Cablegate: Croatia Requests Embassy Science Fellows


DE RUEHVB #0356/01 1021502
R 121502Z APR 07





E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 30194

1. Summary: In response to reftel, Post supports a request from the
Government of Croatia (GoC) to host Embassy Science Fellows in 2007.
Post has received eight proposals from seven scientific
institutions, with a commitment from the Ministry of Science,
Education and Sports and the University of Zagreb to provide housing
and support for any U.S. scientists coming to Croatia under this
program. Two institutes located in Split have also committed to
providing housing for their Science Fellows. Embassy point of
contact is Marlene M. Nice; email:; phone: 385 1
661 2225. (End summary).

--------------------------------------------- -
Croatian Institute of Technology (HIT), Zagreb
--------------------------------------------- -

2. Specific project:
Upgrade the Croatian Institute of Technology's IPR services and
improve connections between research/academia and industry. The
Ministry of Science, Education and Sports has asked Econoff to make
this project the priority.

The HIT was established in March 2006 under the Ministry of Science,
Education and Sport. The HIT is the leading national institution
charged with linking the scientific community with the economy. Its
main mission is to support and promote commercialization of
technological and research projects. HIT's core business activities
are: technology transfers, development of Croatia's national
technology platform; technology foresight; business intelligence and
international cooperation with similar institutions worldwide.

Specific Activities:
One of the HIT's main activities is the implementation of the
program, TEST, which supports scientific and academic institutions
by helping to transfer knowledge and new technologies into industry.
Part of that process includes IPR issues, i.e. legislative
regulations of copyrights, patent rights, etc. The HIT is requesting
an IPR expert, possibly from the National Institute of Standards and
Technology (NIST) to work in conjunction with its IPR team to help
HIT become a regional role model in IPR services.

Timeframe: 6 to 12 weeks in either May or June 2007 or in Fall 2007

Area of expertise/discipline:
Lawyer with IPR specialization and working experience in the
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) or similar

Housing: The Ministry of Science, Education and Sports will provide

Office: The HIT will provide office space and other work

--------------------------------------------- -
The Institute for Adriatic Crops (IAC), Split.
--------------------------------------------- -

3. Specific project:
The Institute for Adriatic Crops (IAC) requests a Science Fellow
experienced in writing proposals, organizing programs and
coordinating research funding cooperation with international
organizations and businesses. The IAC is also trying to strengthen
its ties to industry, specifically in the area of
agriculture/horticulture to increase the number of non-governmental
sources for funding research.

As a candidate country for the EU, Croatia is eligible to apply for
numerous EU funds targeted at IAC's scientific, research and
extension activities. Although IAC staff is experienced in writing
project proposals for GoC funds, the staff has limited experience in
preparing smaller collaborative proposals for EU grants. The
institute deals mainly with farmers and small companies, incapable
of funding research. With a limited amount of government money
available, industry is still incapable of supporting research in
those fields.

The Institute for Adriatic Crops (IAC) is a public research
institute under the Ministry of Science, Education and Sport. It is
located on the Adriatic coast where typical Mediterranean crops are
grown. The IAC conducts basic and applied research work in
horticulture, food technology and forestry. It provides scientific
and professional support to numerous farmers, cooperatives and
enterprises as part of its extension role. The research staff from
IAC is involved in scientific and extension projects supported
mainly by the GoC or local communities. Recently the IAC changed its
internal organization to strengthen relations among small and
isolated research groups to increase collaboration among highly
specialized experts. The research facilities were renovated, number
and credentials of staff were increased, and effort has been
refocused on development and improvement of the scientific
infrastructure, mainly greenhouses, orchards and grape collections
and laboratories.

Areas of expertise/discipline:
Experience in research, education and extension programs in the
fields of food, agriculture and biotechnology. Scientific
background, familiarity with horticulture and a working knowledge of
the international industry.

Timeframe: 45 Days (flexible), May to mid July or from Mid August to
end of September.

Housing and Office: The IAC will provide housing and office space in

--------------------------------------------- ----
University Hospital for Infectious Diseases,
--------------------------------------------- ----

4. Specific Project: Diagnostic laboratory methods in addressing the
challenge of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.

The University Hospital for Infectious Diseases requests a Science
Fellow to collaborate on diagnostic/research activities in the field
of Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases (EID/REID). The US
scientist will work with Croatian physicians and scientists in
preparation of high quality diagnostic reagents for the detection of
pathogens causing EID/REID. The Science Fellow will also help in
establishing new diagnostic techniques for the detection of
pathogens causing EID/REID and to train young physicians/scientists.
The availability of high quality diagnostic reagents may be the
greatest limiting factor to effectively addressing EID/REID,
especially in the case of viral diseases.

