Coordinated Research Activities
Role of the IAEA
A framework for supporting scientific and technical exchanges between countries at different stages of development is important. Technology transfer is a vital part of sustainable development processes, and has been recognised at the highest levels in the World Summit on Sustainable Development, held in Johannesburg in August 2002.
International organizations, particularly those in the United Nations family and which are specifically mandated, are ideally placed for creating and implementing such a framework for exchanges of knowledge and experience. The role of the IAEA in such a system, with its unique expertise in nuclear science and technology, has long been recognized as a partner in development processes.
The IAEA's coordinated research activities create fertile ground for bringing together scientists from developing and developed countries to meet, focus on well-defined areas of research and exchange knowledge, experience and ideas for their mutual benefits. The Member States of the IAEA propose and agree the research topics; it is for the IAEA Secretariat to ensure that the research is carried out within a specially designed CRP.
A CRP aims to bring together about, on average, 15 scientific institutions for the project. The optimum mix has proven to be about 10 institutions from developing countries (the Contract holders) and 5 from developed countries (the Agreement holders). Although they do their research in their own countries, the IAEA aims to bring them together at least 3 times during the course of the CRP for Research Coordination Meetings (RCMs), for face to face discussions, exchanges of progress, and naturally, to build personal bonds that will outlast the CRP lifetime. Through contractual conditions, the IAEA ensures that the research results are freely available worldwide for use as Member States wish. In its central role, the IAEA seeks to publicise the results for maximum benefits to humanity. Through this Website, and through formal communications to its Member States, the IAEA publicises the areas of research that it has been requested to conduct. The CRP Information Letter, renewed annually and found on this site, provides the information on how prospective researchers can apply to the IAEA to participate in its research.