The Biosecurity Office regularly attends meetings abroad with the aim of sharing knowledge, acquiring knowledge and networking. For example, we recently attended the annual meeting of the iGEM where we participated in a panel discussion about recognizing and assessing dual-use. We also traveled to Mongolia to help set up a national pathogen overview and attended the annual meeting of the European Biosecurity Regulators Forum (EBRF).
The purpose of 'Biosecurity Office international' is to inform you about our activities abroad. Where have we been and where might you come across us (digitally). If you are going to a meeting and would like to share biosecurity knowledge and information, do not hesitate to contact us. We may be able to support you with material or by sharing experiences we have gained.
Biosecurity Bureau is carrying out a project to strengthen biosecurity in Mongolia
From October 25-27, the Biosecurity Bureau held a second workshop to help Mongolia establish a national pathogen inventory and strengthen biosecurity. This workshop is carried out in collaboration with the United Nations Biological Weapons Convention (BTWC), and co-supported by the EU (https://www.un.org/disarmament/biological-weapons/eu-support-to-the-bwc) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From Mongolia there were about twenty enthusiastic participants from various ministries and organizations involved in setting up biosafety and biosecurity policy in Mongolia. The interactive workshop covered topics ranging from biosecurity awareness to assessing dual-use risks. The final workshop will take place from January 17-19, 2024 in Ulaanbaatar.
iGEM Jamboree, Responsibility Conference
Bureau Biosecurity participated in a panel discussion on November 3 in the session “Exploring Dual-Use in Practice: Insights and Forward Views” during the annual iGEM Jamboree in Paris (https://responsibility.igem.org/events/2023/conference). This session was part of the second Responsibility Conference organized by iGEM. Rik Bleijs, together with Douglas Robinson (Directorate for Science, Technology & Innovation, OECD) and Sam Weiss Evans (US National Security Commission on Emerging Biotechnology, NSCEB), shared their perspectives and experiences with the attendees on the identification and monitoring of dual-use risks and also the role that iGEM can play in this.
European Biosecurity Regulators Forum (EBRF)
The annual meeting of the European Biosecurity Regulators Forum (EBRF) took place in Berlin from 15 to 16 November. This group consists of seven European countries, including the Netherlands, whose aim, among other things, is to strengthen biosecurity in Europe and to exchange relevant information between the countries (www.ebrf.eu). During the meeting, the Biosecurity Bureau provided the latest status regarding biosecurity and dual-use in the Netherlands and the dual-use animation was shown. Further agreements have been made for cooperation and expansion of the network to gain more insight into EU policymakers involved in biosecurity and dual-use.