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Science and Technology Center in Ukraine (STCU)
The STCU was established in 1993 to support peaceful research and development activities by Ukrainian, Georgian, Uzbek, and Azerbaijani scientists and engineers formerly involved in the development of WMD.
Additional Non-Country Members
European Union (EU)
The substance of the Science and Technology Center in Ukraine’s (STCU) founding agreement is identical to that of the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) and was signed by Canada, Sweden, Ukraine, and the United States on 25 October 1993 and entered into force on 16 July 1994. The Center’s projects are funded by Canada, the European Union (which succeeded Sweden), and the United States. Uzbekistan and Georgia signed a formal accession to the STCU Agreement on 29 December 1997 and 18 March 1998, respectively. Azerbaijan became the fourth recipient party when the Governing Board approved its request for accession in December 2002.
Point of Contact
The Center’s mission is to support research and development (R&D) activities for peaceful application by Ukrainian, Georgian, and Uzbek scientists and engineers, formerly involved in the development of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their means of delivery, as part of the general process of conversion from a military to a civilian, market-oriented environment. Since its establishment, the STCU has approved approximately $109 million in funding for more than 500 related R&D projects.
The STCU’s main activities include:
- soliciting and receiving proposals from the Ukrainian, Georgian, and Uzbekistani scientific communities for research, development, and production technology for peaceful purposes, based on previous work related to WMD and their means of delivery.
- reviewing proposals (after clearance by the recipient Parties’ respective Security and Export Control Divisions) and helping their scientists to present their projects in the best possible manner to receive funding from donor countries.
- after a project is approved, developing and signing a contract with the project authors regarding its execution, financing, and possible outcomes.
- financing signed projects through direct “grants-in lieu of salaries” to researchers by providing funding for their research expenditures, equipment requested to carry out the scientific project, and overhead funds for supporting institutes.
- carrying out audits at regular intervals throughout the project to monitor compliance with the signed contracts.
- developing and maintaining an organization capable of carrying out the tasks listed above.
- contributing to the general process of converting Ukrainian, Georgian, and Uzbekistani professionals from a centralized to market-driven economic environment. Particular emphasis is placed on this aspect at the level of the STCU’s own scientific and professional Ukrainian staff.
- helping to identify possible scientific, business, and other non-NIS (newly independent states) collaborators for working with these scientists on projects of mutual interest and benefit.
- promoting R&D interaction between these scientists and non-NIS scientists interested in collaboration, by assisting with direct funding channels between those parties and Ukrainian, Georgian, and Uzbekistani scientific and technical organizations.
- contributing in an important manner to Ukraine’s, Georgia’s, and Uzbekistan’s economic development and stabilization by the direct, official influx of a significant amount of hard currency directly into the hands of scientific researchers.
- contributing to the development of innovative world-class technology for the benefit of Ukraine, Georgia, and Uzbekistan as well as of the rest of the world.
On 29 January, STCU representatives met with members of the International Science and Technology Center in Moscow to discuss cooperation between the two organizations. The groups discussed cooperation on workshops, training, and commercialization support for scientists.
The 24th meeting of the Governing Board was held in Chisinau, Moldova on 31 May. The board approved over $7.1 million and €2.5 million in new funding and continuing research projects. The funding covers seven STCU-Georgian National Science Foundation Targeted Initiative projects and STCU-National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine Targeted Initiative projects, among others. The board also approved three new projects for Moldovan scientists.
On 31 October, the STCU and the Georgian National Science Foundation signed a Statement of Cooperation, which creates a Targeted R&D Initiative program between the two organizations. In general, the Targeted Initiatives Program aims to establish partnerships between the STCU and the governmental science programs of STCU beneficiary countries.
The 23rd meeting of the Governing Board was held in Kiev, Ukraine on 16 November. The board approved 28 new projects, estimated to be over $600,000. Furthermore, the board authorized 11 Partner Projects and 11 Partner Project extensions. Notably, the board approved the first STCU-funded project in the Republic of Moldova.
On 13 October, the Governing Board approved 10 science research projects to be completed under the second round of the Targeted R&D Initiative Program. Throughout the second phase of the program, both the STCU and NASU financed selected projects focusing on priority areas of the Ukrainian government.
