The International Science and Technology Centre (ISTC), set up in Moscow in 1994, aims to redirect the skills of scientists previously involved in weapons research in the countries of the former Soviet Union to new civilian research activities. The ISTC was established by an Agreement between the European Communities, the USA, Japan and the Russian Federation, concluded in 1992. Since the conclusion of the Agreement, additional countries have acceded. Sweden, Finland, and now Norway have become funding parties, whilst former Soviet Union countries whose researchers may benefit from ISTC activities now include Georgia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as Russia. The ISTC's governing board, consisting of representatives of the governments party to the Agreement, met in Moscow on 13 and 14 March 1997. This meeting reviewed the Centre's activities in its first three years, and made a number of recommendations for restructuration. In addition, a strategy was developed for the protection of intellectual property rights of projects funded by the ISTC. The board approved 63 new projects, bringing the total funded by the ISTC to 391. This represents total funding of ECU 119 million committed by the Centre in three years. Some ECU 45 million of this came from the European Union's TACIS programme which provides assistance to the countries of the former Soviet Union.