Education and Research Minister Annette Schavan and US Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano signed the agreement to develop better protection from terror attacks, natural disasters, large-scale accidents and organised crime.
“With this agreement, we are striving to identify projects and capabilities we can deliver in the near term - while expanding the U.S-German science and technology collaboration for our mutual security over the long-term,” Napolitano told The Local in an email. The Department of Homeland Security also told The Local that the US has eight other similar agreements with the UK, Australia, Sweden, Mexico, Canada, France, Israel and Singapore.
According to newsmagazine Der Spiegel, the accord is the first such agreement between the two countries and marks a new step in sharing details of previously top secret US research that began after September 11, 2001.
“We want to use the benefits of research cooperation to mobilise the best ideas for optimal risk protection in our countries,” Schavan said in an official statement. “The United States and Germany will develop innovative research projects that contribute to the protection of our free, open and cross-linked transatlantic societies.”
German scientists will now take part in research programmes that find vaccines for biological weapons in high-security laboratories, for instance, the magazine reported on Monday.
The accord will cost between €10 and €20 million by 2012, according to the 31-page document that promises “the development of solutions that increase the security of people without limiting their freedom,” the magazine reported.
US Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has been in Berlin since last week to meet with Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble and also joined a G6 meeting of interior ministers.