International Affairs Division

"Partner in Science across the Seas"


As per the Science and Technology Development Act No.11 of 1994, one of the main functions of the NSF is to foster interchange of scientific information among scientists in Sri Lanka and foreign countries. Accordingly, the International Affairs Division (IAD) plays a crucial role in capacity building of researchers by providing overseas special training at world-class R&D Centers and centers of excellence to enhance R&D outputs. It also facilitates cross-border partnership building for scientific cooperation and research collaboration thereby enhancing visibility of Sri Lanka’s STI landscape. These partnerships also enable access to state-of-the art R&D infrastructure abroad enabling Sri Lankan researchers to perform beyond boundaries to yield impactful R&D outputs thereby creating value for money. The interventions made by the IAD enables Sri Lankan researchers access to cutting-edge knowledge, acquiring high level of excellence in research work through global networks and thereby training, capacity building and skill development of the R&D workforce. We also ensure that Sri Lankan Scientists are benefited from bilateral and multilateral cooperation between institutions abroad. Hence IAD facilitates making Sri Lanka a part of the global value chain, progressive advancement of Science, Technology, Innovation (STI) for socio-economic advantage.

Key Activities/ Programmes

  • Facilitate local research institutions and universities to collaborate with international research institutions and STI organizations.
  • NSF Digital Platform for tapping the expatriate talent pool for national development.
  • Facilitate cross-boarder transfer of cutting-edge knowledge.
  • Facilitate training/capacity building of researchers through International Travel Grant (ITG) Scheme, Overseas Special Training Programme (OSTP) and International Partnership for Science & Technology (IPSAT) Grant Scheme.
  • Explore international funding opportunities, scholarships, fellowships, awards for excellence and timely dissemination to local research community.
  • Catalyzing and mobilizing cross-boarder scientific cooperation and research collaboration.
  • Facilitate partnerships with expatriates and industry.
  • Facilitate UNESCO Man and the Biosphere programme enabling sustainable management of natural resources. 
Impactful outcomes of the projects initiated at the ‘Global Forum of Sri Lankan scientists’ organized by the NSF

Research and Development of coloured Glazes

This project was conducted at the Midaya Ceramics (Pvt.) Ltd. in collaboration with Prof. Vasantha Amarakoon, Alfred University, USA in order to solve production problems of stoneware and glazes. Project was successfully completed providing concrete solutions to following two problems thereby contributing to development of the ceramic industry.

  • Lemon peel effect when using Dark red  glaze
  • Crystal formation when using Cobalt blue glaze


Establishment of a high throughput genomics facility

Credence Genomics Company was set up and laboratories have been established with technical support from Prof. Preethi Gunaratne, University of Houston, USA. Prof. Vajira Dissanayake, present Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo was the local collaborator.


Initiative a collaborative M. Sc. Course in Stem Cell Biology with Manipal Institute of Regenerative Medicine

The UGC approved M.Sc. programme was initiated in August 2013, at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo. It is a two year course and the facilities are from both the Manipal Institute of Regenerative Medicine and the University of Colombo. Dr Pavan Gupta, Manipal Institute of Regenerative Medicine, India  collaborated to initiate the programme. Prof. Vajira Dissanayake, present Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo was the local collaborator.


Capacity building in the field of thin film photovoltaic towards establishment of a facility for manufacturing solar panels in Sri Lanka

Dr G.D.K Mahanama from the University of Ruhuna and Prof. Punniamoorthy Ravirajan from the University of Jaffna were trained at Sivananthan Laboratory, USA on Research and Development of CdTe/CdS based solar cells which are emerging as the next generation of commercial solar cells in 2012. Dr Buddhika Dassanayake of the Department of Physics, University of Peradeniya was awarded a NSF Traveling Fellowship under the OSTP Scheme to undergo one month intensive R & D training programme on CdTe solar cells at Sivananthan Laboratories Inc., USA in April 2013. A broader programme was developed with the engagement of the Universities of Ruhuna, Peradeniya and Jaffna to build local capacities for the development of CdTe/CdS based thin film solar cells with the collaboration of Prof. Siva Sivananthan from USA. 


Real time Agricultural mobile based information system “GOVI NENA Ruhuna”

“GOVI NENA Ruhuna”, a mobile based organic farming information system was developed by celebrated scholar team from Department of Computer Science, University of Ruhuna in collaboration with University of Moratuwa, University of Colombo and Western Sydney University, Australia as an international collaboration made with the financial support provided under a travel grants scheme of the NSF. This mobile application provides an excellent opportunity to achieve food security for the country and sustainable prices for farmers & consumers. Installed on a smart phone, it can provide real-time and reliable information on pest controlling, crop calendar, organic home gardening, suitable crop varieties for a given location etc. in a user-friendly manner enabling to accelerate economic, health and environmental benefits in the country.

Sustainable Management of Natural Resources through Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme

To be updated...!

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