Project 53 was initiated to strengthen the national legal framework and provide specialised training on biosafety and biosecurity in Central Asian countries. The project was implemented in close partnership with the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) (Kazakhstan), the EU European Union (European Union) technical consultancy consortium including VERTIC (United Kingdom), Public Health England (PHE) (United Kingdom), RIVM, and led by Sustainable Criminal Justice Solutions (SCJS) (United Kingdom). The project involved National Teams of Experts from each of the seven Partner Countries (Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan). 

Goal of the project

The goal was strengthening biosafety and biosecurity by focusing on three main topics: raising awareness, specialised training and legislation.


Biosafety and biosecurity training of delegates from participating countries, including use of a flexible BSL3 safety cabinet.


Trainings improved the skills of many participants for safe handling of dangerous pathogens.

RIVM role

RIVM provided training in biosecurity (lead) and biosafety (support) in the participating central Asian countries. The main objective of biosecurity training was to provide participants with basic knowledge concerning biosafety, biosecurity, dual-use research and bioethics. After biosecurity training participants understood that research with biological agents is important from a public health perspective, but at the same time can be misused in malicious acts. They had increased awareness about biosecurity in general and were provided tools and insight on how to integrate biosecurity aspects in their organisation. The objective of the biosafety training was to improve skills for safe handling of dangerous pathogens for clinical investigations.