STATEMENT OF THE 48th GOVERNING BOARD
OF THE INTERNATIONAL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY CENTER
Moscow, Russian Federation
26 March 2009
The Governing Board of the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) held its 48th meeting in Moscow, Russian Federation.
Representatives of various ISTC Parties attended the meeting, including Canada, the European Union, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, United States of America, Norway, Republic of Armenia, Republic of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic and Republic of Kyrgyz Republic participated as rotating CIS Board member.
The Governing Board approved the extension of the contract of Mr. Sergey Vorobiev, Principal Deputy Executive Director on behalf of the Russian Federation for one year.
The Governing Board approved the nomination of Mr. Michael Einik as Deputy Executive Director in charge of the Partnering and Sustainability Department of ISTC of behalf of the United States of America.
A representation of staff gave their opinion on the perceived deterioration of the development of salaries for Russian staff working at ISTC. The Governing Board will return to the matter in July in view of taking eventual interim measures.
The Governing Board thanked the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) for the valuable advice given on the various project proposals submitted to the Governing Board.
The Governing Board approved the final Project Funding Worksheet (FS48). The ISTC approved 10 new projects representing over $2,064,595 and €385,000 in new funding for activities in Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia and Kazakhstan.
The Governing Board set a deadline of 20 April 2009 for the submission of project proposals for consideration at the next Funding Session (FS49).
The Governing Board continued its discussion on modalities of the transformation of ISTC also taking into account the conclusions of an informal meeting in Paris on the same topic held on 4-5 March 2009. A number of detailed fiches containing proposals per identified items will be formulated for the Coordination Executive Committee (CEC) Meeting of 5 May 2009 in view of decisions to be taken at the next Governing Board Meeting.
The Governing Board noted the initiatives taken by the Secretariat to arrange for co-financing of programs and/or projects by recipient countries and other public and private partners. It asked the Secretariat to continue to elaborate various co-financing modalities with all interested individual countries and other interested parties, including individual institutes. It underscored the importance of having co-financing modalities in place as soon as possible. It thanked the commitment made by Kazakhstan to start a discussion with the ISTC Secretariat on this matter.
The Governing Board noted with satisfaction a recent letter received by the Secretariat from the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation on the issue of taxation. The official letter confirmed that, in accordance with the terms of the ISTC Agreement, recipients of funds from ISTC will not be subject to taxation on those funds received from ISTC.
The Governing Board noted with satisfaction the progress made towards implementation of sustainability plans for the following research institutes:
- Khlopin Radium Institute (KRI); St. Petersburg, Russia
- Institute of Physics and Power Engineering (IPPE); Obninsk, Russia
- Institute of Nuclear Physics (INP) in National Nuclear Center, Kazakhstan
- Research Institute of Pulse Technique (NIIIT)
It asked the Secretariat to continue work on sustainability plans for:
- Siberian Chemical Combine in Seversk
- Former Pavlodar Chemical Plant (“Caustik”), Kazakhstan
- State Scientific Research Institute for Organic Chemistry and Technology (GosNIIOKhT) and its Shikany branch (GITOS)
It also requested the Secretariat to find eventual funding for the approved sustainability plans for:
- Boreskov Institute of Catalysis (BIC); Novosibirsk, Russia
- Institute of Immunological Engineering (IIE) in Lyubachannyi
The ISTC Secretariat will start to prepare the next stage of the sustainability program, taking into account the lessons learned and the budgetary means available.
The Governing Board noted with satisfaction that VAT paid for the time period Q1/ 2001 and May 2007 was refunded and asked the Secretariat to continue with efforts to receive VAT reimbursement paid during the period 2001-2007. A new claim has been sent to the relevant authorities of the Russian Federation.
The Governing Board did not approve at this time two ISTC Partner Program applications from companies located in third countries (Australia, Singapore). The general issue will be further reviewed in the overall transformation discussion of ISTC.
The Governing Board welcomed the proposed targeted initiative on probiotics and health. Implementation of this Targeted Initiative will start once it is approved by the interested federal authorities. The main objective of this Targeted Initiative is to coordinate the activities of research centers, governmental agencies and private organizations to preserve and improve human health through the use of probiotics. A Steering Committee will be established and various organizations will be invited to participate in this initiative. Specific activities will be initiated to attract funding for this new initiative.To date, ISTC has funded 12 projects in this field with a total value of 7M USD. A number of workshops and seminars on the topic of probiotics and health have also been sponsored by ISTC.
The Governing Board approved the planned events celebrating the 15-year anniversary of ISTC. The main event making this anniversary will take place on 10 December 2009 in Moscow. It asked the Secretariat to continue its preparations.
The Governing Board thanked the Secretariat for the revised ISTC Travel Rules and Procedures and agreed that the proposed ISTC Travel Rules and Procedures apply from 1 April 2009 on a provisional basis for ISTC travels, pending adoption of the document at the July Governing Board meeting.
The Governing Board agreed to convene the next Plenary Session on 9 July 2009 in Belarus (Minsk).