Leaders in Biotech in Ukraine, Recognizing 40 Under 40

$25,000 in Prizes To Go To Top Awardees!

 As part of its Biotechnology Initiative, the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation (USUF) is currently accepting nominations for its 40 Under 40 Emerging Leaders in Biotech awards program.  The Foundation seeks to recognize 40 innovators under the age of 40 in biotechnology, a cutting-edge field that holds much promise for Ukraine's economic future. 


Through its Biotechnology Initiative, USUF aims to advance the state of biotech in Ukraine by fostering educational, research and business development in the sector and raising international awareness about biotech opportunities in Ukraine.   Note:  Despite its great biotechnology potential, Ukraine currently ranks only 53rd out of 54 countries assessed in the Biotechnology Innovation Scorecard compiled by thinkBiotech.


The Foundation envisions providing support to Ukrainian students, researchers and entrepreneurs who wish to engage with the American biotech community through educational exchanges, attendance at conferences and participation in trade shows.  To facilitate this process, USUF recently became a member of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, the world's largest biotech association, the mission of which is to help "create an environment for successful innovation across healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology which is transforming how we heal, fuel and feed the world."

Nominations for the U.S. - Ukraine Foundation's "40 Under 40 Emerging Leaders in Biotech" Awards can be submitted online by clicking the button below. Candidates for the awards may nominate themselves or be nominated by others. All nominations must be made via our online web portal (use the button below) and all submissions and supporting reference letters must be submitted via this portal no later than March 31, 2018.   The Foundation's Biotech Advisory Board will review the applications and select the top 40 nominees on a competitive basis for their innovations or other contributions to the biotechnology field in Ukraine.  USUF seeks to recognize the biotech achievements of the nominees based on such criteria as leadership in the field, entrepreneurial accomplishments, potential for commercialization of their research, current or future impact of their research or innovation, and/or overall benefit of their activity or innovation to Ukrainian society.


Honorees will be recognized at the Foundation's 40 Under 40 award ceremony and the top eight awardees within the group, as determined by USUF's Biotech Advisory Board, will receive a special prize: four of them will receive a cash award of $2500.00 and another four will have the opportunity to participate in a biotech forum in the United States, with travel and lodging expenses covered by The U.S. - Ukraine Foundation.  Thus, a total of $25,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded by USUF in this award competition.


USUF's Biotechnology Initiative was launched in the fall of 2017 thanks to a generous gift from Irene Hoffman, a Ukrainian-American biotechnology entrepreneur from Southport, North Carolina.


Eligibility:  To be considered for this award, a nominee must be a citizen of Ukraine, currently residing in Ukraine, and working or studying in the Biotechnology field.  Persons born before January 1, 1978, are NOT eligible to receive an award and will not be considered.


Additional Application Guidance:

All application materials, including supporting letters of reference, must be submitted to the USUF IN ENGLISH electronically via our web portal no later than March 31, 2018.


All "self-nominating" applicants in this category must provide two (2) reference letters which must be submitted by the reference provider directly to the U.S. - Ukraine Foundation electronically via our web portal no later than March 31, 2018.


Persons nominating others for the award (i.e., "the proposer")  must provide a letter of reference as well as contact information for a second reference along with the electronic application form. The second reference letter must be submitted by the reference provider directly to the U.S. - Ukraine Foundation electronically via our web portal no later than March 31, 2018.


All reference letters should describe the character and achievements of the candidate and the invention or other significant contribution made by the Nominee in the field of Biotechnology. Reference letters should not exceed 3500 characters in length.







U.S.-Ukraine Cybersecurity Cooperation: 

Ukraine Viewed as Having Important Capabilities

By Adrian Karmazyn 



Efforts to enhance U.S.-Ukraine collaboration in response to Russia's cyberattacks on both countries took an important step forward with passage this week of the Ukraine Cybersecurity Coopration Act of 2017  by the U.S. House of Representatives. 


The bill, H.R. 1997, was introduced by Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA), along with Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA)-both of whom are members of the House Ukraine Caucus.  The bipartisan bill encourages greater cybersecurity cooperation between the United States and Ukraine and requires the U.S. Department of State to report back to Congress on concrete measures taken.

Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA) introduced H.R. 1997, the Ukraine Cybersecurity Cooperation Act of 2017.  Photo: Congressman Boyle's Facebook page.


