Of special importance is recognition that even in narrowly defined security-oriented programs directed to prevention of bioterrorism, attention to common health and agricultural diseases that affect many people and agricultural resources may be essential. Broad recognition of health concerns, in particular, is usually as important for local acceptance of programs as narrowly focused concerns over the much lower probability of outbreaks of diseases associated with extremely dangerous pathogens. By including a strong emphasis on day-to-day issues facing the general public, local buy-in of programs will be significantly enhanced. Then cooperative activities can be better oriented to addressing key components of overall health, agriculture, and other systems that intersect with bioterrorism concerns.
9. The involvement of anticipated users of results of applied research activities early in the design and conduct of research projects is desirable. The users may be government agencies, specific facilities, industrial organizations, or clusters of professional organizations. Often, planning should extend well beyond expectations for preparation of journal articles and extend all the way to the marketplace, although journal articles may be an essential first step.
10. Selecting, installing, and maintaining new equipment, including imported items, may be a critical component of a joint project. However, the long-term costs of equipment acquisition and maintenance (including warranties), the skills needed to utilize the equipment effectively (including technicians), and the support infrastructure for supplies and services (relying on readily available local experts for maintenance of laboratory equipment) may vary significantly, even though the equipment is designed to serve comparable functions at different locations. All aspects of equipment acquisition, utilization, and maintenance need to be carefully considered when planning collaborative activities that require such acquisitions. Compliance with local quality assurance requirements for data that are generated and adherence to prescribed environmental practices in the laboratory and in the field deserve special attention.
LESSONS LEARNED BY RESEARCH SCIENTISTS
To obtain working-level perspectives as to lessons learned, the committee solicited reflections on personal experiences of a number of scientific collaborators in the two countries who had been active in one important area of bilateral cooperation—joint research in the field of agriculture. The collaborators provided their observations concerning the successes of their project activities, the reasons for success, problems encountered, and lessons learned for future projects. A number of their viewpoints are set forth below, and their observations are further elaborated in Appendix C.10. Their impressions underscore the importance of synchronizing solutions to problems encountered at the governmental and institution levels with solutions of problems encountered at the level of the researcher.