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ISTC Facts Sheet

What is the ISTC

The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) was established in Moscow by international agreement in November 1992 as a nonproliferation program coordinating the efforts of numerous governments, international organizations, and private sector industries, providing former weapons scientists (FWS) from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Georgia with new opportunities for sustainable, peaceful employment. In 2015 The ISTC agreement was renewed, with an updated mission of supporting activities that address the global security threat of the proliferation of WMD-applicable chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) knowledge and materials, worldwide. ISTC activities fall in two broad categories: (research) projects, which engages experts in the development of new science and technology (S&T), and Supplemental Programs, which include workshops and other events to address non-proliferation issues and to integrate experts in the global S&T and industrial communities; training. In the 25 years ISTC has been active with over 76,000 experts in more than 800 research institutes spread across CIS and Georgia whom have been engaged in ISTC projects and activities.



  • Founded in 1992 by the EU, Japan, USA, and Russia.
  • ISTC is an intergovernmental organization with Diplomatic status whose operations began in March 1994
  • The ISTC was originally located in Moscow, but moved in July 2015 to Astana, Republic of Kazakhstan
  • ISTC has been one of the largest sponsors of R&D in the Former Soviet Union, supporting experts and scientists to redirect their R&D efforts to peaceful and market sustainable technologies.
  • The New ISTC Continuation Agreement was signed in December 2015 and ratified by all member countries by December 2017
  • ISTC is currently headquartered in Astana and has branch offices in Armenia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Members to the ISTC Agreement are Armenia, the European Union, Japan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Norway, South Korea,  and Tajikistan and the United States
  • The ISTC has involvement and associations with over 56 member and non-member countries worldwide.


ISTC’s Vision Statement

To advance global peace and prosperity through cooperative Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) risk mitigation by supporting civilian science and technology partnerships that address global security threats and advance non-proliferation to redirect expertise to peaceful R&D fields.


ISTC’s Mission & Mission Statement

  • to promote the improvement of international mechanisms for the prevention of the proliferation of WMD and their delivery systems, as well as of technologies, materials, and expertise that are key elements directly related to the development, production, use, or enhancement of WMD or their delivery systems (including dual-use technology, materials, and expertise);
  • to give scientists and engineers with knowledge and skills applicable to WMD and their delivery systems, including dual-use knowledge and skills, opportunities for training and alternative employment where their knowledge and skills can be used for peaceful activities;
  • to promote a culture of security with respect to the handling and use of materials, equipment, and technology which could be used for the design, development, safety & safeguards, production, or use of WMD or their means of delivery; and  to contribute through its activities: to the development of international scientific partnership, strengthening global security, and fostering economic growth through innovation; to basic and applied research and technologydevelopment and commercialization, inter alia, in the fields of environment,energy, health, and nuclear, chemical, and biological safety and security; andto promoting the further integration of scientists with technologies, material,and expertise applicable to WMD into the international scientific community.
  • To promote international best practices and security culture to monitor and mitigate CBRN and Hybrid Security threats.



  • Contribute to the solution of national and international science and technology problems 
  • Support and reinforce international non-proliferation mechanisms, treaties and efforts;
  • Reinforce the transition to market economies 
  • Support basic and applied research 
  • Promote integration of CIS scientists into global scientific community through capacity building


Activities and Operations (as of December 2017)

  • Since inception over 4200 funded proposals, totaling over US $1,2 bn
  • Over 76,000 scientists from the CIS have received grants from ISTC
  • $569.4M paid in research grants in total
  • The center publishes Annual Reports
  • Full range of supporting programs: Travel support (Mobility); Responsible Science; Science Workshops and Seminars; Patenting Support Programs; Japan Workshops; Probiotic & Health TI, Promotion of Innovative Environments
  • Active in the Caucuses, Central Asia, Middle East and Africa


  • Governing Board includes as permanent members: European Union, Japan, Republic of Kazakhstan and the United States 
  • ISTC Secretariat Headquarters in Astana; regional offices in Yerevan, Tbilisi, Bishkek and Dushanbe 

Support to Nonproliferation Regimes 

  • Disposal of Weapons-Grade Plutonium 
  • Destruction of Chemical Weapons 
  • Support to Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty 
  • Nuclear Material Control & Accounting 
  • Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention


ISTC's Future

  • Expand and develop new programs and activities in response to member countries’ and partners needs and priorities.
  • Plans to expand ISTC non-proliferation efforts and sustainable R&D support to new member countries.
  • Investigate and engage new sources of funding for R&D projects and programs.


Targeted Initiative (TI) Program Pipeline

GB APPROVED:Biosafety & biosecurity; Seismic monitoring & hazard mitigation; Nuclear non-proliferation, security & safety capacity; Radiological source risk mitigation; Clean / renewable energy & energy efficiency /EXPO; Dual-use & export control TI; Southern Africa Nuclear Industry

IN DEVELOPMENT: Water & food security TI; Technology, device & reporting integration.


Global Outreach & Visibility Strategy

  • New Agreement Expands ISTC Mandate, in terms of Activities and Geographic Reach
  • ISTC Mission Now Integrates its WMD Non-proliferation Focus with the Need to Address Contemporary Global Security Challenges, through the Peaceful and Responsible Use of Science Cooperation.
  • ISTC Membership is Now Open to Any Country and Can Engage wherever in the World the Governing Parties Direct.


The EU CBRN CoE Network and ISTC: Areas of Cooperation and Complementarity

  • Project implementation in line with the CBRN CoEs’ methodology and  guidelines;
  • Access of beneficiaries to international networks of CBRN expertise.
  • Ensure genuine local ownership of CBRN action plans, policies and project proposals.
  • Foster inter- and intra-regional cooperation


Engaging Scientific Communities Globally

The principle activity through which the ISTC meets these objectives is the management of science R&D projects. Institutes throughout Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan coordinate project proposals with the ISTC Secretariat for review and funding. Project participants and institutes receiving ISTC funding benefit from the Center's supporting programs such as travel grants, workshops, seminars, international conferences, and commercialization support.


Updated September 2018



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.

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