STCU News and Announcements
STCU's Lawrence Leahy Interviewed by Uzbek TV33/342
02 Apr 2004
The following is a copy of the transcript of Lawrence Leahy's interview with Uzbek Television on April 2, 2004.
The Science and Technology Center in Ukraine (STCU) is an intergovernmental, non-profit organization with headquarters in Kiev, Ukraine. There are field offices in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Uzbekistan. The STCU is supported by funding from the governments of Canada, the European Union and the United States. The STCU was established in 1993. In 1997, the Government of Uzbekistan acceded to the STCU Agreement; the STCU Information Office opened in Tashkent in February, 2002. Since 1998, STCU has supported over 55 projects valued at approximately $11.25 million in Uzbekistan.
The STCU is dedicated to promoting technical and scientific cooperation within Uzbekistan’s scientific Institutes. One of the main aims of our cooperation is with joint programs that can create new technologies. We also provide technical assistance to scientists, equipment for the Institutes, fund participation of Uzbek scientists at conferences and workshops, and fund scientists travel to meet with other scientists and institutes throughout the world, thus promoting contact of Uzbek scientists with the international scientific community.
Our office collaborates closely with the Government of Uzbekistan, especially the Academy of Sciences. Over 70% of the projects we support are with scientists from the Academy, which is an indication of the high quality of work that these scientists are conducting. Also, the Government of Uzbekistan and the Government of the United States have established agreements regarding Non-Proliferation and technical cooperation that will improve the safety and security of this region—many of these grants and technical assistance funds are facilitated through the STCU. All the projects STCU supports in Uzbekistan receive the approval of the Uzbek government before they begin. In this way, there is no question of improper technology transfer. The same government approval process must take place for our projects in Ukraine, Georgia and Azerbaijan.
The method in which the STCU supports scientists is to fund research and development projects. The topics of the projects can be in any field—there is no restriction on the subject matter. Many of the topics deal with: health, environment, water quality, cotton production, nuclear safety, energy conservation and production, transportation, communication, and experimental technologies.
Some recent accomplishments that have taken place in Uzbekistan are:
--Last year we opened internet cafes at two scientific institutes for the purpose of providing internet access to scientists. We plan to open four more internet cafes this year.
--Last October, STCU sponsored a conference in Tashkent that brought international experts in the field of biotechnology to Uzbekistan. Uzbek scientists participated in this conference and were able to learn about new technologies, and meet other experts in this field.
--Later this year we will hold a grant writing workshop that will assist Uzbek scientists to strengthen their skills on how to write grant proposals. This will help them better compete for financial support in the international arena.
--At both of these events, STCU stresses the importance of intellectual property rights so that Uzbek researchers can protect the results of their work.
The STCU plans to increase our support of Uzbek scientists, and expand our programs in the near future, so we are optimistic that we can continue to assist the development of the scientific community in Uzbekistan.