Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) was established by the Act of Parliament No. 7 of 1986 as the successor to the Tanzania National Scientific Research Council (UTAFITI) as a parastatal organization with the responsibility of coordinating and promoting research and technology development activities in the country. It is the chief advisor to the Government on all matters pertaining to science and technology and their application to the socio-economic development of the country, and is under the ministry responsible for science and technology. It is also entrusted with the responsibility of coordinating and promoting science and technology development activities in the country. Since 1988, COSTECH has been the principal advisory organ to the government on all matters relating to scientific research, innovation, technology development and transfer, and recommends its implementation.

The principal roles and responsibilities of the Commission interalia are as provided by the Act which include:
  • To prepare and review national science, technology and innovation programmes, including dissemination and transfer of technology.
  • To monitor and co-ordinate the activities relating to scientific research, technology development and innovation of all persons or body concerned with such activities;
  • To acquire, store and disseminate scientific and technology information, and may, for that purpose hold or sponsor conferences, symposia, meetings, seminars or workshops, or publish any news – paper, journal or periodical or do any other act or thing designed to promote interest in science, technology and innovation;
  • To register scientific research institutions operating in the United Republic of Tanzania; and
  • To advise the Government on matters such as: priority areas for scientific research; the allocation and utilization of research and innovation funds according to priorities scientific research and regional and international cooperation in scientific research, innovation and technology development and transfer; matters relating to the training and recruitment of research personnel.