Secretary Napolitano Signs Research Sharing Pact with Germany

Press Release

By:  Janet Napolitano
Date: March 16, 2009
Location: Berlin, Germany

Agreement between the U.S. and the Federal Republic of Germany Governments on Cooperation in Science and Technology Concerning Homeland/Civil Security Matters (PDF, 30 pages - 9.23 MB )

Berlin - U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano and German Minister of Education and Research Annette Schavan signed an agreement today that will facilitate science and technology research collaboration in homeland/civil security matters between the two nations.*

"A world where technology opens so many doors also brings us great risk," said Secretary Napolitano. "This agreement will allow us to share our innovations and collaborate on research in science and technology, to preserve freedoms while ensuring our mutual domestic security. I am thrilled to work with Dr. Schavan and the German government to make our nations--and our world--safer from all threats."*

The text, negotiated between the DHS Office of Science and Technology and the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF - Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung), is similar to arrangements the U.S. already has in place with the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Singapore, Sweden, Mexico, Israel and France.

Expanding research collaboration with international partners, while keeping a steady emphasis on personal information privacy and data protection, continues to be a point of high priority for Secretary Napolitano. The goal of the U.S.-Germany agreement will be to enhance security without limiting freedoms.

The agreement will tap into the collective technical talent and potential for innovation among government scientists from both countries, and calls for DHS and BMBF to identify concrete short-term projects and deliverables in addition to long-term research coordination and policy development.

Although prompted by DHS and BMBF, all U.S. government departments, agencies and components are eligible to participate in the agreement, which also allows for involvement by German and U.S. non-profit organizations and universities in any research programs established by the two countries. The text also provides for public-private partnerships and collaborative funding for science and technology research.

The first planned project is a joint workshop with experts in the field of visual analytics, to be held in Germany in June.