The International Science and Technology Center

ISTC is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the European Union, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States. The nine countries and the EU make the current membership of the ISTC.

The mission of ISTC is to advance global peace and prosperity through cooperative Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) risk mitigation by supporting civilian science and technology partners and collaboration that addresses global security and advances non-proliferation.


1992 – Founded by Sweden, Japan, and the US.

1994 – Operation began.

2015 – ISTC headquarters moves to Astana, Kazakhstan.

1129 – Total number of scientists who benefited from ISTC grants in 2016

3 479 231 USD – Amount of grant payments in 2016

1 749 855 USD – Funds allocated to projects in 2016

25 – Completed projects in 2016 alone

ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes and develop or process an excellence of scientific expertise.  ISTC activities fall in two broad categories: Research Projects, which employ former weapons specialists in the development of new science and technology (S&T), and Supplement Programmes, which include workshops, travel grants, seminars, international conferences, commercialization of project results that help integrate the former weapons specialists in the global S&T and industrial communities. Scientists and institutes throughout Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan coordinate project proposals with the ISTC Secretariat for review and funding. In addition to research grants, they can benefit from procurement of research equipment by ISTC.

Partnerships. ISTC partner is a company, academic or scientific institution, government agency or other organization that is approved by the Governing Board and agrees to fund a research project or supporting activities in the CIS countries and Georgia. A partner has access to research in these countries. Research in this kind is carried out by scientists and highly qualified experts in different fields of science and technology. Rates are lower than worldwide. By agreement with an implementer, a partner can obtain all rights or a major part of rights for the intellectual property, created during the R&D. Working with the ISTC, a partner gets a range of advantages, such as control of project group activities, access to the place of work and tax benefits.

In the last 25 years, ISTC has actively engaged over 75000 former weapons specialists in more than 760 research institutes spread across CIS and Georgia in ISTC projects and activities. The ISTC has to date funded over 3000 projects for an amount of over USD 1 billion.  

ISTC currently looks to service the member parties’ areas of interest. These include bio-safety and bio-security; nuclear non-proliferation, security and safety capacity; seismic monitoring and hazard mitigation; oil and gas risk mitigation; clean and renewable energy and energy efficiency; dual use trade, and border control and forensic science.

Outreach: ISTC is expanding its reach beyond the usual geographic areas of Central Asian countries. ISTC is moving further afield to the Caucasus, the Middle East – to include Jordan and Iraq, and has started two new projects in Africa, related to nuclear security, safety and safeguards. ISTC has involved in its regional programmes and seminars other countries such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Mongolia and Uzbekistan. The Kazakhstan government has engaged ISTC into the Astana EXPO 2017 as a partner inviting science experts as speakers and as sources of knowledge and best practices in the broad areas related to future energy and technologies.