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International Science & Engineering Information

International Science and Engineering Information

The Foundation’s primary approach to tracking developments in research and education in other countries has been to leave it to U.S. scientists, engineers, and educators to draw on information networks in their disciplines. The Foundation’s support and encouragement of internationally based research, research collaboration, and overseas training (all described above) provide U.S. participants with the opportunity to be informed first hand of the work performed by their colleagues in other countries.

This section of the report outlines some of the approaches currently used by the Foundation to access information about science and engineering in other countries. That information serves two purposes:

  • One purpose is to complement the information available through other means to U.S. researchers and educators.
  • The other purpose is to assist Foundation staff (at both the senior and program levels) in managing the international dimension of the NSF mission.

Participation in International Meetings

The Foundation enables an estimated 5,000 US scientists, engineers, and educators to participate in international research- and education-related meetings. Much of this support is provided under research grants, some as block grants. The meetings range from large international science and engineering conferences to seminars or workshops for the planning and development of international projects and programs.

A significant number of the participants are in the geosciences, in mathematics and the physical sciences. ENGINEERING also provides support for conferences. The remainder are in the biological sciences, social and behavioral sciences, computer sciences and engineering, and in the area of education. Also, INT supports bilateral seminars or workshops for the planning and development of international projects and programs.

Surveys and Assessments

ENG has sponsored a number of international evaluations by the World Technology Evaluation Center(WTEC) (WTEC) of the International Technology Research Institute (ITRI) at Loyola College of Maryland. These studies assess the competitive status of U.S. efforts, current collaborative activities, and identify opportunities for new approaches in U.S. research programs and topics for further international cooperation. These evaluations assist the Directorate in its strategic investment planning.

wtech In FY 2000, ENG supported major evaluations of environmentally benign manufacturing and tissue engineering.

WTECH continued an international comparative study on Applying Molecular and Materials Modeling and an assessment of Environmentally Benign Manufacturing (EBM) Technologies.

The NSF/SBE Division of Science Resource Studies (SRS) has responsibility for Science and Engineering Indicators .

S&E Indicators 2000 Cover
This is the flagship report of the NSF for reporting on national and international trends in science and technology investments, outcomes, and policies. For example, S & E Indicators reports on The Science and Technology Portfolios of Nations and International Scientific Collaboration.

The report also presents trends in regional distribution of world publication of scientific articles.

Other recent SRS publications report on international resources for science and technology, including

  • Human Resource Contributions to U.S. Science and Engineering From China (NSF 01-311)
  • Graduate Education Reform in Europe, Asia, and the Americas and International Mobility
    of Scientists and Engineers: Proceedings of an NSF Workshop (NSF 00-318)
  • Latin America: R&D Spending Jumps in Brazil, Mexico, and Costa Rica (NSF 00-316)

NSF Offices in Tokyo and Europe

The Foundation supports offices in Tokyo and Paris. Their function, in part, is to monitor developments in Japan and in Eastern and Western Europe of significance to NSF management.


Tokyo Office The Tokyo Office produces Tokyo Report Memoranda primarily for the use of NSF management and staff, but makes them widely available by electronic means. The Office also disseminates Special Scientific Reports on research developments in Japan that are related to NSF's mission.

Information reported, both in formal reports and in ongoing communications with headquarters, pertains primarily to research and education policy, and changes in national research budgets, institutions, and key personnel.

Arch de Triumph The Europe Office produces periodic reports covering some aspect of European science.

More recently, the office has begun to emphasize the identification of significant opportunities in Europe for US researchers.

Both offices facilitate and support institutional relationships between NSF and its partners in Europe and Japan. The Tokyo office also seeks opportunities for expanding NSF cooperation elsewhere in the East Asia and Pacific region. The EUR Office expands/promotes opportunities via European multilateral organizations and in the Newly Independent States of the former Soviet Union.

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