understanding as to how to deal with such pathogens through collaborative research efforts were important. In time, the list of potent pathogens of mutual concern that were considered in cooperative endeavors expanded significantly. Russian and American investigators earned recognition as leaders in addressing dangerous pathogens, including pathogens that had little relevance to defense applications. Their findings encouraged the strengthening of global capabilities to deal with the threats posed by a large number of dangerous pathogens, including naturally occurring pathogens of day-to-day concern of health officials.
Most health officials, at least in Russia, consider preventing deliberate misuse of biological assets to be a less urgent task than servicing day-to-day public health needs of the general population. At times, the lists of pathogens of priority concern to the U.S. government focused only on pathogens that had been categorized as “especially dangerous” by the Department of Defense. But within a few years, there was common recognition that health systems must focus on a range of pathogens, including pathogens far from defense concerns, if many countries were to be interested in upgrading their surveillance systems.
5. Demonstrations of cost-effective approaches to improving biosafety and biosecurity on a national scale. In the 1990s, joint U.S.-Russian efforts to ensure that biological assets would be used responsibly attracted considerable international attention. With these bilateral efforts leading the way, soon other countries had joined in international programs to upgrade their biosafety and biosecurity requirements and processes for conducting biological research. In particular, a number of countries that were part of the former Soviet Union are using the approaches refined through U.S.-Russian programs as models to be emulated.
6. Demonstration of feasible approaches to bringing the products of biotechnology to market in an economy undergoing dramatic reconfiguration. The United States has sought greater attention by the Russian government to the development of small and medium firms, which can transform the results of research into marketable products. While the payoffs from joint efforts to commercialize the products of research carried out in Russia have been limited to date, the two countries are now well attuned to the realities of commercialization of technology and the important roles that both small spin-off firms and joint ventures can play in this regard.
There have been limited Russian success stories in establishing small biotech firms, which have helped illuminate the best paths to financial returns from innovations in the field of biotechnology. Of special interest is the marketing of products that were developed for Russian consumers as a first step toward entering international markets. See Appendix C.3 for a number of examples of modest commercial successes.
7. Increased national, bilateral, and multilateral cooperation focused on