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. In addition, ARS will utilize the CRDF GAP program to support a new activity funded by the State Department to assist in the training of Iraqi scientific personnel in agricultural research that has been previously associated with radioactive source irradiation. This project will help Iraq develop access to a safer and more reliable food supply with an emphasis on building agricultural research capacity that does not include potentially dangerous radioactive sources. 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.
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
This report serves to document research conducted under an Assistance Type Agreement between ARS and U.S. Civilian Research and Development Foundation (CRDF). The objective of the agreement is to fund research projects and proposal development travel at CRDF in support of the ARS – Former Soviet Union Scientific Cooperation Program. Each year ARS receives funds from the Department of State Bio-Chem Redirect Program to engage former Soviet chemical and biological weapons (CBW) scientists to redirect their efforts to peaceful, agricultural research and help reduce the risk of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The CRDF implements and oversees these projects in Uzbekistan. During FY08, ARS funded three research projects through the CRDF between ARS and Uzbek counterparts. Funded research projects involve strategic institutes in Uzbekistan such as the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, the Samarkand Veterinary Institute, the Cotton Breeding Institute, and the Institute of Zoology. ARS also continued the development of three new projects with the Institute of Genetics and Experimental Biology of Plants, which will be funded through CRDF in FY09. The CRDF also provides funding and support of the international travel for Uzbek scientists traveling to the U.S. to develop new proposals, discuss on-going projects or participate in international conferences. For example, an Uzbek scientist from the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry visited the ARS Southern Regional Research Center in New Orleans to demonstrate a scientific protocol that the Uzbek side had been conducting on gossypol and to receive training on using a low-temperature diffractometer. List of Funded Projects: 1. CRDF # 31001 “Development of Cottonseed with High Levels of (+)- Gossypol as a Feed for Non-ruminant Animals” 2. CRDF #31009 “Development of a Bentonite Feed Additive to Prevent Gossypol and Aflatoxin Toxicity in Poultry” 3. CRDF # 31002 “Development of a Termite Treatment System Against the Turkestan Termite, a Major Risk to Cultural Heritage in Central Asia”