Two and a half million dollars (29 percent) to support U.S. collaborators and exchange visits associated with the 15 projects for three years, with the entire amount of funds again committed but not disbursed at the beginning.
One-half million dollars (6 percent) to support (1) panels of U.S. experts to review project proposals, (2) joint U.S.-Russian workshops to identify priority areas for collaboration, and (3) exploratory visits by U.S. specialists to Russian institutions with largely unknown capabilities, including, if possible, MOD institutes.
One million dollars (12 percent) for program evaluation, financial management, and related support activities for the Pathogens Initiative, involving three full-time staff members.
During the first two years of the Pathogens Initiative, project costs will be lower and project development costs will be higher. Thus, the recommended funding level of $6 million for FY 1998 assumes that only 10 projects are initiated; the level of $7 million for FY 1999 assumes 12 projects, leading to 15 new projects in each of the final three years at an annual cost of $8.5 million. (Table E-3 lists the allocation of funds per fiscal year.) The Russian financial contributions will cover primarily (1) the pension, health, and related benefits packages for Russian participants and (2) indirect project costs incurred at Russian facilities because the U.S. overhead contribution will be only about 7 percent of the total project costs. In addition, Russian waivers of value-added taxes and personal income taxes, in a sense, place a financial burden on the Russian government.
The foregoing approach will represent a significant commitment by both the United States and Russia to expand research activities and exchange information on biosafety controls over dangerous pathogens. As such, it would advance both the national security and the public health agendas of the two countries. Also, invited efforts would be significant in setting the stage for sustained long-term efforts after the five-year initiative.
The Pathogens Initiative is designed to help reduce the likelihood of proliferation of dangerous technologies that are extremely difficult to control, to encourage a concentration of Russian activities at carefully selected facilities with high scientific potential, and to encourage reconfiguration of former Soviet BW facilities to address new public health challenges. It also should contribute to building confidence at the government and laboratory levels about the legitimacy of activities that are under way.