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Role of a Foreign Collaborator

Information for ISTC Project Participants and Project Collaborators


1. Main Objectives of Collaboration

·           Fostering self-sustaining civilian activities of CIS and Georgia scientists in particular by providing an orientation to the project results toward a commercial exploitation.

·           Integration of former weapons scientists and engineers from the CIS into the larger international scientific community.

·           Establish and support contacts of foreign organizations with CIS and Georgia science and research organizations.

·           Purposeful and productive collaboration is an essential element in decisions to fund projects.

2. Benefits for CIS Project Participants

·           Improvement in the design and execution of projects.

·           Advice in avoiding duplication of projects efforts in the same fields in other countries.

·           Advice on complying with relevant international laws, ethical norms and quality control standards.

·           Improvement of linkage with related research efforts in other countries.

·           Assistance in identifying appropriate sources of special materials and equipment to be used in projects.

·           Guidance on how best to internationally disseminate the results of research and development.

·           Long-term cooperation in science and technology from experience gained during project implementation.

·           Assistance in becoming acquainted with international practice for the commercialization of R&D results.

In turn, the project participant should be candid and open within the limits of the laws of the hosting national Parties where the project is performed.  Whenever appropriate, participating recipient institutes, participant scientists, and the collaborator(s) shall sign a confidentiality and non-disclosure (C&NDA), as well as materials transfer agreements (MTA) (the templates for C&NDA and MTA are attached to this document).

3. Benefits for the Foreign Collaborators

·           Contact with high-level and highly-skilled CIS and Georgia scientists and engineers.

·           Participation in experiments at unique installations and facilities.

·           Improved focus and efficiency of R&D activity through information exchange and consultation.

·           Potential cooperation in commercialization of results.

·           Creates opportunity for activities beyond and outside the scope of underlying project agreement.

In turn, the collaborator should comply with the ethical principles as well as confidentiality and non-disclosure requirements of their funding national Parties, participating recipient institutes, and hosting national Parties.

4. Examples of Collaboration activities

·           Participation in the development of project proposal and work plan.

·           Exchange of information during project implementation.

·           Review of technical reports.

·           Joint seminars, workshops, meetings, consultations.

·           Joint publication, web-site development or other type of project activities public presentation.

·           Verification of results using independent methods and/or equipment.

·           Sharing of scarce materials, samples, resources.

·           Joint or parallel investigations.

·           Contribution of equipment, materials, software or other non-financial assistance to the project.

·           Partly funding of project activities (or some special items to support project). In case of partial funding of the project, the collaborator is called “funding collaborator”.

·           Training of project participants and/or collaborators in the project activities area.

·           Efforts towards the potential commercialization of project results.

·           Collaborators may be invited to participate in on-site technical monitoring, consistent with ISTC procedures.

·           Other types of collaboration are possible.

5. Who May Become a Collaborator and Where to Find a Collaborator

·           National/international organizations, research institutions, universities, private companies, experts, etc.

·           Unless otherwise agreed by the Financing Party(ies), collaborator or his/her headquarters must be located in the territories of the Parties to the ISTC Agreement which provide funding for the project.

·           Numerous Internet databases, including the ISTC home page (( are sources.

·           Correspondence with authors of publications and conferences reports are sources also.

·           International conferences and exhibitions are sources also.

·           Consultation with ISTC Science Coordinators, Principal Senior Project Managers and other staff members experienced in establishing cooperation with international institutions.

·           The ISTC and the Financing Parties support and facilitate the project manager’s search for foreign collaborators. In particular, the ISTC provides support to travel to establish previous contact with potential collaborators through ISTC Travel Support Program (on competition base).

·           Funding Party websites:

Canada: site of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council (, and site of the Federal Partners in Technology Transfer (complete list of all federal government laboratories and their capabilities at

EU:        EU  CORDIS platform (

Japan: …

USA: …

After the funding decision, the list of collaborators is limited to those collaborators from the territories of Party(ies) that fund(s) this project and any other collaborator, even if mentioned in the project proposal, is withdrawn from the project agreement, except if otherwise requested or approved by the the Funding Party(ies).

