From Russia, with Labs

Courtesy of Patrick Russo, ISTC  BIOTECH THAW: The Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Puschino branch, an ISTC-promoted laboratory located 100 km south of Moscow. The Moscow-based International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) coordinates Russian research collaborations with Western organizations and promotes commercialization of Russian discoveries and technologies. This accurate but colorless description hides what gives ISTC far more import: its role as risk manager tasked with pr

Tom Hollon
Dec 14, 2003
Courtesy of Patrick Russo, ISTC
 BIOTECH THAW: The Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Puschino branch, an ISTC-promoted laboratory located 100 km south of Moscow.

The Moscow-based International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) coordinates Russian research collaborations with Western organizations and promotes commercialization of Russian discoveries and technologies. This accurate but colorless description hides what gives ISTC far more import: its role as risk manager tasked with preventing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Among science institutions, ISTC is a kind of best-kept secret. With a staff of around 170 (Russians plus a few westerners) ISTC caters to an A-list clientele, including the US Department of Defense, Department of Energy, and Department of Agriculture (USDA), and multinational companies such as Boeing, General Atomic, BASF, Bayer, and Samsung.

By dint of its no-nonsense R&D project oversight, ISTC has become a gateway to the expertise of thousands of scientists in more than 700 institutes...