1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
To fund research projects, proposal development and other project related international travel through the CRDF Grant Access Program (GAP)in support of the ARS – Former Soviet Union (FSU) Scientific Cooperation Program and the Biosecurity Engagement Program (BEP). Funds originate from the Department of State Bio-Chem Redirect Program and are used to engage former weapons scientists in the former Soviet Union (FSU) in peaceful, agricultural projects and from BEP to engage bioscientists with dual-use expertise in regions with high terrorist activity. Purpose of Funds: To fund and implement projects under the Former Soviet Union Scientific Cooperative Program, Biosecurity Engagement Program; and ARS - Iraq Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) program all originally funded by the Department of State International Security and Nonproliferation Office. Projects range in topics from plant health to animal health to food safety. To support brucellosis control activities in Afghanistan and Pakistan, including participation in a brucellosis control workshop.
1b. Approach (from AD-416)
The Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Research Service, (hereafter, “Sponsor”) supports international scientific research projects involving collaboration between U.S. and foreign scientists. The Sponsor’s collaborative research is related to civilian agricultural research and that all funds and/or materials being provided to the foreign individuals and institutions (hereafter, “Beneficiaries”) are to support or assist the Project. The Sponsor anticipates providing funds and material support (hereafter, “Project Resources”) under the program to Beneficiaries, including individual salary support, equipment and supplies, travel and institutional support. The U.S. Civilian Research & Development Foundation (hereafter, “CRDF”) has agreed to support the Sponsor’s efforts in the implementation of the Sponsor’s projects by providing financial, administrative and logistical support. The CRDF has the infrastructure and capacity to support the distribution of Project Resources to the Beneficiaries identified by the Sponsor as technical assistance to the extent allowable in the host country; ARS scientists from multiple locations will develop the proposals with their foreign counterparts and serve as collaborators throughout the life of the project and provide technical oversight.
3. Progress Report
In FY11, ARS funded 2 new projects and continued to manage three on-going research projects with Indonesia,one with South Africa, and nine with Uzbekistan. New projects include: 31053 “Rift Valley Fever surveillance and control in Yemen” between the ARS-Manhattan, KS and the Yemeni Directorate General of Animal Health and Veterinary Quarantine, and 31060 “Environmental factors determining Rift Valley Fever virus vectors in Egypt” between ARS-Ganesville, FL and the Egyptian Al Azhar University and Research Institute for Medical Entomology. ARS determined that the Indonesian cooperators on two poultry disease projects are non-compliant is working with State-BEP and CRDF to re-program the funds that are currently allocated to those two projects. A 3rd project is 31033 “Molecular Epidemiology of Newcastle disease viruses in Indonesia: Focus on Historical Cases and New Clinical Cases for all productive sectors of Western Indonesia,” Indonesian Central Research Institute for Veterinary Science; all three projects are under ARS-Athens, GA. Activities got underway in the project, “Evaluation and standardization of Rift Valley Fever diagnostic assays and vaccine control strategies,” between ARS-Manhattan, KS and the South African Agricultural Research Council. ARS and Uzbek scientists continued cooperation under nine projects covering topics such as improvement of cotton for tolerance to wilt, salinity and earliness, development of cottonseed with high levels of (+)- gossypol as feed for non-ruminant animals; evaluation of potential germplasm resistance against root-knot nematode and Fusarium wilt diseases in cotton; and development of a termite treatment system against the Turkestan termite. On-going projects involve the Institute of Genetics and Plant Experimental Biology of Plants; the Scientific Research Institute of Veterinary; the Institute of Microbiology; the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry; and the Institute of Zoology. The project, “Molecular characterization of Newcastle disease virus and development of approaches to vaccination,” between ARS-Athens, GA and Pakistani University of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Lahore is under development. CRDF is also providing logistical and travel support for seven Afghans to participate in a bilateral ARS-Afghanistan workshop on brucellosis research gaps and priorities. CRDF provided travel and logistical support for a subject expert from Jordan to attend the 2011 International Symposium on Crop Wild Relatives in Davis, CA, March 2011.