(Note:  USUF has been following this important legislation through the  consultative guidance and collaborative efforts of Aleks Mehrle, president of UGTI Inc. )


Congressman Boyle released the following statement regarding passage of the bill:  "Today, the House took a strong step forward in the ongoing fight to counter Russia's intensifying cyber-aggression by passing my legislation. Over the last few years, Russia has been using Ukraine as a field test for cyber attacks that endanger the national security of our great ally Ukraine, its regional neighbors, and the United States. H.R. 1997 sends a strong signal to Russia and all those who threaten the cybersecurity of America and its allies that we are ready and able to protect ourselves against this escalating threat. Tonight, the House made important progress to protect the American people and reaffirm that the U.S. stands strong with its NATO allies in this fight. I implore the Senate to pass this legislation quickly. Time is of the essence, with American and Ukrainian elections each right around the corner."


Besides carrying out cyberattacks on the election process in both Ukraine and the United States, Russia has also used cyber platforms to conduct its hybrid warfare against Ukraine in the spheres of Ukrainian military operations, communications, banking and finance, the energy grid and other infrastructure.

The Ukraine Cybersecurity Cooperation Act calls on the United States government to: provide Ukraine with support in increasing advanced security protections on government computers, particularly systems defending critical Ukrainian infrastructure; provide Ukraine support in reducing reliance on Russian technology; and assist Ukraine in improving its ability to build capacity, expand cybersecurity information sharing, and cooperating in international response efforts ...   




Cybersecurity - Why the US And Ukraine Are Cooperating


from Hromadske Radio


Hromadske Radio CEO and co-founder, Andriy Kulykov, speaks (via Skype) to three 

US cybersecurity experts who are working with Ukraine


President of UGTI Aleks Mehrle

Hello and welcome to a new episode of Hromadske Radio's Ukraine Calling!   

We've changed our format. Now we'll be brining you a feature interview with Ukraine's opinion makers, cultural movers and shakers, other interesting people, and the latest in new music from Ukraine. I'm Oksana Smerechuk in Kyiv. This week's interview was conducted by Hromadske Radio co-founder and CEO, Andriy Kulykov. 


He spoke to three experts about a new phase of US-Ukraine cooperation in cyber security. Joining Kulykov are Junaid Islam, Founder, President & CTO Vidder Inc. a California-based company that develops security solutions for cloud based applications; Aleks Mehrle, President and Co-Founder of Ukrainian Global Trade and Investor, Inc. and Steven R. Browne, Director of the energy company, The Stanton Group .... 






Check out our new website ... 

representing a new time for Ukraine and the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation!    


Click on the image below: 



The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation's new website and logo have been created by Steven May, Jr. and his talented team associated with Ask the Egghead.   Steven, it just so happens, is the husband of USUF intern,  Yelyzaveta May.  


The Foundation is very much appreciative of the creative services - and countless hours - provided to the Foundation in creating our new look!  


Steven May, Jr.:  "When I designed the new USUF web portal I envisioned an information dissemination portal that maintained relevance on current topics while providing a searchable archive of all matters pertaining to Ukraine and U.S. - Ukraine relations.  A portal that by definition would be up to the hour accurate and completely responsive no matter the visitors viewing platform.  With more and more visitors viewing the site on mobile devices it was paramount that the site provide a strong user experience no matter the viewing device.  Ensuring that the site did not grow stagnate and providing USUF staff a medium that they can rapidly relay information to the public was also an integral part of the design effort.  I utilized WordPress as the content management platform due to its wide spread acceptance and integration with so many other applications.  Lastly, connecting the website to every social media platform that the USUF utilizes was also of significant importance, as maintaining the organization's brand consistency across all platforms and decreasing the number of locations that staff had to enter relevant information would increase efficiency and performance." 


Steven May Jr., aka lead egghead at Ask the Egghead, has over 25 years of career experience that spans multiple business models and sectors.  Steven is married to Yelyzaveta, and the father of two amazing boys.  He is also an amateur photographer, adventurer, eternal optimist, and hopeless romantic! Steven's photo journey can be seen on his personal website.  






Honoring Shevchenko and Aldridge

Honoring a Friendship Bonded in Defense of Human Rights
From St. Petersburg, Russia to Washington, D.C. 


The Louis Picard painting "Ira Aldridge in Taras Shevchenko's Studio" 


While February is Black History Month, a month when attention is given specifically to the contribution of Afro-Americans to our country, our society, and culture, March is the month that Ukrainians worldwide honor Taras Shevchenko.   For Ukrainian-Americans, both months are a time of reflection on a very special and unique friendship between one of Ukraine's greatest historical figures, Taras Shevchenko, and a famously talented black American, Ira Aldridge. 


Although both men died in the 1860s, one in Russia and the other in Poland, and though both are little known to the general public in America, both of their images are present in the capital city of the United States. A mere two and a half miles apart here in Washington DC stand monuments to Taras Shevchenko and to Ira Aldridge. The first was born a Ukrainian serf who was purchased out of bondage in order for his immense talents to blossom; the second was born a Negro in New York who, because of the color of his skin, had to leave his country to find the full glory of his God-given talent.


