Need for undertaking technology forecasting and assessment studies on a systematic and continuing basis was highlighted in the Government of India’s Technology Policy Statement (TPS) of 1983. It further made mandatory, for the Ministries and Agencies with large investments or large volume of production to provide a technology forecast covering their requirements over a 10 year or longer period and for evolving suitable strategies for development based on priorities.
Subsequently, as per the recommendation of Technology Policy Implementation Committee (TPIC) in 1985, Cabinet approved the formation of TIFAC in mid 1986 and TIFAC was formed as a registered Society in February, 1988 under the Department of Science and Technology as an autonomous body. It was mandated to assess the state-of-art of technology and set directions for future technological development in India in important socio-economic sectors. 
As a unique knowledge network institution in India, TIFAC activities encompass a wide array of technology areas and fill a critical gap in the overall S&T system of India. The organization has carried out technology foresight exercise, facilitated and supported technology development; prepared technology linked business opportunity reports and implemented mission-mode programmes.