Strategic Planning Document -
International Science, Engineering
III. IMPLEMENTATION PLAN
Following the first CISET meeting on February 28, 1994, the following subcommittees were
- International Budget Priorities. This subcommittee consists of the Chairs of all nine NSTC
Committees. It will focus particularly on international S&T in the R&D budget process.
- Opportunities and Obstacles in International Cooperation. This group promotes international
scientific and technological cooperation in the national interest by identifying opportunities for
more effective collaboration, and by overcoming obstacles.
- Science, Technology and Global Issues. This subcommittee examines ways of advancing
U.S. foreign policy, economic, and national security goals through international S&T cooperation.
In general, the activities of the three subcommittees (which are summarized in the attached table)
correspond directly to the goals enumerated in Section IIA. These activities, and future plans, are
described in more detail below.
- Goal 1
- To identify and coordinate international cooperation that can strengthen the domestic S&T
enterprise and promote U.S. economic competitiveness and national security.
In pursuit of this goal, CISET has undertaken a series of activities to coordinate and optimize U.S.
participation in bilateral and multilateral cooperative S&T programs. Some of these activities
involve long-range, continuing processes, such as combining resources from two or more
countries to plan, build and operate very large science programs and research facilities . Other
Committee activities will continue to be organized on a short-term basis to resolve specific issues
that require interagency consensus.
The OECD Megascience Forum was established in 1992 as an experimental, interim mechanism
for exploring international collaboration in selected areas of large science. The Forum's
objectives were to examine the potential for broad-scale cooperation, to facilitate the process
where appropriate, and to identify key issues for government consideration. Through the activities
of the Megascience Forum, significant progress was made in identifying obstacles to international
cooperation, and in understanding the scope of research activities in selected areas of large
At the scientist-to-scientist level, significant international consultation and collaboration already
take place. However, some of the constraints to effective cooperation are related to issues that
are within the purview of governments, rather than scientists and scientific organizations. Often,
consultations between government officials do not begin until project planning is already well
advanced by scientists from various countries or regions. This makes it difficult to stimulate
government interest in otherwise attractive opportunities for international cooperation.
Governments often have few ready mechanisms for comparing and coordinating national priorities
and program plans, and for proceeding from discussions and consultations to the actual
negotiation and implementation of specific projects.
With the Megascience Forum nearing the end of its three year term, the U.S. is proposing new
follow-on arrangements to enable interested governments to consult and exchange information
about large science projects, at a sufficiently early stage to explore potential avenues of
cooperation. The new arrangements, which would be implemented within the existing
Megascience Forum budget, would also allow governments to plan and facilitate the
implementation of joint programs. Under the terms of the U.S. proposal, which was developed
through a series of CISET Subcommittee II interagency meetings, an OECD standing group would
be established to allow government policy officials to exchange information on large science
projects. In addition, discipline-specific working groups could be formed by interested OECD
member governments to explore the potential for new projects and programs. These discussions
would take place under the auspices of the OECD, but the responsibility for negotiating any final
agreements, and for administering any cooperative programs, would reside solely with the
A Science and Technology Initiative for the Americas
Strong science and technology capabilities, and their integration with other socio-economic
sectors, are essential to sustained development in the Americas. There is a need for more
regular interaction among the region's senior science and technology officials to identify areas for
enhanced cooperation, to reduce barriers to collaboration, and to improve communication among
S&T organizations, researchers and enterprises. The CISET process created an S&T initiative for
consideration at the Summit of the Americas in December 1994.
Regular interaction among the region's senior science officials could stimulate S&T cooperation in
the hemisphere and support efforts undertaken in other fora, including the Inter-American Institute
for Global Change Research and the International Research Institute for Climate Prediction. It
could also advance new initiatives such as the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the
Environment (GLOBE) program. Using the successful G-7 science ministers gatherings as a
model, science ministers and advisors could meet to review S&T issues of common interest.
Based on the discussions at the Summit, the U.S. will host a such a meeting in 1995.
Removing Obstacles to U.S./Russia S&T Cooperation
As part of the CISET process, a working group has been tasked with considering ways to remove
administrative barriers to U.S./Russia scientific cooperation. This group is working with a
corresponding group of Russian officials as part of the Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission.
Administrative barriers are being addressed in three broad categories: regulations (taxes,
banking, transfers of funds), physical movement of goods (customs and import/export restrictions)
and movements of people (visas, access to research sites and facilities, communications).
U.S. Policy on the International Exchange of Weather Data and Related Data Products
A CISET working group (convened jointly with NSTC Committee on Environment and Natural
Resources R&D) is examining the implications of proposed changes in international data
exchange policy that are being considered by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
Under the proposed scheme, the redistribution for commercial purposes of certain kinds of data
would be restricted. The working group is developing ways to uphold the traditional American
policy of free and unrestricted access to weather and climate data in the international arena. The
group will examine the implications of the proposed WMO policy for other international
agreements involving data exchange.