At the corner of 22nd and P streets in Northwest Washington stands the figure of Taras Shevchenko, a monument to the man, his writing, his profound commentaries on human dignity, pleas of help for the plight of the downtrodden and his aspirations for his country, struggling under tsarist repression. Engraved in the granite is his hope for Ukraine: "When shall we get our Washington, to promulgate his new and righteous law?" On the other side of the city stands The Ira Aldridge Theatre on the Howard University campus, constructed in memory of a great thespian talent and as a symbol of challenges overcome, paths revealed for other talents to follow.


Portraits of both men hang in that theater, portraits painted by Taras Shevchenko and donated to Howard University in 1967 from the archives of the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in the United States. 


Born a serf in Ukraine, Shevchenko was destined for a lifetime of servitude. Yet when his owner left Ukraine for St. Petersburg, Russia, he took the young Shevchenko along. In St. Petersburg, Shevchenko's artistic talents were revealed. In 1838, the city's artistic circles succeeded in raising 2,500 rubles to purchase Shevchenko's freedom. Once free, he became a student at the Imperial Academy of Arts and his artwork and poetic writing flourished. His poems glorified Ukraine and demanded freedom and justice for all oppressed nations and classes of people.


Shevchenko returned to Ukraine in 1845 to find great injustices. His poems criticized the tsarist regime and chided the aristocracy's oppression of the peasants. For these expressions, he was arrested and deported from Ukraine to exile in a remote part Asian Russia, incarcerated in a military penal facility and, by the decree of the Tsar, denied writing and drawing materials. Despite the Tsar's orders and the incarcerations terrible cost to his health, Shevchenko secretly composed some of his most powerful works while imprisoned and in political exile. Moreover, at the same time, Shevchenko's Ukrainian and Russian friends, including Count and Countess Fyodor Tolstoy, worked to secure his freedom again. Finally, ten years after his arrest, Shevchenko was released. Forbidden to return to Ukraine, he returned to St. Petersburg, where he soon met the American Ira Aldridge.


Although Aldridge had been born in New York, as his immense talents became apparent, he found his opportunities limited due to the significant discrimination against blacks. He chose to emigrate to England in 1824 and began acting in small London theatres. Receiving notice and praise, he was soon performing in England's finest theatres and began to tour outside London. By 1852, Aldridge, the first black to act in white roles in Shakespeare's plays, left for his first European tour. Receiving acclaim everywhere he traveled, he returned to London a theatric hero.


In 1858, Aldridge accepted an invitation from the Russian Imperial Theatre to perform in St. Petersburg. Shevchenko attended the opening performance and the two men were introduced.


There are numerous letters and notes commenting upon their meeting and friendship. One of Tolstoy's daughters, Katherine, served as an early translator between Aldridge and Shevchenko and wrote about the experience and their friendship. Shevchenko attended Aldridge's performances. Aldridge visited Shevchenko's studio and posed for the artist. They visited one another often and spent time in the same social circles, one that included many artists, performers, intellectuals.


Their friendship was unique since they had in common not only the creativity of their personalities and their love of the arts, but their shared experiences of social oppression and their dreams of a better future for their people. Though free, famous, with powerful friends, living in the world of Russian aristocracy, neither seemed able to forget his past, the plight of his people.


Those who wrote about their friendship noted that they often sang together. Aldridge greatly appreciated the sorrowful and melodic Ukrainian songs that captured the unfortunate plight of the people of Ukraine. Shevchenko, in turn, loved the songs of the Negro South, no doubt to great extent for the same reasons.


When Aldridge returned to England, he took with him a portrait of Shevchenko by a Russian artist. Aldridge returned to Russia several years later but by then Shevchenko had passed away. Between 1861 and 1866, Aldridge made several tours of the tsarist empire including three trips to Ukraine, to Shevchenko's homeland, trips that had been denied to the great poet, artist, and patriot. Ira Aldridge never returned to the United States, however, he did live to know of President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation and the end of the Civil War.


Both of these men, historic giants in their artistic fields and in their messages about the struggles of mankind for dignity and the perseverance of individuals,  died on foreign soil far from their homelands. Aldridge's body remains in Poland. Eventually, Shevchenko's body was returned to Ukraine from Russia. Their unique friendship remains a story for the ages; it is fitting that among the monuments to their lives and contributions there are the two in Washington, DC, just two and a half miles apart. A friendship that brought them together thousands of miles from here, eventually finds them in the capital of Aldridge's native land, respected and honored, with Shevchenko's question still unanswered: when will Ukraine  get its "new and righteous law?"


