ISTC Held its 49th Governing Board Meeting in Minsk, Belarus
STATEMENT OF THE 49th GOVERNING BOARD
OF THE INTERNATIONAL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY CENTER
9 July 2009
The Governing Board of the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) held its 49th meeting in Minsk, Belarus.
Representatives of various ISTC Parties attended the meeting, including Canada, the European Union, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, United States of America, Republic of Armenia, Republic of Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic and Republic of Kyrgyz Republic participated as rotating CIS Board member.
The Governing Board designated Mr. Victor Alessi as alternate Chairperson for the period of the meeting due to the unavailability of the Chairman in office, Mr. Ron Lehman.
The Board welcomed Mr Andrew Shore as new Board Member of ISTC on behalf of Canada. The Board thanked Mr Troy Lulashnyk for his valuable contribution to the work of ISTC.
The Board also welcomed Mr. Per-Erik Yngwe as representative of the current EU presidency.
The Board thanked Mr. Matthias Mitman, who has been transferred to carry out other duties, for his valuable work as GB Member for the United States of America.
The Governing Board approved the extension of the contract of Prof. Waclaw Gudowski, Deputy Executive Director on behalf of the European Union for one year.
The Governing Board thanked the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) for the valuable advice given on the various project proposals submitted to the Governing Board. The Governing Board approved the final Project Funding Worksheet (FS49). The ISTC approved 6 new projects representing 2.782.033 USD in new funding for activities in Russia, Belarus and the Kyrgyz Republic. The Governing Board noted that since 1 January 2009 more than $4.7 million in new partner funding has been received.
A number of working modalities of the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) were reviewed as part of the discussion on the transformation of the Center.
As a result of this review, it was decided to adjust the guiding criteria of several policies to make the ISTC mode of operation more flexible, efficient and adaptable. These changes address specific requests made by research institutes during meetings with the ISTC over the past year. One such change concerns the selection criteria for ISTC regular projects, including the focus of ISTC project funding and geographical priorities.
The current working practice is based on launching open call for proposals. Scientific proposals in all areas are welcome. ISTC is, in particular, interested in receiving scientific project proposals in the following areas:
- Global Security
- Sustainable Energy Technologies
- Environmental Technologies
- Biotechnology, Public Health and Agriculture
- High Energy Physics
Younger scientists will be encouraged to participate in ISTC projects to a greater extent and there will be more flexibility in the various categories eligible for financing under a research project i.e. ISTC will contribute to upgrading research institutes by providing more possibilities for the delivery of new equipment.
Co-funding of individual programs and projects will become an essential element of ISTC working practices. New initiatives to promote private partner funding to ISTC as a way to contribute to ISTC’s policy of open innovation will be developed.
At present five targeted initiatives are under implementation at ISTC: fuel cell, new medicines, probiotics, and law enforcement as well as related to the scientific and technical aspects to counter terrorism.
The Secretariat has taken various actions to identify funding from additional financial sources as a way to start up the implementation of the various targeted initiatives.
The Parties are considering making some funds available as seed funding for one or more of the targeted initiatives mentioned above.
It encouraged the Secretariat to continue the implementation of these initiatives.
The Board approved the redrafted CBT-TI to reflect a change of emphasis towards all relevant CIS countries. The TI has been renamed “Science & Technology in the Prevention of Biological Threats”.
During GBM 48 of 26 March 2009, the secretariat was asked to review certain aspects of current ISTC human resources policy taking into account experience gained with the current policy in place. Various amendments were adopted by the Board.
The Governing Board meeting of 26 March 2009 asked the Secretariat to make proposals on indexation of salaries for Russian staff covering the first six months of 2009. This request was made after a presentation by a staff representative onthe development of salaries for Russian staff working at ISTC. The Board decided to make some adjustments for those members of staff paid in Rubles.
The Board took note of the progress made under the ISTC sustainability-planning program. It will prepare the second stage of this work by designating a set of new institutions to be incorporated into this program.
The Board approved the revised sustainability plan for the Siberian Chemical Combine (Seversk) and agreed to the funding proposal of the revised sustainability plan for the Siberian Chemical Combine (Seversk) a maximum of 600,000 USD.
The Governing Board approved the planned events celebrating the 15-year anniversary of ISTC. The main event will take place on 10 December 2009 in Moscow. It asked the Secretariat to continue its preparations.
The Board was informed about a possible donation from INTAS and will prepare a proposal to be presented to the General Assembly of INTAS. The EU abstained from the deliberations on this agenda point to avoid a risk of conflict of interest given the fact that the European Community is also a full member of the INTAS General Assembly, that will decide on the disposition of the remaining INTAS funds.
The Governing Board agreed to convene the next Plenary Session on 9 December 2009 in Moscow.
The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.
ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.