Science in a time of crisis is not “science as usual”, and no individual country can handle the impact of a transnational crisis alone. Mitigating the impact of a crisis requires prompt, decisive action unencumbered by bureaucracies and conflicting agendas. 

The International Science Reserve is a network of open scientific communities, bringing together specialized resources from across the globe to prepare for and help mitigate complex and urgent global crises. We focus solely on preparing and mobilizing scientists to augment existing response organizations.

Nicholas Dirks, President and CEO, New York Academy of Sciences, and Dario Gil, Senior Vice President, IBM Research, introduce the ISR.


The mission of the International Science Reserve is to create and support a borderless network of scientific experts, and to provide this scientific community with the critical resources and support needed to respond rapidly to global crises.


  • Science without Borders: We believe solutions to crises are best found through open knowledge exchange and collaboration across institutional and geographic boundaries. The ISR connects the very best and brightest scientific minds, from different disciplines and countries, to exchange ideas freely and build collective knowledge to help mitigate global crises.
  • Preparation: We believe the development of “pre-wired circuitry” will increase our preparation and anticipation of impacts from emerging crises, and help ensure a rapid response to acute crisis needs. To develop this “circuitry”, the ISR conducts ongoing readiness exercises to match the science community with needed resources to accelerate research.
  • Augment & Accelerate: We believe in the importance of collaboration and partnership within the existing ecosystem. The ISR augments and accelerates response efforts from governments and global organizations through facilitated access to its specialized network and resources.


The ISR increases the capacity of the global community to respond to complex global crises by: 

  • Facilitating access to specialized scientific and technical resources, such as genomic sequencing, specialized talent, labs, databases, and high-performance computing.
  • Convening and coordinating scientists from around the world to build institutional memory in crisis management and response.
  • Developing an engaged “crisis community” which regularly participates in preparedness exercises and contributes to a better understanding of the role of science in crisis.

By providing rapid solutions, accelerating new discoveries, and supporting scientifically informed decision-making, the ISR will play a significant role in mitigating the impact of transnational crises.We will gauge our success in lives saved, services restored, and the speed of recovery from global crises.

How We Work

Learn how the ISR operates including our three-stage process: preparation, response, and recovery.

How We Declare a Crisis

See how ISR leadership conducts detailed research and analysis on what types of crises fall within the scope of our work.