The Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme is a policy tool that enhances cooperation and dialogue with all partners, based on scientific research, innovation, and knowledge exchange. The SPS Programme provides funding, expert advice, and support to security-relevant activities jointly developed by a NATO member and partner country.
Founded in 1958, the Programme contributes towards the Alliance’s core goals and promotes regional cooperation through scientific projects and activities. Over its long history, the SPS Programme has continuously adapted to the demands of the times. To this end, a comprehensive reorientation of the Programme took place in 2013, which gave SPS a renewed focus on larger scale strategic activities beyond purely scientific cooperation.
The SPS Programme now promotes civil, security-related practical cooperation, and focuses on a growing range of contemporary security challenges, including terrorism, defence against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) agents, cyber defence, energy security and environmental concerns, as well as human and social aspects of security, such as the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (UNSCR 1325).
The Programme provides the Alliance with distinctive, non-military communication channels, including in situations where other forms of dialogue are difficult to establish. Accordingly, SPS often serves as the first concrete link between NATO and a partner.
SPS Grant Mechanisms
The SPS Programme supports collaboration through three established grant mechanisms: multi-year research projects, research workshops, and training courses. Interested applicants must develop a collaborative activity that fits within one of the following formats:
The SPS Programme supports collaboration through three established grant mechanisms: multi-year research projects, workshops, and training courses. Interested applicants should develop proposals for activities that fit within one of these formats.
To that end, interested parties submit an application for funding that must be led by project directors from at least one Allied and one partner country. These applications must also directly address the SPS Key Priorities and have a clear link to security. Once an application has been received by the SPS Programme it will undergo a comprehensive evaluation and approval process, taking into account expert, scientific and political guidance.
This process ensures that all SPS applications approved for funding have been evaluated by NATO experts, independent scientists, and NATO nations themselves.
Source and further information: NATO