Scientific and Technical Cooperation Between Ukraine and the U.S.
Bilateral Cooperation in Science and Technology
The legal framework of Ukraine-U.S. cooperation in the sphere of science and technology constitutes the Agreement between the Government of Ukraine and the Government of the United States on Scientific and Technological Cooperation, signed on December 4, 2006. The Agreement contributed to promoting ties between scientific and technological institutions, exchange of experience, information and technologies in the areas of mutual interest.
Scientific exchanges between Ukraine and the United States began in early 1990’s and were carried out mainly at the expense of the U.S. Government. The relevant programs funded by the Congress, Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development and implemented through a number of American organizations, such as the Council for the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX), the American Councils for International Education, and the "Fulbright" and "Open World" programs.
In order to expand bilateral dialogue in science and technology, and in the context of implementation of the arrangements reached during the second U.S.-Ukraine Strategic Partnership Commission (held on July 2, 2010 in Kyiv), a new mechanism of cooperation was initiated - the Ukraine – U.S. Science and Technology Working Group (STWG). The Group helped to facilitate bilateral contacts in the sphere of science and technology. Nevertheless, the last and so far the final STWG meeting was held on December 12, 2012.
In the framework of bilateral agreements on nuclear nonproliferation, the United States continues to provide assistance to Ukraine in retraining scientists who were formerly involved in Soviet weapons of mass destruction programs, in order to redirect their activities into the civilian sector. In particular, the U.S. has financed such initiatives through The Science and Technology Center in Ukraine via various grant programs.
Among the recent landmark events of bilateral cooperation can be mentioned launching of the state of the art nuclear facility called Neutron Source at Kharkiv Institute of Physics and Technology. This facility is designated to conduct fundamental and applied researches in physics, chemistry, biology, medicine etc. Its construction was financed by the U.S. in response to Ukraine’s decision to remove all its HEU which had been used for scientific purposes.
Unveiling of the facility on December 8, 2014, was attended by Rose Gottemoeller, the U.S. Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security.
On June 14-16, 2015 the annual TechConnect World Innovation Conference and Expo took place in Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center. Its participants – scientists and researchers from around the world – have a unique opportunity to present their innovations and devices directly to the industry.
This year with the assistance of the U.S. – Ukraine Foundation and to the Ukraine Research and Development Enterprise for the first time in its history, Ukraine took part in this event and presented a number of projects in the areas of environment protection, waste water management, electric welding, cybersecurity, etc. The visitors and participants received an opportunity to learn about the real scientific potential of Ukraine, discuss the possibilities of establishing direct contacts with the national scientific institutions.
Cooperation between Ukraine and the USA in the Field of Health Protection
The legal framework of Ukrainian-American cooperation on health protection is based on the Memorandum of Understanding between Ukraine and Government of the United States for technical assistance in the field of health, concluded in 2003 under the Agreement between Governments of Ukraine and the United States Regarding Humanitarian and Technical Economic Cooperation of 7 May 1992.
Cooperation is carried out by implementing programs and technical assistance projects funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
The main areas of such cooperation include:
- Partnership of medical institutions of Ukraine and the USA for primary health care, medical education, and combating HIV/AIDS;
- Reproductive health;
- Children's diseases developed as a consequence of the Chornobyl disaster;
- Prevention of birth defects;
- Prevention and combating HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.
Cooperation in the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS, carried out according to the Strategy on HIV/AIDS by USAID and Ukraine. As part of this strategy there are projects aimed at building the exchange of information on HIV/AIDS prevention and related services, and the elimination of discrimination and stigma against HIV-infected and AIDS patients.
The U.S. government co-finances a number of programs of the international organizations in Ukraine including the projects as follows:
- Prevention of HIV and care for people with HIV/AIDS - through the International HIV/AIDS "Expansion scope of work with HIV/AIDS at the national level through information and services";
- Prevention of transmission of HIV/AIDS from mother to child – through a program with the American International Health Alliance, the Program for Appropriate Technology Health (PATH) and the project "Health of Mother and Child";
- Caring families and communities for children affected by HIV – through the program "Families for Children", implemented by the company Holt International Children`s Services, Inc. and the program "Prevention of children, and abandoned by HIV-positive mothers" of Doctors of the World;
- Improving the policy, strategic planning, management, monitoring and evaluation - through the "Futures Group International";
- Overcoming stigma and discriminationimplemented by "International aid and development (IRD)".
In September 2004, the Ministry of Health of Ukraine signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Clinton Foundation to expand cooperation to implement prevention programs, and care and treatment of HIV-infected and AIDS patients.
Pursuant to the provisions of the Annex to the Memorandum of Understanding signed in November 2005 between Government of Ukraine and the Clinton Foundation, the Fund and Ministry of Health agreed to cooperate in areas such as: the procurement of antiretroviral drugs for the state budget at lower prices negotiated by the Clinton Foundation, establishing mentoring programs for Ukrainian physicians to expand access to treatment at a regional level, and the preparation of a manual on HIV/AIDS pilot projects for the distribution of substitution therapies in communities.
The Ministry of Health of Ukraine, in cooperation with the Clinton Foundation and the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast State Administration, implemented a pilot project in the Dnipropetrovsk region to provide comprehensive services for substitution and antiretroviral therapy. This pilot project aimed at determining the best ways to provide comprehensive assistance to injected drugs users carrying HIV and those at-risk of infection.
