Research Arm

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The Research Arm (RA) was established at the National Science Foundation due to the urgent need to re-orientate scientific research promoted by the organization. The new framework is in line with the mission to lead transformational changes in research in highlighting and directing the strength and rigor of local scientific outputs towards addressing national priority research needs, solving problems, maximizing the reach and impact to bridge the gaps in industry and product development framework, improving the quality of life of citizens and ensuring economic returns for country’s investments in science, particularly through import replacements. Efforts are made to ensure that the best available scientific resources in the country will be harnessed and directed towards the efforts in implementation of the government’s policy set out within the Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour. The transformative changes will nurture new trends in local research with emphases on multidisciplinary approaches, especially in establishing an innovative culture, translational research, cost-effective and efficient product development with industry growth whilst fostering public-private partnerships.
 

The planning and implementation will be through

  1. Identification of high priority areas for research in line with the national needs, development plans, policies, and market gaps
  2. Promotion of multidisciplinary research through facilitation of the establishment of Centres of Innovation.
  3. Identification of best available human and physical resources to promote strategic, interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and translational research in targeted areas
  4. Facilitation of public-private partnerships, particularly through commissioned research
  5. Identification and support of impactful scientific research work that needs scaling up
  6. Publicize grant opportunities and sources of financing for targeted research
  7. Performance assessment and impact management through regular monitoring and reviewing of progress and impact of the grants awarded through the new framework.

Activities planned will include, but not limited to

  • Events organized under priority themes to
    • highlight market-driven trends and gaps in the industry
    • sensitize researchers as to the research needs, market gaps and opportunities in the field of R&D
  • Events to publicize impactful research and resultant products to create interest among commercial partners to promote their engagement through public-private partnerships
  • Publicity of available financial opportunities for research
  • Establishment of Steering Committees (SC) under the purview of the RA to represent clusters in each priority area. Each SC will be a core group of experts who will plan and drive activities related to the defined area, in line with the aims of the RA.
Composition of Research Arm,
Prof. Nadira Karunaweera
(Chairperson)
Chair and Senior Professor of Parasitology,
University of Colombo
 
Prof. Siri Hettige  
Professor Emeritus of Sociology
Department of Sociology,
University of Colombo

Mr Rizvi Zaheed
President, Agri-Entrepreneurs’ Forum

Prof. Ruchira Cumaranatunga
Senior Professor of Fisheries and Oceanography,
Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture,
University of Ruhuna

Prof. Rahula Attalage
Dean Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research,
Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT)

Prof. Ajantha Dharmasiri
Professor in Management and Former Director,
Postgraduate Institute of Management,
University of Sri Jayewardenepura.

Prof. Punniamoorthy Ravirajan
Dean Faculty of Science and Senior Professor in Physics,
University of Jaffna.

Prof. Hemanthi Ranasinghe
Snr. Professor in Forestry and Environmental Science,
University of Sri Jayewardenepura.

Dr Herath Manthrithilake
Advisor to DG and Former Country Manager,
International Water Management Institute.

Ms Christine Dasanayake
(Coordinator)
Senior Scientific Officer,
National Science Foundation.

TOR of the Research Arm

  1. To identify high priority research areas in line with the national priorities and policy.
  2. To identify researchers with good track records to promote strategic interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and translational research in the areas identified above.
  3. To encourage and facilitate public-private partnerships in research and commissioned research.
  4. To facilitate securing international funding for collaborative, inter-institutional strategic research by assisting the development of research proposals.
  5. To develop and facilitate a transparent, robust, and time-efficient proposal evaluation process
  6. To periodically monitor and review progress of the grants awarded for successful completion.
  7. To ensure that a right balance is maintained between different types of research, i.e. basic/blue-sky, applied, and mission-oriented research.
  8. To disseminate research findings to the policy makers, planners, community, and industry while protecting IPR.

Steering Committees of Research Arm of National Science Foundation

The Research Arm (RA) of the National Science Foundation has identified 09 high priority areas for research promotion for country’s development. The RA members lead and drive each priority area through Steering Committees with their aims aligned to those of the RA. Steering Committees are constituted of experts from higher educational institutes, research institutes and industry.

Composition of the Steering Committees of Research Arm

Composition of the Steering Committee on Research & Development of Agriculture Sector
Mr Rizvi Zaheed
(Chairman)
President Agri-Entrepreneurs’ Forum

Dr Anojan Selvanathan
Managing Director
Polygon Agro (Pvt.) Ltd.

Mr Jeevan Gnanam
Director
Spectrify AI, CEO Orion City

Mr Aruna Weerakoon
Chairman
Agro-Culture Trends Pvt Ltd.

Mr Haridas Fernando
Group Manager Agribusiness,
Cargills (Cey) Ltd.

Mr Nirmal Hettiarachchi
Technical Head
Fresh Produce,
Jaykay Marketing Services Ltd.

Mr Jayantha Rajapakse
Managing Director
Unipower Ltd/CIC Group

Mr Manju Gunawardena
Head of Research LOLC

Prof. Ilmi Hewajulige
Research Professor
Industrial Technology Institute (ITI)

Prof. Saman Dharmakeerthi
Senior Lecturer
Dept. of Soil Science,
Faculty of Agriculture,
University of Peradeniya

Dr Jaanaki Gooneratne
Former Deputy Director of ITI

Dr Ranjith Mahindapala
Independent Evaluator

Ms Dilani Jayaweera
(Coordinator)
Scientific Officer
National Science Foundation
Composition of the Steering Committee on Research & Development for Engineering Services & SMEs
Composition of the Steering Committee on Research & Development of Fisheries & Aquaculture
Composition of the Steering Committee on Research & Development of Cost-Efficient Energy Sources and Storage
Composition of the Steering Committee on Research & Development of Information Technology and Services
Composition of the Steering Committee on Research & Development of Health Science Innovations
Composition of the Steering Committee on Research & Development of Water
Composition of the Steering Committee on Research & Development of Environment
Composition of the Steering Committee on Research & Development of Social Innovations

Activities of the Research Arm


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