The 22nd meeting of the Governing Board was held in Kiev, Ukraine on 18 May where over $9.6 million was approved for new projects. This includes 22 new Partner Projects and 13 Partner Project extensions. The board continued to develop its Targeted Initiatives Program, which facilities partnerships between the STCU and national science programs of STCU partner countries.
Throughout 2006, the STCU participated in many forums, meetings, and roundtable discussions. These include: Joint Ukrainian Technology Transfer Initiative; grant-writing workshops; Positioning Bio-Institutes to Compete in the Global Market; S&T and Innovation Forecasting: The State Program of Ukraine and World Experience; among others.
During 2005, the STCU hosted and participated in many conferences. Notably, the STCU held its 21st Governing Board meeting in Ukraine on 2 December where 25 new government-funded projects were approved totaling $1,996,975. Additionally, nine new Partner Projects were confirmed, six Partner Project extensions were confirmed, and seven new Targeted Initiatives projects were approved.
On 27 September, the STCU held a workshop entitled “Intellectual Property Rights and Science: Building a Business on Your Ideas” in Baku, Azerbaijan. There were over 70 participants from Azerbaijan and Georgia.
The 20th Governing Board meeting was held for the first time in Tbilisi, Georgia on 16 June. The board approved 26 new projects for an estimated $3 million. The chairmanship of the board also passed to a new member, Deputy Director General for Research European Commission Zoran Stancic.
On 8 April, the STCU and the National Academy of Sciences in Ukraine launched the first cost sharing initiative to support former weapons scientists’ new work on Ukraine’s economic and social development. This initiative is a crucial step to the STCU’s partnership with national-level Ukrainian science programs. Shared projects will be chosen within the upcoming weeks.
The 19th Governing Board meeting approved 25 new projects in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan totaling over $2.5 million. The board also approved 15 new Partner Projects for $3.8 million and authorized the augmentation of six Partner Project contracts, with an estimated worth of over $200,000.
The STCU sponsored and participated in several conferences and seminars during the first half of 2004. From 15-17 March, it co-sponsored the “Caspian Commercialization Workshop in the Oil and Gas Industry” in Baku, Azerbaijan. At the meeting, approximately 50 scientists addressed issues relating to technology commercialization and the technological needs of the industry. Also in March, the STCU held the first in a series of training seminars regarding the practical aspects of procurement under STCU policies. These sessions will be held monthly. In April, it co-organized a workshop on “Best Practices in the Commercialization of Biotechnologies: Looking into the Technological Future and Sustainable Development” with the National Academy of Sciences in Ukraine, and also held its fourth regional Information Field Officers and Field Officers meeting in Kyiv.
Led by Dr. Adalat Hassanov, the new STCU office in Baku began on 16 June 2004 its mission of aiding former WMD scientists of Azerbaijan.
The 18th semi-annual meeting of the Board of Governors was held in Baku, Azerbaijan on 17 June. Board members approved 42 new regular, government-funded projects for $3.5 million and confirmed two additional partnership projects and seven partnership project contract extensions. These actions brought cumulative STCU funding since 1993 to more than $109 million. The Board also addressed Moldova’s impending accession to the International Agreement to Establish a Science and Technology Center in Ukraine, which will officially take place following the approval of current parties to the Governing Board. In addition, Andrew Hood, previously the senior coordinator at the U.S. State Department’s Science Centers Program, became the new STCU executive director.
On 6 October 2004, STCU opened the National Radioanalytic Center in Uzbekistan. Two STCU projects at the Institute of Nuclear Physics (INP) in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, have created this national analytical center as well as companion mobile field laboratories, which will provide the INP with a source of contract analytical work. The INP is at the center of a joint U.S-Uzbek program to improve the Uzbek capability to monitor, detect, and identify the transit of illicit radioactive materials across its borders. A key element of this border security system is a modern radioanalytic laboratory for analysis and characterization of materials detected and intercepted at Uzbek border crossings. But in addition to this nonproliferation mission, the center will also provide Uzbekistan with an important capability to study, evaluate, and monitor a wide variety of materials that play a role in Uzbekistan’s industrial economy as well as its environmental and public health security.
