New Foundation to Support Research Collaborations between U.S. and States of Former Soviet Union
This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.A unique public-private partnership to strengthen scientific and technological collaboration between the U.S. and the states of the former Soviet Union has begun its work with a first meeting to set priorities and policies. The board of directors of the U.S. Civilian Research and Development Foundation for the Independent States of the Former Soviet Union (CRDF) held its first meeting September 13-14 at the National Science Foundation.
The CRDF was announced by President Clinton May 10 in Moscow, and established by the National Science Foundation under a congressional authorization. The CRDF is funded by a $5 million gift to NSF from philanthropist George Soros and a $5 million matching contribution from the Department of Defense. This initial $10 million fund will support basic and applied research efforts, and promote defense conversion and development of market economies in the countries of the Former Soviet Union. All research proposals funded by CRDF will be selected competitively through merit review.
"The scientific community of the Former Soviet Union is one of the world's great scientific resources, but it is a community in crisis," said Gerson Sher of NSF's division of international programs. "Its resources are vastly inadequate. By continuing to identify and support collaborations with the leading researchers, we will help preserve this resource for the benefit of the American and worldwide scientific communities." At its September meeting, the CRDF Board of Directors agreed to commit the majority of the $10 million during the first year of operations (1995- 96) through competitive grants for cooperative research proposals between U.S. scientists and engineers and their counterparts in the Former Soviet Union. The board expects to announce specific plans and guidelines for a basic research competition within the next month.
Despite being congressionally authorized and partially publicly funded, the CRDF is not an agency of the U.S. government. Authorizing legislation enables the foundation to accept donations from public and private sources, both foreign and domestic.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
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