Science and science-based approaches make tangible improvements in peoples' lives and, strategically applied, science and technology (S&T) outreach serves as a powerful tool to reach important segments of civil society. S&T cooperation helps to ensure that U.S. scientific standards and practices play a substantial role in the establishment of international benchmarks. It also has significant indirect benefits as well, contributing to solutions which encourage sustainable economic growth by: promoting good will, strengthening political relationships, helping to foster democracy and civil society, and advancing the frontiers of knowledge for the benefit of all.
The Department of State's Bureau of Oceans, and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, Office of Science and Technology Cooperation (OES/STC) pursues such efforts through the establishment of binding bilateral and multilateral science and technology Agreements. These Agreements promote the precepts of sustainable development, enhancement of the role of women in science and society, science-based decision-making, good governance, and global security.
Thirty U.S. S&T Agreements worldwide establish bilateral frameworks to facilitate the exchange of scientific results, provide for protection and allocation of intellectual property rights and benefit sharing, facilitate access for researchers, address taxation issues, and respond to the complex set of issues associated with economic development, domestic security and regional stability. S&T cooperation supports the establishment of science-based industries, encourages investment in national science infrastructure, education and the application of scientific standards, promotes international trade and dialogue on issues of direct import to global security, such as protection of the environment and management of natural resources. S&T collaboration assists USG agencies to establish partnerships with counterpart institutions abroad. These relationships enable them to fulfill their individual responsibilities by providing all parties with access to new resources, materials, information, and research. High priority areas include such areas as agricultural and industrial biotechnology research (including research on microorganisms, plant and animal genetic materials, both aquatic and terrestrial), health sciences, marine research, natural products chemistry, environment and energy research.