.... by Robert A. McConnell, a co-founder of the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation   




MadeinUkaineTechStartupEdition is a monthly podcast series produced and hosted by Mike Buryk, a member of the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation's Board of Advisors, a long-time Foundation supporter and business development advisor.    Start listening today ... go to  !


Delfast CEO Daniel Tonokopiy discusses his innovative e-bike which can travel up to 236 miles on a single charge. The bicycles are manufactured in Kyiv, Ukraine. He also reviews plans to compete in the U.S. and EU markets.










A discussion Alexey Voronkov.


In 2014, Estonia launched a unique program to help non-EU entrepreneurs gain access to global markets. And Ukrainians are among the major users of it. It is called "e-Residency"


Alexey Voronkov, who is currently the country manager for Ukraine, talks about the program and its major benefits for Ukrainian tech entrepreneurs and business people.






For additional information, please contact Michael Buryk at: .







An interview with Yuri Zastavny who runs the very successful Pravda Beer Theatre craft brewery in Lviv.  


The microbrewery Pravda Beer Theatre was established by Yuri Zastavny in Lviv, Ukraine, in December 2014. It is now owned by the Fest company whose partners are Andriy Khudo, Yurko Nazaruk and Dmytro Gerasimov. The holding company is well known for its innovative local ventures including restaurants, food convenience stores, a bakery, a publishing house and public events among others. Yuri Zastavny talks about how the craft brewery was started, its award-winning beers and his plans for the future.






~ In support of the Foundation's U.S.-Ukraine Business Development programming ~ 




Securing Ukraine's Future

Dr. Phillip Karber, The Potomac Foundation


Dr. Karber is a National Security Task Force member within the Friends of Ukraine Network, an initiative of the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation. 





 Discovering Ukraine at the New York Times Travel Show 2018



The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation organized the  

Ukraine Booth #471 at the 


New York Times Travel Show!  


Thousands of visitors had the opportunity to learn about Ukraine at this year's New York Times Travel Show, held at the Javits Convention Center in New York City during the weekend of January 26-28.  This annual event is considered the largest and most prestigious travel trade show in North America.  Over 32,000 visitors and industry professionals attended this year's show (the largest number since its inception), with 600 exhibiting companies from over 176 countries providing travel and tourism information.

For the second year in a row, the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation has spearheaded the effort to ensure that Ukraine is well-represented as an attractive travel destination.for American tourists attending the show.  Appearing under the banner "Ukraine," this year's booth participants included Anton Taranenko and Iryna Dudynska of the Kyiv Tourism Department, Mariana Oleskiv of the Lviv Tourism Office, Vincent Rees and Natalka  Makarenko of Cobblestone Freeway Tours, Julia Kulyk and Aleksandr Skrypka of JC Travel Ukraine, and Yaroslav Yemelianenko and Serhiy Myrnyi  of Chornobyl Tour.

Among the continuous crowd of visitors encircling the Travel to Ukraine booth were several VIP guests.  Anna Romanova, a Ukrainian Member of Parliamemt and chair of a parliamentary committee on tourism, dropped by and presented USUF's Adrian Karmazyn with a beautiful book she authored about her hometown titled 

Chernihiv: City of Legends. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Denys Semenovych, Consul of the Consulate General of Ukraine in New York, also visited the stand, as did Mariya Soroka, President of Razom for Ukraine, a Maidan-born civil society organization that provides assistance to Ukraine.  The New Jersey-based Iskra Ukrainian Dance Ensemble treated the audience to a captivating performance of folk dances.

Ukraine's popularity as a tourist destination continues to grow, which has important implications for the country's further economic development.  As reported by Ukrainian media, the number of foreign tourists visiting Kyiv in the past year reached an estimated 1.5 million people, which is nearly double the number seen in 2014. And in another sign of the burgeoning international interest in Ukraine, Lviv airport boosted its travel flow to over one million passengers in 2017, a 46% increase over the previous year, reports UNIAN.

Members of Iskra Ukrainian Dance Ensemble 

For more information about Ukraine as a travel destination, please visit the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation's Travel to Ukraine website.  

To view a USUF Facebook photo album devoted to the Ukraine booth at the New York Times Travel Show Click Here.

To take advantage of future USUF travel shows, online advertising and promotional opportunities (without being present at travel shows), contact us:  

Photos by Adrian Karmazyn 










RSVP:  ... as space is limited


U.S.-Ukraine Foundation Conference Room

1090 Vermont Avenue NW - 6th Floor

Washington, DC 20005