Founded in 1893, the University Hospital for Infectious Diseases is
currently the regional leader in its field. The hospital has six
reference Centers for AIDS, urogenital and sexually transmitted
diseases, travelers' diseases, control of antimicrobial resistance,
diagnoses and treatment of infectious diseases, viral hepatitis. The
hospital is currently developing a new Center for EID/REID, which
will include the first bio-safety level three laboratory in Croatia
for diagnosis and research of EID/REID. The laboratory will also
provide support for a planned quarantine department. Infectious
diseases, in light of recent EID/REID (anthrax, avian influenza,
SARS, etc.), threats of bioterrorism and rapid global travel, have
become an important part of global health research and policy
development. Because of Croatia's increasing tourism industry and
significant economic international interest in the country, health
officials are preparing for imported cases of quarantine diseases
such as ebola, Marburg, Congo-Crimean hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) etc.,
some of which are endemic in nearby Kosovo and Macedonia.

Areas of expertise/discipline:
Experience in basic laboratory diagnosis/research in EID/REID
(mainly viruses, but also bacteria, parasites); experience in
preparation of high quality diagnostic reagents EID/REID pathogens);
participation in national and international projects in EID/REID;
and high quality international publications in the field of
EID/REID. The head of the hospital's Scientific Unit, Dr. Alemka
Markotic, is requesting Thomas G. Ksiazek, chief of special
pathogens branch at the National Center for Infectious Diseases,
Centers for Disease Control.

Additional skills: Lecturing and training

Timeframe: 2 to 3 months; September to December 2007

Housing: The Ministry of Science, Education and Sport will provide

Office/Work accommodations:
The hospital will provide lunch. The Scientific Unit will be
available for office work and meetings. Diagnostic and research
laboratories will be available at the hospital. The hospital's main
lecturing hall will be available for presentations and workshops.
All necessary assistance will be provided the hospital staff.

5. Specific Project Description: (This is the second proposal from
the University Hospital for Infectious Diseases) Support activities
for the implementation of collaborative research projects between
Croatian and U.S. scientists in the area of infectious diseases.

The hospital is seeking a Science Fellow who can help Croatian
scientists in U.S. funding application preparation, submission and
management. The Science Fellow would also help prepare drafts for
several collaborative projects in infectious disease research. The
Science Fellow will be introduced to the research activities at the
hospital, develop new partnerships in the U.S as well as topics for
future collaboration, and organize a lecture series and workshops
focused on the application submission process. The Science Fellow
will work with scientists at the Medical Faculty in the University
of Rijeka and with collaborators in Dubrovnik.

Areas of expertise/discipline:
Experience in basic laboratory clinical research in infectious
diseases (viruses, bacteria, parasites); participation in national
and international projects in infectious diseases; experience in
research projects evaluation, preparation and management; experience
with an international agency which addresses global health
challenges through innovative and collaborative research and
training programs. The head of the hospital's Scientific Unit, Dr.
Alemka Markotic, is requesting Dr. Ann Davis from the NIH for this
Science Fellowship.

Additional skills: lecturing

Timeframe: 2 to 3 months; September to December 2007

Housing: The Ministry of Science, Education and Sport will provide

Office/Work accommodations:
The hospital will provide lunch. The Scientific Unit will be
available for office work and meetings. Diagnostic and research
laboratories will be available at the hospital. The hospital's main
lecturing hall will be available for presentations and workshops.
All necessary assistance will be provided the hospital staff.

--------------------------------------------- --
Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, Split
--------------------------------------------- --

6. Specific Project: Numerical modeling of a tsunami in the Adriatic

The Science Fellow will contribute to the national research project,
"Investigation and monitoring systems for unusual Adriatic
dynamics." The research encompasses various oceanographic phenomena
such as tsunamis, density current, internal waves and tides and
nonlinear atmosphere-ocean coupling. Specifically the Fellow will do
research on the generation, spreading and coastal inundation of a
dangerous tsunami with its source in the Adriatic Sea, by using a
numerical model capable of producing reliable results. Apart from
the transfer of knowledge, collaboration and networking, the
collaborative research will culminate in a research paper published
in a high-quality peer-reviewed journal. Furthermore, it is expected
that the Science Fellow will share knowledge and experience in
numerical modeling of a tsunami with Croatian scientists.

A destructive tsunami could be fatal for the coastal areas and
cities, particularly in the south Adriatic (e.g. Dubrovnik) where
tsunamis have occurred in the past. As almost no research on this

topic has been previously performed on the Adriatic, this short-term
research and further collaboration will lead to worldwide

Areas of expertise/discipline:
Working knowledge of a tsunami numerical model.

Timeframe: 3 months in 2008

Housing and Office space: The Institute will provide both.

--------------------------------------------- --
University of Zagreb, Department of Science and Technology
--------------------------------------------- ---

7. Specific project: The University of Zagreb's Science and
Technology Department is requesting a Science Fellow who can help
develop the newly established Research Office as well as set the
stage future collaboration between US and Croatian researchers.

