element of any program. For example, the importance of personal relationships with Russian colleagues was emphasized by government as well as industry specialists. The industrialists commented that personal relationships in some cases could make up for the lack of adequate legal infrastructure. Representatives from agencies noted that most productive and positive experiences come from projects that involve individuals who have known each other for some time. Similarly, participants were sensitive to the desirability, in most cases, of defining programs carried out with Russia as ''cooperative" rather than "assistance" activities. Such principles will not be further elaborated below but should nonetheless be recognized as a component of U.S.–Russian activities.
Participants were interested in whether U.S. programs that provide peer-reviewed grants should support institutions as well as individual scientists so that the individuals will have a workplace. One view expressed was that the United States does not help Russia by encouraging the retention of institutional structures that cannot possibly be viable in a market economy. In fact, many support programs, and in particular those initiated several years ago, have been aimed at the best scientists without assessing the viability of their institutions.
On the other hand, most projects and activities involve a mix of support to individuals and to institutions. A representative from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, for example, explained that paying for work only when it is acceptable and when the allocation of funds is clear will lead to a "normal" channeling of money to individuals and the infrastructure to support those individuals. The former International Science Foundation's long-term grant program provided a small percentage of funding for infrastructural support in recognition of the fact that working scientists need light, heat, and other supporting services.
With programs under the applied S&T commercialization category, the different models are evident: One U.S. company is working together with a start-up company in Russia that emerged from a larger institute; another U.S. company is working only with established institutions; and a third U.S. company is hiring individuals. Each of these approaches has its advantages and disadvantages, with varying amounts of monetary support going to the Russian infrastructure and to individuals.
Many participants agreed that the question of individuals versus institutions is a false dichotomy. Some programs have supported individuals (e.g., the International Science Foundation's Emergency Grants Program); the opposite extreme is supporting only institutions, which was characteristic of the old Soviet system. When good science and good research are supported, however, this usually helps sustain effective institutions. This holds true in Russia as in the United States. The better institutions in Russia, in which individuals have received many grants, are surviving.