1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
The purpose of this MOU is to strengthen scientific cooperation between the Participants in their activities that protect the Warfighter, public health and agriculture from CBR, and Infectious Disease (ID) risks. To this end, the Participants intend jointly to explore and coordinate scientific activities of Mutual Interest (broadly defined herein) that may be implemented by the mutual understanding of the Participants, and in conformance with their applicable respective regulations and policies.
1b. Approach (from AD-416):
The activities under this MOU will support a number of collaborative scientific efforts on a broad range of opportunities including (but not exclusively): 1. Biosurveillance-related activities, including research, to develop diagnostic tests that fulfill the range of needs required to strengthen health security as it relates to human and agricultural well-being. Specific activities could include invention of new tests, determination of accuracy of tests, and establishment of operational protocols for the use of the most appropriate diagnostic tests for each operational situation. 2. Perform collaborative research, science-based training, and expert consultation to improve prevention, response, and elimination of CBR threats to health security. 3. In general, cooperation may be effected through exchange of materials and information; exchange of scientists, specialists, and trainees; development of projects of mutual interest between USDA scientists and DoD scientists or partner scientists of other institutions; organization of symposia and workshops; and joint publication of studies and reports. To this end, the Participants may jointly explore and coordinate research activities of mutual interest, which would be implemented by mutual understanding, and in accordance with current authorities.
3. Progress Report:
In FY13, ARS and DTRA met to find ways to catalyze cooperation in biological threat reduction more effectively. Following that meeting, DTRA and ARS finalized an agreement to fund two projects on foot-and-mouth disease in Uganda under the ARS Foreign Animal Disease Research Unit at Plum Island Animal Disease Center. In addition, ARS submitted concepts to DTRA that have been developed into full proposals for funding under the Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP): New Castles Disease, Ukraine; African swine fever, Ukraine; foot-and-mouth disease, Russia; foot-and-mouth disease, Vietnam. In addition, ARS and DTRA participated in a number of meetings and scoping missions to further coordinate their goals on animal health related cooperation. Scoping missions were conducted in South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya. ARS staff from OIRP and ONP-APP also participated in a Department of Defense (DOD)-led meeting to discuss the integration of the U.S. Government’s efforts to support public and animal health programs in the Republic of Georgia, particularly around the recently commissioned Richard G. Lugar Center for Public Health Research (CPHR) in Tbilisi, Georgia, which was funded by DOD’s Cooperative Threat Reduction program.