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The Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme is a policy tool that enhances cooperation and dialogue between NATO and its partners. It is based on security-related civil science and technology and helps to contribute towards the Alliance’s core goals. It also aims to promote regional cooperation through scientific projects and activities.
As demonstrated over time, civil science can be a highly effective vehicle for international dialogue. This is mostly due to its universality and dependence upon international networks. The pool of knowledge and skill sets found in these scientific networks can be utilized to address the emerging security challenges faced by the Alliance and its partners. Science has the unique ability to provide solutions to security challenges as well as fostering collaboration, even between disparate nations and regions.
The SPS Programme supports practical scientific and technical cooperation among scientists and experts from NATO and its partners. This is on a broad range of security-related issues in the fields of defence against terrorist threats and countering other threats to security. The SPS programme consists of NATO-funded activities, as well as nationally-funded SPS activities. In the former case, the activities are either based on applications submitted by scientists or experts (i.e., bottom-up activities) or on proposals submitted by the ESC/SPS Working Group (i.e., top-down activities), based on specific requests by NATO and partner nations.
SPS has well-established and flexible grant mechanisms, enabling a timely response to submitted and accepted applications. Funding is highly leveraged as the prestige of the NATO brand has the ability to attract further resources, i.e., the SPS Programme acts as a catalyst.
The SPS Programme demonstrates NATO’s commitment to security and peace by facilitating scientific collaboration with its partner nations. Communication tools such as the NATO website, SPS exhibitions, NATO update stories; NATO feature stories and NATO Internet TV provide the SPS Programme with a dynamic and far-reaching public diplomacy dimension.