Legal basis of the Institution

(The National Science Foundation functions under the purview of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Research).

The National Science Foundation (NSF) was established in 1998 by the Science and Technology Development Act No. 11 of 1994 as the successor to the Natural Resources Energy & Science Authority of Sri Lanka (NARESA). NARESA was established in 1981 as the successor to the National Science Council (NSC) set up in 1968. In 2008, NSF celebrated the 40 years of dedicated services to Science and Technology (S&T) in Sri Lanka.


While upholding the two principles: universality of science and the freedom in the pursuit of knowledge, the NSF is committed to observe and uphold the freedom of scientists, as individuals, to communicate and associate with other scientists, globally, in the furtherance of their science without discrimination on the grounds other than scientific merit. Furthermore, in pursuing its objectives in respect of the rights and responsibilities of scientists, the NSF opposes any discrimination based on age, ethnic origin, gender, language, physical disability, political stance and religion.


Initiate, facilitate and support research, development, innovations and technology transfer through funding, knowledge creation, capacity building, partnerships, information dissemination and popularizing science.

  • Create a knowledge driven economy and well informed society efficiently and effectively, and
  • Contribute to improve the quality of life and standard of living of our people, by nurturing a competent staff and ensuring transparency, accountability, fairness, equity and principles of sustainability.



“To be the nation’s premier driving force in promoting Science, Technology and Innovation for economic and social prosperity of Sri Lanka”

The NSF is mandated for functions as specified in the Science and Technology Development Act No. 11 of 1994 as follows:

a. To initiate, facilitate and support basic and applied scientific research by universities, science and technology institutions and scientists, with a view to:

  • Strengthening scientific research potential, including research in the social science, and science education programmes
  • Developing the natural resources of Sri Lanka
  • Promoting the welfare of the people of Sri Lanka
  • Training research personnel in science and technology

b. To foster the interchange of scientific information among scientists in Sri Lanka and abroad.

c. To award scholarships and fellowships for scientific study or scientific work at recognized science and technology institutions.

d. To maintain a current register of scientific and technical personnel, and in other ways to the availability of, and the current and projected need for, scientific and technical resources in Sri Lanka, and to provide a source of information for policy formulation on science, technology and other fields.

e. To popularize science amongst the people by funding and executing programmes for the purpose.
Internal regulations, functions and powers

Internal regulations, functions and powers

There shall be established a Foundation to be called the National Science Foundation (in this Part of this Act referred as “the Foundation”). The Foundation shall be a body corporate and shall have perpetual succession and a common seal and may sue and be sued in such name.

NSF Functions
Board of Management
Special powers of the NSF
Intellectual property (IP) protection & awareness building
Facilitating Technology Transfer