- Goal 2
- To utilize American leadership in science and technology to address global issues, and to
support the post-Cold War tenets of U.S. foreign policy - promoting democracy, maintaining
peace, and fostering economic growth and sustainable development.
Science and technology play a vital role in connection with critical problems that transcend the
boundaries of any region, country or continent. Besides helping to alleviate global problems,
technological activity may lie at their root cause (for example, energy generation that contributes
to global warming), while advances in communication and transportation make everyone more
aware of the crises that affect distant parts of the world.
Beyond the humanitarian motivation of helping people who are impacted by global problems,
American leadership in S&T can serve a broad definition of national security, one which takes into
account threats to international stability that do not necessarily originate in purely military,
economic or ideological conflicts. In the future, instability and war may be increasingly due to the
inability of governments to ensure an adequate quality of life for their citizens. Unsustainable
population growth, food shortages, lack of adequate energy sources, environmental degradation,
and deteriorating health conditions are incompatible with the spread of stability, economic
progress and democracy in the developing world. In the post-Cold War era, the U.S. must invest
in prevention of conflict as well as in conflict resolution. The health and security of Americans can
be affected by the consequences of actions undertaken in other parts of the world, for example,
the spread of infectious diseases, or the loss of biodiversity. The nation should apply its scientific
and technological expertise to lead the international community in minimizing the impacts of these
problems on global security. Finding solutions to global problems will require a coordinated
international effort by scientists, engineers and policy makers. A global community of scholars,
united by a shared understanding of scientific methodology and responsibility, and linked via
modern telecommunication networks, can be a positive force for promoting international stability
and prosperity. International cooperation can help to strengthen and preserve scientific
communities in the developing world (and in former communist countries), and those scientific
communities can contribute to open democratic institutions.
In pursuit of this goal, CISET is addressing the following subjects:
International Research and Development for Population Stabilization
In the past, R&D in the field of contraception has emphasized methods with high inherent
contraceptive efficacy and appropriate safety. Both in the U.S. and abroad, the increasing need to
simultaneously address prevention of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) along with prevention
of unintended pregnancies, calls for a shift in emphasis. For this reason, the highest priority in
R&D is now given to products and/or methods that meet these needs. It is clear, however, that
additional research is needed on the acceptability and use-efficacy of present and future methods.
With more sophisticated education and marketing approaches, it should be possible to improve
the usefulness of existing methods. Such research may be specific to the needs of a particular
country or region, but the lessons learned are broadly applicable. This is especially relevant to
barrier methods, such as condoms, specifically relating to STDs and HIV/AIDS prevention.
Improved public information and awareness are needed to insure acceptability and support for
these methods, and for family planning services in general.
A working group of CISET Subcommittee III met on August 15, 1994 to review Research and
Development for International Population Stabilization. The discussion was limited to
contraceptive development research, with special attention devoted to the programs of
NICHD/NIH and USAID. The working group identified current research priorities in the area of
STD risk reduction, and improvement in the use of existing methods and technologies. Also, the
following long-term priorities for research and development were discussed:
Although there is very good communication between the USG agencies, their foreign
counterparts, and other donors and foundations in this area, two major needs/obstacles were
identified: (1) better coordination and collaboration between USG agencies in the development
and evaluation of spermicidal/microbicidal agents to prevent pregnancy and/or transmission of
STDs/HIV, and (2) discussions with the USFDA about accelerating the approval process (for
domestic and foreign applications) of new barrier methods, especially non-latex condoms. The
working group recommended follow-up action on these two topics, and suggested that additional
meetings would be useful to review R&D issues related to (1) sociological and operations
research on the effectiveness and acceptability of family planning strategies, and (2) demographic
research and data collection related to population.
Private industry plays a crucial role in contraceptive development and marketing. Efforts to
encourage private sector participation in research, and to facilitate the introduction of new
methods, could have an immediate and major impact. But the lengthy processes required for
drug or device approval in the U.S. add to the final cost of contraceptive products and discourage
involvement by the private sector.
The CISET working group identified several barriers to effective research, development and
utilization of contraceptive devices and methods. The following topics will be addressed by the
group in the future:
- Establishing international evaluation standards.
- Improving intellectual property rights (IPR) protection.
- Clarification and reform of liability laws.
A long-term commitment to enhancing the stature of reproductive health research is needed to
attract talented individuals to the field, particularly in countries with rapidly growing populations.
Resources need to be developed in the public and private sectors to enhance the study of
reproductive biology in the academic community and in the private sector. With no new approach
to contraception reaching the U.S. market in over thirty years, and with most contraceptive
research currently being done outside of the U.S., there are strong incentives to increase
international collaboration. Resources need to be committed to match the needs (with assurance
of follow-through) in the development, testing and marketing of new contraceptives. Flexibility in
funding arrangements, in particular cooperative agreements between government agencies, and
increased shared involvement within the public and private sector, are needed to optimize existing
funds and to encourage innovation. This approach should enhance international cooperation, and
directly benefit the U.S.
Development for International Food Security and Nutrition
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