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 FY13, ARS supported 25 on-going projects through the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) in Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. ISTC continued to provide support for both ARS scientists traveling to Russia with logistical support as necessary as well as support for Russian, Kazakh, Tajik and Kyrgyz scientists to travel to international conferences and ARS labs under the auspices of the project agreements. ARS and ISTC managers also worked together to identify alternative support for Central Asian scientist participation in the 2nd International Agricultural Biosafety Symposium held in Alexandria, Virginia in February 2013 as well to support early-career Central Asian scientists in ARS labs for training. In May 2013, ARS extended one joint project with Russia on the collection, identification, characterization and preservation of Russian population of phytopathogenic bacteria with funds from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (CBEP). ARS extended its one project with Tajikistan for nine months with a small amount of funding that will enable project collaborators to conduct further studies to support a patent application being filed through the ARS Office of Technology Transfer. The Tajik cooperating institution agreed to co-fund the additional studies. The main goal of the project is to develop a system of delivery of antibiotics from pectin/proteins drug carriers for the therapy of acute gastrointestinal infectious diseases, lower abdomen diseases, and tropical diseases, which are currently the biggest health concern in Central Asia. A project with Kyrgyzstan on the epizootiological monitoring of brucellosis and methods of its eradication in the Kyrgyz Republic was granted a no cost extension to continue research, which was funded an additional year with Department of State and European Union funds at the ISTC.