Universalia has been responsible for managing a five-year $12.5 million Government Advisory and Exchange Program (GAEP) designed to provide Russian public and private sector institutions, agencies and organizations with fast and flexible access to Canadian expertise and experience in support of the reform process, this through planning and management of learning activities. Activities in this program included targeted study tours for senior public officials, technical assistance missions to Russia, seminars and learning events in Russia, in-Canada short-term training and internships, in response to proposals submitted by Russian agencies. In particular, with the MEDT Territorial Development Department, GAEP has supported regional economic development initiatives in a variety of regions including Saratov, Astrakahn, Buratia, Kalmykia and the Far East. Assistance has focused on cluster based regional economic development, SMEs, results based planning and reporting, techno parks, tourism, agriculture, and public private partnerships. Regional partners have included regional ministries of the economy, municipalities, NGOs, and research institutes. Cooperation with the Ministry of Finance and the Federal Treasury has focused on fiscal federalism, performance based budgeting, and program evaluation and has included federal and regional departments. GAEP has supported the Russian Academy of Public Administration to develop and deliver municipal management courses to regional administrators.