On 1 January, the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine officially became responsible for overseeing the activities of the STCU. The Center’s sixteenth Governing Board meeting took place on 12 June in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Board members approved the funding of 40 regular projects for $4.1 million as well as several new partnership projects for $3.2 million. Four additional partner organizations were also introduced.
STCU conferences and seminars in 2003 included an international workshop on biotechnology commercialization and security held from 14-17 October in Baku, Azerbaijan and an August conference in Samarkand that addressed current problems in the field of nuclear physics. In addition, in November, the STCU held a joint workshop with the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium entitled “The Science and Technology Center in Ukraine as an Instrument for Developing an EU-Ukraine Research Partnership,” and participated in an exhibition-conference in Pennsylvania, “Partnerships for Prosperity and Security: Assessing Innovative Technologies from Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.” The conference was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration, and involved 120 experts and representatives of multinational organizations working in the nonproliferation area.
From 20-21 November, the STCU participated in an Inter-Parliamentary Conference on the reduction of the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction. Organized by the European Commission’s Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Co-operation Initiative and held in Strasbourg, France, the conference examined bilateral and multilateral cooperative threat reduction programs, and included 200 participants.
The 17th meeting of the Governing Board convened in Kyiv on 4 December. Board members approved more than $3 million in funding for 29 regular projects, $2.7 million for 12 new partnership projects. They also introduced 10 new partners, bringing the annual total to 14. Among new partnership projects was a study of radioactive waste management, waste treatment technologies, and ecologically safe disposal of radioactive waste discussed in the STCU Annual Report. The study, begun on March 1, is being conducted by a group of scientists from Uzbekistan and Ukraine in collaboration with the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The 36-month project seeks to develop improved technologies for the cementation of liquid radioactive waste concentrates and for the safe disposal of radioactive waste. Furthermore, its results are expected to be relevant to the decommissioning of power plants.
Finally, the STCU held several meetings with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization over the course of the year. The two bodies plan to collaborate in developing several seminars and workshops regarding the commercialization of technologies and other subjects.
On 21-25 January, the STCU conducted its first Advanced “Intellectual Property Rights Protection and Related Business Opportunities” training program in Kyiv, the third specialized advanced training program, for a group of 20 scientists from STCU funded projects. Expanding its activities to the east, STCU also conducted a basic training course on “How to Commercialize R&D Projects (Innovations)” in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on 12-15 February.
In February, STCU Executive Director Leo Owsiacki officially opened the STCU Information Office located in Tashkent, the Republic of Uzbekistan. The Uzbek Information Office Representative, Regina Sattarova, a biologist by profession, will provide STCU support throughout the Republic of Uzbekistan for Uzbek former weapons scientists. This support will help to prevent the “brain drain” problem in the country as well as raise the awareness of a number of opportunities with the STCU for scientists and engineers. According to the Uzbek Academy of Sciences, 4,000 former weapons scientists are left in the country, which is half the number than there were in 1998. STCU assistance is directed to the remaining scientists to help them to redirect their talents to peaceful purposes. The first Uzbek project was funded by the Center in 1998. To date, the STCU has supported more than 500 scientists from the Republic of Uzbekistan on 24 projects worth close to $3.5 million.
An Advisory Committee meeting was hosted by the European Union in Paris, France on 8 March. A number of important issues were discussed including re-opening project registration, consideration of a new STCU Initiative “Ukraine Mine Destruction Program,” separate partner travel budgets, a revised Model Project Agreement with new intellectual property rights (IPR) clauses, STCU building problems, and the status of the 2001 Annual Report. While Azerbaijan officially requested STCU accession, the United States and the European Union are still considering the application.
The Governing Board of STCU convened on 11 June in Kyiv, approving over $4.7 million and EUR 1.1 million for new scientific projects. In addition, new projects valued at over $1.9 million and EUR 0.6 million, were funded by STCU Partner organizations.
On 12 December, during the 15th Governing Board Meeting in Kyiv, members approved Azerbaijan’s request to accede to the STCU Agreement, making it a beneficiary party. In addition, they recognized Moldova’s and Tadjikistan’s applications for accession to the Agreement. They also approved $1.5 million for new scientific projects, bringing the total value to projects funded by the STCU to more than $58.7 million. Five additional partner organizations were acknowledged, and six partner project contracts were executed. Finally, the Board approved a program of research on anti-personnel land mine destruction technologies to be funded in part by the European Union.