The University of Zagreb is in the process of establishing the
Research Office, with the goal of strengthening the performance and
the reputation of the University in research and knowledge transfer.
The Rector has recently nominated a steering committee which is
working now to open the office by the end of May 2007. The
university is currently advertising the position of Research Office

The main objective of the Office is to develop resources to be able
to help with international research grants, research contracts,
intellectual property, ethical issues, research integrity and
performance as well as professional development and information
resources. The Office will work closely with faculties, departments
and other units of the University to support the University's
research staff and students.
Area of expertise/discipline: Experience in international grant
procedures, contracts and intellectual property

Timeframe: three months, preferably May to July 2007, or September
to November

Housing: The University of Zagreb will provide office space and

Rudjer Boskovic Institute, Zagreb

8. Specific Project: Surface forces on atomic scale applied in
marine science and nanotechnology.

The project is funded by Ministry of Science, Education and Sports
at the Rudjer Boskovic Institute, Zagreb. Specifically, the Science
Fellow will share knowledge and expertise in the application of
Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) to study marine gel phase, its
properties and formation mechanism, in relation to the large scale
(sol-gel phase transition) phenomenon occurring episodically in the
northern Adriatic Sea.

The Rudjer Boskovic Institute (RBI) is the largest Croatian research
center in sciences and science applications. In the
multi-disciplinary environment of the Institute, more than 500
academic staff and graduate students work on problems in
experimental and theoretical physics, chemistry and physics of
materials, organic and physical chemistry, biochemistry, molecular
biology and medicine, environmental and marine research and computer
science and electronics. RBI is a national institution dedicated to
research, higher education and provision of support to the academic
community, to state and local governments and to technology-based

The Institute's current project, "Surface forces on atomic scale
applied in marine science and nanotechnology," is aimed at bringing
biophysical concepts and approaches to the study of the organization
and function of the organic matter in the sea.

RBI's long-term studies of surface-active particles, marine vesicles
and gel microparticles provided evidence that biotic, as well as
abiotic transformation of organic matter at the micro- and nanoscale
are at the root of macroscopic phenomena in the sea (e.g.
aggregation phenomena leading to marine gels, appearing episodically
in the Adriatic Sea). RBI's experiments show it is possible to
directly explore these processes at the scale that determines the
fate of organic matter in the sea. The results of studying marine
gel at nanoscale and the biophysical mechanism of its formation are
expected to enable technological exploitation of marine gel as a new

The group for bioelectrochemistry and surface imaging consists of
four researchers, two graduate students and a technician. Regarding
equipment there is Nanoscope MultiMode SPM (Veeco Instruments) and
fully equipped laboratory for electroanalysis, epifluorescence
microscopy, microorganism cultures and isolation.

Areas of expertise/discipline:
Knowledge of biophysics, polymer science and expertise in AFM
techniques, application to the research in polymer gels.

Timeframe: 6 to 10 weeks from mid-May to the end of July or in

Office Space:
Shared space will be provided by Rudjer Boskovic in Zagreb. There
are also opportunities to participate in field work (sampling
cruises in the Adriatic Sea) in collaboration with the RBI Center
for Marine Research in Rovinj.

Housing: The Ministry of Science, Education and Sport will provide

--------------------------------------------- --- University of
Zagreb, School of Medicine
--------------------------------------------- ---

9. Specific Project:
Assist in development of an Office for Grant Management as well as
the Institutional Review Board at the University of Zagreb's School
of Medicine.

The School of Medicine has recently begun to reorganize its
administration for research grants and related tasks to align it
with processes used by prominent institutions in the U.S.(ie Yale
University School of Medicine). In January 2007 the school
established a new Institutional Review Board (Ethics Committee) with
three main components: Human Research Committee, Animal Use
Committee and an Office for Academic Integrity. The university also
plans to create a new Division/Office for Grant Management.

The school is requesting a Science Fellow to work in the following
areas: Efficient grant management administration (including the
preparation of a Principal Investigator's Handbook and accompanying
forms, advice on management of patents, licenses, extramural
research contracts with both public and private sector, intellectual
rights etc.); efficient organization of Office for Research
Integrity with preparation of guidelines for responsible research
conduct (including responsibilities of research supervisors and
trainees, data management, publication practices, authorship, peer
review and privileged information, collaborations, human subject
research, financial conflicts of interest, and conflicts of
commitment) and procedures for handling allegations of scientific

Areas of expertise/disciplines: experience in grant management and
research integrity.

Timeframe: 1 to 2 months; Fall 2007

Housing and office space:
The University of Zagreb School of Medicine will provide housing and
office space at the Croatian Institute for Brain Research located on
the university campus.

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