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:
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.
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.
The NSF/SBE Division of Science Resource Studies (SRS) has responsibility for Science and Engineering Indicators .
Other recent SRS publications report on international resources for science and technology, including
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.
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.