Strengthening Ties between Kazakhstan and ISTC: New ISTC Head-Quarters in Astana History of ISTC

For more than 20 years the International Science and Technology Center has been the leading organization in funding and managing scientific cooperation and nonproliferation activities between countries of the former Soviet Union and the European Union, United States, Japan and South Korea.  During this period 1 billion dollars has flowed through ISTC to support approximately 3000 R&D projects in a wide range of scientifically and socially important topics in Energy, Agriculture, Medicine, Material Science, Aerospace, Physics and many other areas.  In addition to the thousands of scientific publications and hundreds of patents resulting from ISTC projects, international collaborations were developed between leading institutes such as CERN, Lawrence Livermore, Institut Pasteur, CDC, IAEA, Japan Atomic Energy Agency, not to mention industrial leaders such as Airbus, Boeing, Hitachi, Samsung, Philips, Shell, GE and many others.  And as ISTC celebrates its 20th Anniversary we look forward to our move to new headquarters in Astana, Kazakhstan.

ISTC in Kazakhstan

On the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the ISTC, H.E. President Nazarbaev expressed his “deep gratitude for the work of the organization” whilst “looking forward to continuous cooperation with the ISTC for the sake of world peace and progress.”

There are strong links between the research and business communities of Kazakhstan and the ISTC. Since Kazakhstan became a member of ISTC, 184 projects with a total value of 66 million USD were funded to the benefit of the Kazakh scientific community. Projects were mainly financed in the field of biotechnology, fission reactors, chemistry, environment and medicine. All major Kazakh R&D institutes participated in ISTC projects, often together with their colleagues in the CIS, EU, Canada, Japan and USA. The projects generated high quality basic research and possibilities of bringing this research to the marketplace. For 2014, there is more than $6 million USD in projected funding.

The Ministry of Education and Science (MES) is the lead agency for the ISTC in Kazakhstan. An ISTC Branch Office has existed in Almaty since 1995. The continued growth of research collaborations in Kazakhstan and increases in project funding have required expansion of the current ISTC Branch Office with the further intent of relocating the ISTC main headquarters from Russia to Kazakhstan. In December 2011, the President of the Academy of Sciences of Kazakhstan agreed that the new ISTC Headquarters would relocate to Kazakhstan with a preliminary expansion of the current ISTC Branch Office.

Nazarbayev University (NU), located in Astana, Kazakhstan, was eventually confirmed as the new ISTC office location with an offered permanent ISTC Headquarters space in the future NU Science Park. A temporary office facility is being made available until the permanent space is completed. The projected occupancy is spring 2016. In December 2013, the ISTC working together with Nazarbayev University, finalized the office space agreement with effect from 22 December 2013. The interim temporary office space facility has now been renovated and equipped and is due to be officially opened after the ISTC Governing Board meeting on 5 June 2014.

In addition to the ISTC move to Nazarbayev University, the University applied for and was recommended by the MES for Partnership to the ISTC. In 2012 Nazarbayev University was accepted as a partner to the ISTC, creating the first such Partnership in the history of the ISTC.