6. How to Begin Collaboration

·           The Project Manager and the Foreign Collaborator are encouraged to initiate contacts as early as possible.


The CIS Project Manager:

·           invites an organization/individual to become a collaborator, specifying possible areas for collaboration.

·           sends relevant unrestricted information to a potential collaborator. The standard information package includes the ISTC agreement and statute and the proposal package, available on the ISTC website.

·           suggests collaboration letter template in which collaborator expresses the areas of his interest.

             The collaborator:

·           sends the formal collaboration letter outlining the forms of collaboration, his/her readiness to maintain collaboration during the project’s implementation and indicating his/her acceptance of ISTC goals.

·           As of now, the letter on collaboration should be addressed  to the Executive Director of the ISTC ( with a copy to the Project Manager, or attached to the project proposals package by project authors before submission. To bring a system to documents and to avoid misunderstanding, any letters directed to any other ISTC bodies or people are not considered by ISTC as official letters of collaboration for project proposal.

7. Collaborator Status in Project Implementation

·           Collaborator is not required to provide any project funding.

·           Collaborator activities in the project will not be supported directly by ISTC grants, but in certain cases collaborator may participate in separate project-related activities supported by the ISTC such as training courses, specialized seminars, etc.

·           Collaborator should cover all costs related to its participation in the project.

·           When preparing and submitting project proposals, no disclosures of intellectual property rights and other sensitive categories of information should be made. When and if such disclosures become necessary, comply with the legislation of the ISTC’s hosting and funding Parties by signing confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements between the project proposal applicants and prospective foreign collaborators. This is primarily the responsibility and in the self-interest of the CIS and Georgia Project participants and of the collaborator and it is up to them to define what is confidential.

The ISTC Governing Board has however decided that, under any circumstances, foreign collaborators and project participants should have such confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements after the project funding decisions by the funding Parties are made and no later then the finalization of the workplan.

·           An ad hoc agreement between the collaborator and the Center is signed in case of financial contribution or significant non-financial contribution to the project.

·           No other agreement is usually signed between the Center and the collaborator.

·           Name(s) of collaborator and organization, as well as the main collaboration activity, are stated in the project Work Plan (in case non-disclose agreement between the CIS Institute and the collaborator is signed).

·           For regular projects, full foreground intellectual property rights belong to the participant recipient institutes and/or their staff according to national applicable rules. The Recipient must identify and list in the Project Proposal and in the Project Agreement all background results that may be used in project performance and may be needed to practice any foreground results. The terms of background IPR utilization by the Funding Party may be agreed between recipient institute and Funding Party. If a Collaborator desires to use the results of the project, the Collaborator should contact the Funding Party about the possibility of getting rights to such results (including background IPR).

·           Participating recipient institutes grant the Financing Party an exclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free license for commercial purposes on that Party’s territory.

·           The laws of the various Financing Parties regulate when and how collaborators may pursue paid-for sub-licenses of a project’s foreground IPR.

·           In case exchange of materials for testing etc. must take place between collaborator & institute, an MTA protecting the Recipient institute is necessary.

·           It is up to the Project Applicants to provide the necessary detailed information on project current status and results (including the quarterly, annual and final Technical Reports) to the foreign collaborators. The signed non-disclosure agreement between Project Applicants and Foreign Collaborator should be fully applicable to the information so provided.

·           The secretariat does not distribute any detailed technical and financial information on the project and does, in particular, not provide technical or financial reports to the collaborators.

·           It is recommended that the conclusions of the foreign collaborator be attached to the annual and final project reports.

8. Other comments

·           In case a project has received a positive funding decision, only project funding parties can accept that ISTC signs a project agreement without its work plan  being approved by all collaborators.

·           Foreign collaborators from each Party's territory are encouraged to informally coordinate collaboration as convenient, provided confidentiality and non disclosure agreements are executed among them as necessary.

·           Governmental, intergovernmental, private, and commercial organizations may directly whole fund research projects within the framework of the ISTC Partner Program.  Information on the benefits of the Partner Program is available from the ISTC Secretariat.

·           The definition of FC can also apply for partner projects, but, in this case, it is subject to the Partner’s prior agreement, in particular on the scope of involvement.





The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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