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Box 2-1
International Conference in Kirov, Russia, on Severe Infectious Diseases

The Volga-Vyatka State Scientific Center of Applied Biotechnology, with the support of the International Science and Technology Center, brought together more than 50 specialists from more than 20 organizations in Russia and the United States, with Japanese scientists also participating, to discuss epidemiology, express-diagnostics, and prevention of infectious diseases. The group recommended accelerated development of vaccines, antiviral preparations, and antibiotics; greater use of molecular biology to design effective vaccines; and development of highly sensitive and specific methods of rapid diagnosis. The conference set the stage for continued international involvement in activities in Kirov and the neighboring territories, where former defense scientists could be brought together easily with other specialists in fields of mutual interest.

SOURCE: Proceedings of Conference, 1997. Complete reference cited in Appendix A.2.

that would support joint activities, was a series of eight pilot projects at two key Russian research centers during the late 1990s (Box 2-2). These projects demonstrated the feasibility of collaboration at previously closed Russian facilities while significantly redirecting capabilities of these facilities to civilian endeavors at a critical time of financial uncertainty. Following the success of seven of the eight pilot projects, the overall program was soon supported by the Russian government and several U.S. government agencies. As to the eighth project, further work on opisthorchiasis was not considered a priority by either side. Cooperation rapidly expanded and in time encompassed many different types of research at a number of research institutions.

Building on these early activities, the U.S. government devoted tens of millions of dollars annually, with Russian institutions contributing comparable levels of support, for biosecurity activities in Russia. Initially, the principal U.S. funder was the Department of Defense (DOD), which covered many of the direct costs of the programs. The direct costs that were covered by DOD eventually totaled more than $200 million. (See Appendix C.2 for the DTRA contributions.)

In addition, the Department of State (DOS) also began supporting biosecurity activities in Russia in the late 1990s. DOS gradually increased its contributions to a level of annual support of about $20 million during 2006. These funds were also focused primarily on covering a large segment of the direct costs. (See Appendix C.1.)

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