NITC/SEARCC Conference and preceding IFIP/SEARCC meetings in Colombo.

IFIP, the global federation of national computer societies, and SEARCC, its SE Asian regional counterpart, both held annual general meetings for their key executives and decision-makers in the lead-up to the Computer Society of Sri Lanka’s (CSSL) National IT Conference (NITC), which was held in cooperation with the SEARCC Conference.

The six-day event attracted 100 international delegates from almost 50 different countries around the world, including 20 overseas speakers who shared their knowledge and experience in different ICT-related disciplines.

Keynote speaker and SEARCC President, Professor Nick Tate discussed valuable strategies to help CIOs successfully navigate today’s highly complex and challenging environment, while entrepreneur Mark Lloyd highlighted the vital role commercial lighting is starting to play as an emerging network and integrated application platform.

CSSL President, Yasas V. Abeywickrama said the diversity of activities and large number of international guests and participants made this the largest international ICT event ever staged in Sri Lanka.

“The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and we are pleased to have provided an opportunity for local businesses and government agencies to tap into the knowledge and expertise of our international speakers and delegates, and create opportunities for future collaboration.”

The conference s, who were recognised globally through the International SEARCC awards for:

A highlight of the event was the SEARCC International Awards and CSSL ICT Awards, which showcased the considerable achievements of leading ICT professionals from many economies across the region.

SEARCC International Award Winners

  • ICT Professional of the Year – Professor Gihan Dias (Sri Lanka)
  • ICT Researcher of the Year – Professor Han-Chieh Chao (Peoples republic of China)
  • ICT Educator of the Year – Dr Siddhartha Bhattacharyya (India)

In addition, the CSSL Awards went to:

  • CSSL ICT Student award – School category – Pasindu Chathuranga Wijesena
  • The CSSL ICT Student award – Undergraduate category – Keet Malin Sugathadasa
  • CSSL ICT Researcher of the Year – Dr Lakshman Jayarathna
  • CSSL Emerging ICT Leader of the Year – Mohamed Shehan
  • The Best Start-up of the Year – LIVEROOM
  • CSSL CIO of the Year – Udana Wickramasinghe
  • CSSL ICT Leader of the Year – Dulith Herath

Future ICT professionals were also honoured through the SEARCC International Schools Software Competition (ISSC), which attracted teams from across Asia and the Pacific. The winning team for 2017 came from the Republic of China (Taiwan). 

SEARCC Secretary General, Yohan Ramasundara, congratulated CSSL for hosting Sri Lanka’s largest ICT event, building on the SEARCC platform as an active member in the Asia Pacific region.

“SEARCC continues to strengthen the ICT profession during the fourth industrial revolution enabled by advancement and innovation in technology,” he said.

As is customary, the conference concluded with the transfer of the Presidency to the SEARCC member society hosting the conference. In accepting the Presidency of SEARCC, Yasas Abeywickrama said he, “strongly supports current strategies to increase SEARCC’s presence in the region”.

The next SEARCC conference will be hosted by the Computer Society of India (CSI) in 2018.