What can you expect from the Biosecurity Office in the coming year? During the Biosecurity Knowledge Day, we indicated that we will focus on five themes, particularly education and support for organizations.
In the coming years, the Biosecurity Office will focus on five themes: policy support, organizational support, education, international cooperation, and finally, the connection between biosafety and biosecurity. The upcoming year will primarily be devoted to the theme of education and support for organizations.
One of the ambitions of the Biosecurity Office is to ensure that students in life sciences are informed about biosafety, including topics such as biosecurity and dual-use, throughout their studies. To achieve this, in addition to providing guest lectures, we aim to develop modules in the form of e-learning that students (and later researchers and laboratory personnel) can easily follow. The idea is that universities, colleges, and other institutions can freely access and use these modules. The goal is for the modules to align with existing initiatives. Therefore, the Biosecurity Office considers it important to coordinate this effort with stakeholders.
Support for organizations
Regarding the theme of support for organizations, we will continue with the topic of dual-use assessment this year. The Dual-Use Quickscan is an initial tool developed to increase awareness among researchers. The next step is to enhance dual-use assessment, awareness, and risk management within organizations. Exploratory discussions were held with the field last year, and a workshop was dedicated to this topic during the Biosecurity Knowledge Day. International documents on dual-use management have also been published, including the "WHO Global guidance framework for the responsible use of the life sciences." This year, we will assess our current progress and explore further developments in dual-use assessment. An important aspect is that the understanding of dual-use and related terminology is not always clear. The Biosecurity Office is working on developing a short animated video to explain various concepts, such as dual-use, DURC, export control, etc.
If you have new ideas or would like to contribute to these two themes, please contact the Biosecurity Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.