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Sunday, 12 May 2013

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Secretariat for research and development launched

The Government has set up a coordinating secretariat to streamline scientific research and development in the country. The establishment named as the Coordinating Secretariat for Science, Technology and Innovation (COSTI) will function under the supervision of Senior Minister of Scientific Affairs Tissa Vitarana.

This office will coordinate Sri Lankan scientific researches to contribute to the country's economic and social development. "Rather focusing on growing tea and exporting it, we need to substitute our imports to achieve our economic development goals," said Professor Sirimalee Fernando, Scientific Advisor to Minister Tissa Vitharana and the Chairman of the National Science Foundation.

As Prof. Fernando explained, existing main research institutes in Sri Lanka were established during the British era focusing only on the main export components of those days such as tea, rubber and coconut. "We need to go beyond an export culture and focus on value added products", Prof. Fernando added.

"To fulfil social development people need to feel secure about food, water and energy. We need to be resilient to the disasters and climate change. Quality healthcare, housing are essential components. Scientists need to address these issues," she said.

"To do achieve this target we need a solid coordinating system as in the research and development field to closely work with 20 line ministries. The responsibility of COSTI is to coordinate and monitor this field ensuring research positively contribute to national development," she added.

Speaking on the new establishment, its Program Director Dr. Nobel Jayasuriya said that special attention is needed in capacity building of the human resource and further developing the existing infrastructure for researches. "COSTI will not be interfering in to the management of research institutes. But where ever there is scientific research is involved we try to bring in some coherence in to this whole development effort," said Dr. Jayasuriya.

 

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