In order to address the TB epidemic, with the assistance of the U.S. Government, programs are implemented to prevent and control the disease by implementing short-term anti-tuberculosis therapy under direct supervision (DOTS). This program is implemented in conjunction with the World Health Organization (WHO, www.who.org), the "Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (www.path.org) and The Futures Group International (www.tfgi.com).
Another avenue of cooperation is in combating the spread and development of biological weapons. On August 29, 2005, the Agreement between the Ministry of Health of Ukraine and the Ministry of Defense concerning cooperation in preventing the spread of technology, pathogens and expertise that can be used to develop biological weapons, was signed. This agreement falls under Article II of the Framework Agreement between the U.S. and Ukraine of 25 October 1993 concerning the elimination of strategic nuclear weapons and preventing their proliferation.
Cooperation within this agreement is aimed at improving logistics, biosecurity and biosafety facilities which store especially dangerous pathogens; joint biological research for preventive, protective and peaceful purposes; monitoring of communicable diseases and their outbreaks in Ukraine. The United States supplied modern equipment to their counterpart in Ukraine – Central Sanitary-epidemiological station of the Ministry of Health.
On September 18-21, 2012, the delegation of Ukraine headed by the Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine - Minister of Health of Ukraine, R.Bohatyriova, visited Washington, DC. During the visit R.Bohatyriova had meetings with the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, K.Sebelius, Ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee of the U.S. Senate Senator, R.Lugar, and Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador, E.Goosby. The delegation met with officials of the State Department, the U.S. Department of Defense, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Surgeon General's Office of the United States. Particular attention was paid to aspects of further development of mutually beneficial cooperation of Ukraine and the United States in the field of health protection, prevention of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, and implementing systemic reforms within the medical sector in Ukraine.
Ukraine – U.S. Cooperation in the Area of Space Exploration
The legal framework of the Ukraine-U.S. cooperation in the sphere of space exploration is the Framework Agreement between the Government of Ukraine and the Government of the United States of America for Cooperation in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes, signed on March 31, 2008.
An example of successful Ukraine-U.S. cooperation in the space sector was the “Antares” project. In its framework, the Ukrainian “Pivdenne” State Company in cooperation with the U.S. Orbital Sciences Corporation developed a new space launch system called Antares, on the basis of Mayak launch vehicle. The Ukrainian enterprises Makarov Southern Machine-Building Plant, Khartron-Arcos and the U.S. Aerojet are also involved in the project.
During 2013 – 2014 four successful launches of Antares space vehicles were performed. But during the fifth launch on October 28, 2014 the rocket failed and the vehicle and payload were destroyed.
The launches of the Antares space vehicles are expected to renew in 2016.
A potential area of Ukraine – U.S. cooperation could be upgrade of the Cyclone-4 space launch system and its use for space launches from the U.S. spaceports.
In order to facilitate the bilateral cooperation in the sphere of space exploration the State Space Agency of Ukraine invited NASA to visit Ukraine. The exact dates of the visit are being discussed by the parties.
Ukrainian Science and Technologies
In recent years the achievements of Ukrainian scientists have been growing in the field of nanotechnologies. These technologies enable the construction of objects capable of introducing drastic changes into production processes, improving radically the properties of materials, and increasing the productivity of devices and equipment with molecular precision.
New materials with fundamentally new properties and outstanding characteristics are developed by means of nanotechnology. Developments by Ukrainian scientists in such areas as a new type of semiconductor scintillator for high-speed x-ray introscopes, tomographs, and dosimeters with high dosage capacity are promising. In the field of advanced chemical sciences new methods of obtaining nano-composites are being developed based on electroconductive polymers. The possibility to obtain matrix electroconductive polymeric anticorrosion coatings electrochemically has been established. This is important because, in general terms, constructional and composite materials are increasingly becoming a priority for manufacturing.
The application of new technological means to modify scandium alloys based on aluminum will reduce Ukrainian dependence on strategically significant metal imports.
On the whole, for the national economy to grow and innovate it is essential to use the results of our domestic scientific research for the development of scarce import-replacing substances and materials.
Ukraine has high potential as regards to the development of organic luminescent materials with new properties, and having diversified applications, along with advanced technologies for production using the available raw materials. The Ukrainian program for the production of basaltic fibers, fabrics and composites based thereon, is equally important.
Applications of these materials will enable large-scale manufacturing of basaltic continuous fibers and products; by which means Ukraine can resolve shortages of wood, metal, fiberglass as well as remove carcinogenic earth-flax completely.
Producing high-quality, heat-resistant and high-strength materials is an important engineering prerequisite for making new competitive products, to be offered at mass market and sold in foreign and domestic markets.
The research and development of new materials and technologies in Ukraine are performed by a number of specialized research institutes, and departments of higher educational institutions of Ukraine, namely:
The Institute for Superhard Materials of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (www.ism.kiev.ua);
The National Technical University “Kyiv Polytechnic Institute” (www.kpi.ua);
The National University “Lviv Polytechnic” (www.lp.edu.ua);
The Zaporizhzhya National Technical University (www.zstu.edu.ua); and
The National Technical University “Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute” (www.kpi.kharkov.ua)
Since 1997, the specialized magazine “Innovative materials and technologies in metallurgy and mechanical engineering” has been available in Ukraine. The magazine is issued in Ukrainian and English twice a year, and subscription information and contact details can be found at: http://bit.ly/1IYEUpD