countries, thereby avoiding the complications of establishing new legal entities. The fund should enable American and Russian scientists from interested institutions to join in designing and carrying out projects that enhance important components of the research and development cycle, with special emphasis on basic research activities. This emphasis can provide specialists in both countries access to achievements in the other country that are in the formative stage. Their assessments of developments can best be carried out during onsite discussions and collaboration.
In short, each project supported by the fund should be of scientific interest to and implemented by researchers in both countries working together. To attract both well-established and young scientists and to build lasting networks of researchers with common interests, most projects—selected on the basis of carefully structured peer reviews—should be relatively large (e.g., up to $2 million for 3-year projects) and involve scientists from several institutions. Each side should commit to joint funding; and the financial resources should be disbursed in a coordinated manner, with 50 percent of the overall funds to collaborating institutions in each country, although the division of funding will undoubtedly vary with specific needs from project to project.
Given the breadth of the life sciences and the demonstrated capabilities of the United States and Russia to cooperate effectively in many areas, the annual launch of 15–20 projects over a period of 5 years could effectively engage a number of key laboratories and specialists in important scientific relationships. Highly visible, easily understood, and long-term impacts would be important goals for the projects. Successful efforts very likely would attract additional follow-on support from other national and international sources. Such sources would include, for example, the previously identified new outreach initiatives being developed by the Russian government and the currently latent international interests of the U.S. private sector in research investments in Russia.
Among the topics that are suitable for joint investigations are the following:
• Development of novel therapeutics, diagnostics, drugs, and vaccines.
• Improvements in disease surveillance and monitoring techniques.
• Introduction of new approaches and techniques in synthetic biology.
• Understanding and curtailment of negative influences on animal health and latent zoonotic diseases.
• Measures to control plant diseases.
• Understanding and preservation of biodiversity.
• Research with dangerous pathogens requiring specialized biocontainment facilities and highly experienced staff capabilities.
The committee’s third recommendation is that the two governments continue their efforts to reduce the impediments to cooperation. At the top