In 1974 Eng. DLO Mendis , a planning ministry representative of the Industrial Development Board was request by Mr. Hector Abayawardana to plan out an Institution to bridge the gap between an Industrial extension service organization as IDB and scientific research institute as the CISIR. Eng. DLO Mendis wrote the cabinet paper, which was agreed by the Hon. Minister of Industries and scientific affairs T.B. Subasinghe .
Thus the NERDC was in acted by an act of parliament under Special gazette Notification (No 124/6) was published under the Industrial Corporation Act No. 49 of 1957, on 14 August 1974. NERDC became operational during the latter part of 1974 , with as its first chairman. The centre was located from a Small section of the Industrial Development Board complex at Katubadda Moratuwa, with the intake of support staff as engineers and clerical grades, subsequently the office was locates at a more space building at Gall roar. Colombo-03. In September 1978 office was shifted to present location of IDB Industrial Estate Ekala Ja-Ela.
To be a Centre of Excellence, in Engineering Research and Development in the South Asia Region
Engage in Research and Development activities to develop, acquire, adapt and transfer Engineering Technologies that would have a direct impact on the Socio Economic Development of Sri Lanka, while creating a culture within the organization to harness innovation and creativity of employees and stakeholders.