OSTP NSIA Current Projects Page

Critical Infrastructure Protection

Working with the National Science and Technology Council, we are striving to ensure that Federal research and development for critical infrastructure protection is fully coordinated and focused on identified technological needs. We are working with other agencies to ensure that policies considered to strengthen the operational continuity of U.S. critical infrastructures are fully consistent with S&T realities, in terms of threats and opportunities. Recognizing the essential roles that the private sector and academia will play in critical infrastructure protection R&D, we fully support and encourage the development of an R&D partnership among the government, private sector, and academia.

Nuclear Arms Control:
CTBT,START III, and Beyond
Our long-term objective is to continue the nuclear reduction process by negotiating and implementing continuing reductions in nuclear materials, weapons, testing, and delivery systems. This would fulfill the commitments the U.S. made in the Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the NPT Review and Extension Conference.  We are working with other agencies to ensure that U.S. preparations for STARTIII are aware of the scientific and technical implications of specific arms reduction proposals.  One particular focus is the March 1997 U.S.-Russia pledge in Helsinki to seek agreements to dismantle actual warheads as well as delivery vehicles.  We are also working to help establish the groundwork for the eventual ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty by the United States.

Ballistic Missile Defense
Our long term objectives are to work with other agencies and provide the requisite scientific and technical input to ensure that the President's plans for national and theater missile defense are funded by Congress and implemented, and his efforts to clarify and preserve the ABM Treaty are successfully completed.

Counterterrorism R&D
Our long-term objective is to ensure that U.S. government scientific and technical activities to support counterterrorism are conducted efficiently (no unnecessary duplication) and effectively(no important gaps), that they address the most important terrorist threats, and that appropriate solutions (technical and otherwise) are deployed to prevent, detect, mitigate against, respond to, and/or recover from terrorist attack. We are paying particular attention to possible terrorist use of weapons of mass destruction, such as chemical and biological weapons.

Humanitarian Demining
Our long-term objective is to ensure thatU.S. Government conducts a coordinated program of technology developmentfor humanitarian demining in support of the President's anti-personnellandmine policy, which directs that improved technologies for detectingand clearing antipersonnel landmines be developed and shared internationally.We are also working to support the Global Humanitarian Demining 2010 Initiative,under which the threat posed by landmines in the ground to civil populationsis to be eliminated by the year 2010. Improvements in demining technologyand better international coordination among national demining R&D programswill be required to reach this ambitious goal.

International Technology Transfer
The goal of this activity is to strengthen effectiveness and consistency of U.S. Government policies that deal with the international transfer of technologies developed with the assistance of public funds, particularly with respect to concerns over national and economic security

Emerging Infectious Diseases(EID)
In response to the increasing threatsto the health of the U.S. and the global community from emerging infectious diseases, the Administration released a Presidential Decision Directive in June 1996, to developed a global surveillance and response network; enhance research; strengthen international collaboration; and raise public awareness. The PDD created a Task Force, co-chaired by OSTP and CDC, which is charged with implementing the President's policy and ensuring that EIDs continue to receive priority in the Federal agencies, and that non-Federal entities are widely brought into the process.

Improving International Partnerships in Science and Technology
A fundamental goal of NSIA is to strengthen international science cooperation in support of our science and technology and foreign policy goals. The Division is taking specific steps to improve science cooperation in both multilateral organizations and bilateral relationships in order to promote leading edge scientific research that serves common interests and goals. Multilateral arenas through which Administration goals are pursued include the OECD (particularly the Megascience Forum), theG8, Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, and the Summit of Americas. Priority bilateral areas of activity include work with Russia, China, Japan,the European Union, South Africa, Ukraine, and Egypt. In addition, priority is placed on reducing barriers to effective cooperation, including:

* reducing administrative barriers to cooperation (e.g. taxes, visas, immigration, customs, and other restrictionson the importation of science equipment);
* maintaining open access to international scientific research facilities (supporting the U.S. policy of providing open access to international facilities, based on merit)
* strengthening international coordination in planning large science projects and programs (e.g., OECD Megascience Forum technical working groups, emerging infectious diseases, endocrine disruptors, etc.)

Fissile Materials Disposition
Our objectives are to help orchestrate an international effort to achieve the disposition of Russian excess weapons-grade plutonium; provide overall technical and management oversight of bilateral U.S.-Russia scientific and technical cooperation in this area; facilitate reaching a domestic consensus on and implementation of a strategy for thedisposition of U.S. excess weapons-grade plutonium; and monitor implementation of the HEU purchase agreement and the blend-down of U.S. HEU to assure continued success. To achieve these goals, NSIA co-chairs, with the NSC, the Interagency Working Group on Plutonium Disposition and co-chairs the Joint U.S.-Russian Steering Committee on Plutonium Disposition. We are also working with the independent Holdren-Velikhov Commission.

Proliferation and Threat Reduction Programs
In response to the threat posed by thecollapse of the former Soviet Union’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD)infrastructure, the United States initiated a series of threat reductionprograms.  The goal of these programs is to help Russia limit thepotential proliferation of scientists and information to would-be proliferantstates—the so-called “brain drain”—and to secure and destroy Russia’s weaponsof mass destruction and weapons materials.  The International Scienceand Technology Center (ISTC), Science and Technology Center in Ukraine(STCU), Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention (IPP), and Nuclear CitiesInitiative (NCI) seek to provide opportunities for former WMD researchersto redirect their talents to peaceful projects, while remaining gainfullyemployed at their original institutes.  The Cooperative Threat ReductionProgram’s mission is to provide assistance to Russia in order to dismantleor secure its weapons of mass destruction and weapons materials, therebyreducing the threat of proliferation.

Office of Science and Technology Policy
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W
Washington, DC20502

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