In 2011, the Department of State asked the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to identify opportunities for future bilateral cooperation in the life sciences. In response, the AAAS Center for Science Diplomacy and Center for Science, Technology, and Security Policy (CSTSP) partnered with the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Uzbekistan (AS RUz) to hold two meetings – one in Tashkent in 2012 and the second in Washington, DC in 2013.
The goals of the Washington, DC meeting, which was held in May 2013, were to identify specific project proposals, partners, and prospective funders which drew on the near- and longterm cooperative activities described in the Tashkent report. AAAS and AS RUz invited key staff from several funding organizations, including the U.S. National Institutes of Health, Fogarty International Center and National Cancer Institute; National Science Foundation; Defense Threat Reduction Agency; Department of State Biosecurity Engagement Program; and the nongovernmental organizations, U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention and CRDF Global. Scientists in attendance had expertise in agricultural, environmental, and health sciences and were from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), U.S. universities, and AS RUz institutes. The scientists were given several opportunities to discuss and develop new project proposals throughout the meeting. In addition, the Uzbek scientists were given tours of U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention and USDA-ARS laboratory facilities after which all Uzbek scientists visited the National Arboretum. At the completion of the meeting, a few Uzbek scientists visited Texas A&M University to prepare a protocol of intent to develop a joint center for advanced technologies in the agriculture sector with an AS RUz institute. This joint center would provide education and training opportunities to scientists in Uzbekistan and the U.S. and collaborative opportunities for developing, testing, and commercializing new technologies. Once the center is established, Uzbek scientists could be trained at the center and receive a graduate degree from Texas A&M University.