The Coordinating Secretariat for Science, Technology and Innovation (COSTI) was established on February 1, 2013 as mandated by the cabinet decision of September 9, 2011 with the specific aim of coordination and monitoring of Science,
Chief Executive Officer
Sirimali Fernando, a Fellow of the National Academy of Sri Lanka (FNASL), started her career as a MBBS (Col) qualified medical practitioner in 1982. Since then, for over 35 years, she has worked as a science administrator, an academic, a researcher and a medical practitioner.
Her academic and research careers span across Sri Lanka in the Medical Faculties of Universities of Sri Jayewardenepura and Ruhuna (as lecturer/ Senior lecturer/ Professor) and in the UK at St George’s Hospital Medical School, London (5 years from 1989 as a Research Fellow cum Registrar/ Senior Registrar in Virology).
She was appointed to the Chair of Microbiology at University of Sri Jayewardenepura in 2002.
Her research interests include dengue, cytomegalovirus, HIV, hepatitis viruses and medical education. She has more than 55 peer reviewed research publications/ communications (including those in Journal of Medical Virology, Journal of Virological Methods, J Clin Virol., Ceylon Medical Journal, Transplantation Proceedings, Post Graduate Medical Journal , Protein Expr Purif., Medical Teacher, Clin Vaccine Immunol., Arch Dis Child, Quarterly Journal of Medicine, Indian Journal of Medical Sciences and International Journal of Immunogenetics, Dengue Bulletin).
Sirimali Fernando took up to science administration in 2004 with her appointment as the Chairperson of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Sri Lanka where she served till 2013, and was reappointed to that post in June 2015 to 2019.
In 2006, as the National Coordinator she spearheaded the National Nanotechnology Initiative through the Ministry of Science and Technology and the to establish Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology (SLINTEC) as a public-private partnership
She significantly contributed to the revision of the National Science and Technology Policy in 2009.
In 2010, as the Science Advisor to the then Minister of Science and Technology, she conceptualized, initiated and coordinated the development of the first National Science Technology and Innovation Strategy for 2011-2016.
Subsequently, in 2011 as the Sector Specialist for Scientific Affairs she played a key role in proposing a national platform to coordinate the implementation of the National STI Strategy. This resulted in the establishment of the Coordinating Secretariat for Science Technology and Innovation (COSTI) under the Senior Minister for Scientific Affairs to coordinate and monitor STI activities across ministries, institutions and the private sector.
She has served on the Governing Boards of the Council for Agricultural Research Policy in Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Accreditation Board, Sri Lanka Standards Institute, UNESCO National Commission and the National Library and Documentation Board.
She has represented Sri Lanka in more than 30 international and bilateral meetings and has led the Sri Lankan delegation to UNESCO Science Commissions, ICGEB Board of Governor’s meetings and SAARC S&T meetings.
At an International Level, she serves as an elected founder member of the Governing Board of the International Science Council (ISC), founder member of the STI Advisory Board to the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP) and member of the executive working group of the Commonwealth Science Advice Network (CSAN). She has served 12 years as the Governor for Sri Lanka to the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology – ICGEB, Chair of the STEPAN (Science and Technology Policy Asian Network) of UNESCO and Chairperson of the Sri Lankan Chapter of FABA (Federation of Asian Biotechnology Associations).