13 February 2013

Africa: USAID's Peer Science Program Collaborates With National Instruments to Support Scientists in Developing Countries

Washington, D.c. — Today, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement Research (PEER) Science program and National Instruments (NI) announced a unique public-private partnership. The organizations are partnering to bring cutting-edge scientific equipment, training and support to approximately 100 research projects with commercial promise and demonstrated long-term development impact in more than 80 countries over the next five years. This partnership is the first step in USAID PEER's effort to leverage the private sector in support of scientists in developing countries.

At the signing of the partnership agreement, Dr. Alex Dehgan, Science and Technology Adviser to USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, said, "The lack of access to scientific equipment is a major impediment to research in the developing world. This partnership will help give scientists all over the developing world access to the tools that can help them unlock their potential to solve the great development challenges of our time through their PEER Science grants."

The USAID PEER Science program supports collaborative research by funding scientists in developing countries on a wide range of development-related topics, including food security, climate change, water, biodiversity, disaster mitigation, and renewable energy. Working with National Science Foundation funded U.S. researchers, PEER plans to invest up to $100 million to accelerate science and technology research over the next several years.

NI develops system design software and hardware that engineers and scientists use to accelerate their development of new products, create automated test systems, and control some of the most complex engineering applications. These tools are used in thousands of applications in nearly every industry, from testing smart phones to launching spaceships. The partnership with USAID is possible through the company's Planet NI program, which empowers engineers and scientists in emerging countries to achieve sustainable prosperity by providing increased access to the company's technology.

"National Instruments is committed to nurturing local innovation and entrepreneurship by making engineering and scientific tools affordable, accessible and relevant to those focused on improving the socioeconomic development of their communities," said Victor Mieres, NI Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Emerging Markets, and Chairman of the Planet NI advisory board. "This partnership expands the reach of Planet NI and increases the impact we can have on researchers in emerging markets."

About National Instruments

Since 1976, National Instruments (www.ni.com) has equipped engineers and scientists with tools that accelerate productivity, innovation and discovery. NI's graphical system design approach to engineering provides an integrated software and hardware platform that speeds the development of any system needing measurement and control. The company's long-term vision and focus on improving society through its technology supports the success of its customers, employees, suppliers, and shareholders.

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