During the year, the STCU Secretariat supported financing of 16 international conferences for a total amount of $21,000.
In May, an STCU delegation headed by the Deputy Executive Director Esa Manninen completed a three-day mission to Finland. On 23 May, the STCU opened an Information Office in Tbilisi, Georgia. On 24 April, STCU Executive Director Leo Owsiacki began a four-day mission to Tajikistan to meet with former WMD scientists to assess the current situation.
The Governing Board held its 12th meeting in Kyiv in July. The 41 new projects approved at this meeting by the Donor Parties bring the total value of such Party-supported projects funded through the STCU to over $53.5 million, including 18 new projects valued at over $2.3 million funded by STCU Partner organizations. Member-supported projects funded at this meeting cover a wide range of research: early medical diagnostics for malignant breast tumors; water purification from pathogens and medical compounds; metallurgical organic dye films; a composite manufacturing process; remote sensing of vegetation; ceramic thermal barrier coatings; new grain storage technologies; high efficiency exhaust filters; ecologically clean cooling systems; a wind-powered water pumping prototype; nano-technology for metal surface treatment; a new vitamin D dosimeter; and design of new materials and ceramics for artificial implants and medical tools. These projects will employ 866 scientists, 636 of whom are from former WMD or delivery system programs. This number is in addition to the 7,200 scientists supported by the STCU since 1995. The projects will be carried out at institutes in Dniepropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Kyiv, Lviv, in Ukraine, and in Tbilisi, Georgia.
The Board also recognized three new STCU Partner organizations introduced since its previous meeting: the US Department of Agriculture/Agricultural Research Service, the U.S. Department of Defense/Cooperative Threat Reduction, and the Breitmeier Messtechnik GmbH of Germany. These entities join the growing number of organizations (total of 68 organizations) funding research and development activities in Ukraine as STCU Partners. The Board also noted that the STCU patent fund has so far supported 14 new Ukrainian patent applications during 2001. The STCU also supported 14 international technical conferences, including those involving the Kharkiv Institute of Physics and Technology in Kharkiv, the Bakul Institute of Superhard Materials in Kyiv, and the Bogolyubov Institute for Theoretical Physics in Yalta.
On 15 September, an STCU delegation headed by Executive Director Leo Owsiacki visited Tashkent, Uzbekistan to negotiate and sign an Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the STCU on establishing an Information Office in Uzbekistan.
On 19 September, the STCU and the ISTC organized an Intellectual Property Rights Protection and Related “Business Opportunities” seminar in Tbilisi. As a result of the seminar, ISTC and STCU successfully completed their first mission in informing Georgian scientists on how to protect their IPR and to describe opportunities for long-term sustainability of their projects. The science centers will follow-up on this initiative in the near future by providing a more intensive course on “Commercialization of R&D Activities and Innovations.”
On 6 December, the STCU Governing Board held its 13th meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine, where 44 new projects were funded worth $5.05 million and $1.7 million plus another $700,000 that STCU received from Partner organizations for Partner projects. This new approved funding brings the total value of projects funded by the STCU to over $64.2 million since 1995. The Board recognized six new STCU Partner organizations, bringing the total to 73 companies. The Board also noted with satisfaction the continued success of the STCU patent support fund, which supported 16 new Ukrainian and three foreign patent applications in the last half of 2001.
The Governing Board held two meetings during the year. The 10th meeting took place on 1 June in Kyiv and the 11th took place 7 December in Kyiv. The Advisory Committee met from 21-23 March in London, on 30 May in Kyiv, on 25 September in Paris, and from 5-6 December in Kyiv.
From 1995 to 1999, the Board of Directors held nine official meetings. During these meetings, the Board reviewed more than a 1,000 projects and approved 247 of them.
Through this period several countries signed the formal accession to the STCU Agreement: Uzbekistan in 1997, Georgia in 1998, and the European Union in 1998. In 1998, the Embassy of Japan issued a note concerning the participation of the Japanese Government in STCU as a Sponsor and committing $1,000,000 to projects.
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- Radioactive waste
- Radioactive waste: Materials which are radioactive and for which there is no further use.