Theekshana was established in December 2006 as a not- for- profit Company which was incorporated by an Association that was made up by staff of University of Colombo School of Computing (UCSC). This company came into existence as part of the vision of the founder Director of UCSC the late Prof. V.K Samaranayake who envisioned that the natural next step in the evolution of the consulting, commercializing of R&D work of the UCSC should be to form a not-for-profit company in line with international best practice at universities around the world.
Theekshana was formed in order to full fill the following objectives and reasons:
- The World Bank and some other international and local agencies were not willing to offer ICT based projects directly to state organizations due to their policies. Under the e-Sri Lanka programme managed by the ICT Agency around 2005, the UCSC was invited to submit their proposals for national development projects but the UCSC was unable to bid for these projects due to the nature of the establishment. Hence, a proxy agency to bid for those projects, a company (which we named Theekshana) was established for this purpose in 2006. The main intention was to harness the ICT expertise built up within the UCSC over the years for executing the projects of national importance.
- UCSC as well as its predecessor, the Institute of Computer Technology (ICT), University of Colombo, has been undertaking software development projects through its Computer Service Centre (CSC) of state sector organizations and other parties in order to contribute to national development since 1990. However, large scale software development projects involve a significant risk factor and the UCSC was not established to manage such liability due to risks in software development projects. Therefore, it was a necessity to have an entity to protect the UCSC by managing the liability in case of a failure of a software project.
- Commercialization of research projects/outcome undertaken by universities has been an important requirement in keeping up with the worldwide tradition of internationally reputed universities and it should be implemented giving the benefit and credit to the university concerned. One of the objectives in setting up Theekshana is to implement commercialization of research projects/products at UCSC. Theekshana therefore was the natural development of UCSC’s commercial interface beyond its centre called the Computing Services Centre (CSC).
- Human resources play an important role in the success of software development projects. The carder positions and salary structure at the UCSC doesn’t support to manage such human resources. Therefore, it was a necessity to hire a highly qualified, experienced Software Developers, consultants, and project managers with competitive salary scales to carry out large scale important software projects.
Since the establishment of Theekshana, it had contributed significantly to the national development of Sri Lanka through several important Software Development Projects such as the Development of Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) for the department of Police, System for University Admissions for University Grant Commission, Online efiling System for Fundamental Rights of Supreme Court of Sri Lanka, Birth, Marriage and Death Issuance System for Government of Sri Lanka etc. As mentioned previously that Theekshana harnesses expertise and experience UCSC possesses through its long history of 21 years in Computing in Sri Lanka and it is in addition to the experience Theekshana had acquired through some of its unique projects which were rolled out during the last 10 years in its existence as a technology pioneer and trendsetter in Sri Lanka.