An initiative from the United States National Cancer Institute to establish an extensive cancer research program in Uruguay was the foremost of several expanded scientific cooperation initiatives considered by US and Uruguayan officials meeting in New York.
During the meeting Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky presented to Uruguay's Foreign Minister Gonzalo Fernandez the initiatives for expanded scientific cooperation. At an exclusive interview with MercoPress, Foreign Minister Fernandez appeared pleased with the consultations with Under Secretary Paula Dobriansky, and communicated enthusiasm for the development of Uruguay's non-traditional industries and the potential benefits of the bilateral Agreement. Under Secretary Dobriansky also presented a Statement of Mission for increased science and technology cooperation with Uruguay. Representatives from government technical agencies, research institutions, and the nongovernmental scientific community participated in the consultation. In April 2008, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Foreign Minister Fernandez signed a Science and Technology agreement outlining the mechanism through which the United States and Uruguay can broaden cooperation in all scientific and technological fields. Taking advantage of this opportunity, in July 2008, Under Secretary Dobriansky led a science and technology fact-finding mission to Montevideo, Uruguay. During Monday's meeting, the two delegations reconfirmed their intention to further scientific cooperation and collaboration in the following priority areas: biofuels and alternative energy; biomedical and behavioral health research; experimentation, response tools, and advanced technologies; agriculture; measurement standard; basic and cross-cutting science; meteorology and hydrology; fisheries and marine science and other capacity building opportunities. Minister Fernandez also commented to MercoPresson the importance of Uruguay's software industry and mentioned the recent announcement of the expansion of Zonamerica, Uruguay's leading business and technology park. The US Statement of Mission for Science and Technology Cooperation with Uruguay reaffirms the objectives of the bilateral Agreement and outlines U.S. government agency support for joint cooperation. Uruguay's President Tabare Vazquez is a renowned oncologist and has been a strong supporter of scientific research and cooperation programs. By David Michaels – MercoPress – New York