International Science and Technology Center to be headquartered at EXPO complex
During the Plenary Session the Senate of the Parliament of Kazakhstan adopted the law On ratification of the Agreement on extending activities of International Science and Technology Center.
International Science and Technology Center is an intergovernmental organization established in 1994 by an agreement between the European Union, Russian Federation, the United States, and Japan with the aim of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. Kazakhstan joined the Center in 1995. In 2015, the Agreement on the Continuation of the ISTC was signed in Astana. The Agreement provides for ISTCs headquarters transfer from the Russian Federation to the Republic of Kazakhstan, Minister of Education and Science Yerlan Sagadiyev said introducing the draft law.
The Minister informed that according to the Agreement Kazakhstan provides office facilities and covers utility expenses. The Center is currently located in the Nazarbayev University building; annual cost of 18 million tenge is covered by the University. In perspective the Center is planned to be hosted in one of the buildings of EXPO-2017 exhibition complex.
According to Y. Sagadiyev, the Centers main objective is to provide scientists and engineers in the field of weapons of mass destruction with alternate employment in the areas that can use their knowledge for peaceful purposes. Reaping the benefit from the project is secondary.
According to the Minister, the Center operates in two directions: allocation of grants for science and technology projects and hosting the workshops. The amount of grants allocated varies from $100,000 to $600,000. Over the last 20 years the amount of grants paid for Kazakhstani scientists was $75 million or 13% of the total grants amount. 206 grants in total were provided to 5 thousand Kazakhstani scientists. Russian scientists received 74% of the total amount of grants allocated by the Center. The Center presents in Kazakhstan the directions of biotechnology, ecology, nuclear reactors, materials science, chemistry, and physics. In 2014, total amount of grants for Kazakhstani scientists was 35% or 45% of the allocated amount. In 2015, Kazakhstan did not receive funds; in this regard there is a need to ratify the agreement. Financing process consists of three stages. First: submitted projects are considered by the Scientific and Technical Council that is composed of representatives of state bodies and other organizations of Kazakhstan.
At the second stage the selected projects are submitted to the Scientific Advisory Committee of 7 members, one of which is a Kazakh scientist. Projects that have passed the 2nd stage are directed for Governing Councils consideration. After ratifying the Agreement, Kazakhstan will be able to vote on the 2nd and 3rd stages.
Source: Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan