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Page Updated: 25-Sep-2006
SPS Homepage > News 2003

NATO Science Programme Changes Course

New Priority Research Topics and Support Criteria

A new concept for NATO support of civil science was agreed by the North Atlantic Council following proposals put forward by the NATO Science Committee at its meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine in June 2003. As a consequence, a new ‘Security Through Science’ programme was launched at the beginning of 2004, as a successor to the NATO Science Programme which had been in operation since 1958.

The new name reflects more closely the aims and purposes of the revised programme. Support is now offered only for collaboration on security-related Priority Research Topics, which follow the new directions and objectives of the Alliance, and/or in Partner-country priority topics. The Priority Research Topics are in the following areas:

  • Defence Against Terrorism
  • Countering Other Threats to Security
  • Partner-Country Priorities

This applies not only to the traditional collaborative support mechanisms of Collaborative Linkage Grants, Expert Visits, Advanced Study Institutes and Advanced Research Workshops, as well as the new Reintegration Grant, introduced in March 2004, but also to Science for Peace projects. Mediterranean Dialogue countries will now for the first time be eligible for support under Science for Peace.

A feature of the new programme is a move away from bringing scientists together primarily to foster partnerships and build a new extended scientific community, which was an imperative of the 1990s. In a world changed by the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, the programme will now bring scientists together to work on solving problems associated with challenging new security issues of concern to NATO, Partner and Mediterranean Dialogue countries.

There was no change to the principle that support is offered for collaboration between scientists in NATO-countries and those in Partner or Mediterranean Dialogue countries . The peer review of applications still applies, and Advisory Panels of specialists drawn from the scientific community evaluate applications. As already noted, however, support is no longer available for all areas of science. Only applications in Priority Research Topics in Defence Against Terrorism, or Countering Other Threats to Security, and/or in priority areas identified by Partner countries, will be considered for support.

Application forms and further details may be found in the relevant sections of the web site.