1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
To fund research projects, proposal development travel, and general program costs at the ISTC in support of the ARS - Former Soviet Union Scientific Cooperation Program. Funds originate from the Department of State and are used to engage former weapons scientists in the former Soviet Union (FSU) in peaceful, agricultural projects.
1b. Approach (from AD-416):
The ISTC will fund the Russian, Kazakh and Tajik sides of approved ARS research projects and provide oversight and coordination of these project. Individual projects will be implemented through individual project agreements signed by the ISTC, and FSU and ARS/EAD. ARS scientists from multiple locations will develop the proposals with FSU scientists and serve as collaborators throughout the life of the project.
3. Progress Report:
During FY12, ARS supported 28 on-going projects through the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) in Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. In June 2012, ARS extended one joint project with Russia on Newcastle disease with funds from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. In addition, ARS partially supported an international scientific conference at the Russian Research Institute of Phytopathology on “Immunologic and genetic control of agricultural plants to diseases: theory and practice,” July 17-20, 2012. Several ARS scientists who are currently collaborating with this institute or have collaborated with them in the past, participated in the conference with their Russian counterparts. Topics of on-going projects include research on animal and zoonotic diseases such as avian and swine influenza, Newcastle disease and as well as plant diseases such as wheat rust, potato late blight and septoriosis of cereals. Funded research projects involve partner institutes such as the Research Institute for Biological Safety Problems and the Institute of Industrial Biotechnology in Kazakhstan; the Russian Research Institute of Phytopathology and the Federal Center for Animal Health in Russia; the Institute of Chemistry in Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz Research Institute of Livestock, Veterinary and Pastures. The ISTC also provides logistical support for ARS scientists traveling to Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan including the sponsorship of Russian visas through the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In addition, ISTC funds the international travel for FSU scientists traveling to the U.S. to discuss on-going projects or participate in international conferences.