Dr Ayesha Wickramasinghe and Dr Sumith Gopura from Fashion Design and Product Development degree programme, Department of the Textile and Apparel Engineering have been invited by the Ministry of Batik Handloom Fabric & Local Apparel Products to present their ongoing research projects related to the Handloom sector to the Honorable state minister, Secretaries to the ministry and provincial directors of Handloom industry on the “Action plan 2021” conference held on Feb. 01, 2021 at Sri Lanka Institute of Textile & Apparel. Dr Wickramasinghe and Dr Gopura’s research seeks how new product development in fashion and textile can be upgraded with Sri Lankan heritage, culture, and craft sectors with a special interest in Handloom Textiles to align them with international fashion consumer standards. One of their ongoing studies ‘Dreams of weaving’ seeks Handloom artisans Socio-emotional identities in new product development, with a view of applying and documenting the tacit knowledge and skills of Sri Lankan Handloom artisans and therefore, enhance esteem around this culturally rich industry. Proposed outcome of the study, an 'Interactive web-based exhibition space' on a 'Virtual Reality platform' has taken the attention of the distinguished guests. In a time where academia and industry partnerships are very much important in reconciliation of economic sectors across all disciplines, this presentation added new network to the researchers in, 1. potential collaborations with state Handloom sector through creativity, design and technical knowledge sharing to upgrade current Handloom product portfolio, 2. Training and development opportunities for undergraduate students on state Handloom sector.