Enhanced Biosecurity in South East Asia

CBRN Chemical Biological Radiology and nuclear (Chemical Biological Radiology and nuclear ) Centres of Excellence Project 81 was officially launched by DG DEVCO at the regional round table event, held in Jakarta, Indonesia on the 11th December 2019. It is a three year project funded by the European Union and delivered on behalf of the European CBRN Centres of Excellence by an experienced and diverse European consortium. The overall objective is enhanced biosecurity in South-East Asia achieved in a holistic manner through multi-sectoral involvement. Project 81 is being delivered in partnership with regional and local experts and supporting current activities in, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Goals

The purpose of this project is to firstly share a set of recommendations for improving biosecurity management systems in South-East Asia addressing: biosecurity awareness, legislation and guidelines, customs and law enforcement, high-risk biological materials and facilities, microbial forensics, physical and information security framework for facilities (taking into account emerging technologies) and information exchange. Secondly the project will provide effective tools to enhance capabilities to respond to highly communicable diseases or global catastrophic biological events, such as pandemics. To strengthen the second goal in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the project has been extended to support partner countries with health emergency management capabilities in collaboration with regional experts.

Consortium

The consortium is led by the Belgium not-for-profit organization SCJS Europe and consists of EU Member State government organizations and non-profit institutions (ASST Fatebenefratelli Sacco, MORU, PHE, RIVM, VERTIC). It is a diverse and highly experienced European consortium of implementing partners, who hold a robust track record in CBRN Chemical Biological Radiology and nuclear (Chemical Biological Radiology and nuclear ) capacity building activities, and biosafety and biosecurity expertise. In addition, regional experts and subject specialists are utilized. 

RIVM role

RIVM is the leading partner of Work Package 4, dedicated to building national inventories of high-risk biological materials, dual-use research and technologies and information, based on a recognized list of high-risk biological materials. The expected outcomes of this work package are improved biological material control and accountability at high-risk biological laboratories, including strengthened physical, procedural and information security, as well as appropriate training (BSL3 facility guideline). RIVM is also involved in Work Package 7, which addresses surge capacity to deal with pandemics. This work package aims to contribute not only to a more effective response to COVID-19 but also to improve preparedness for future pandemics.

RIVM staff members from the Laboratory for Zoonoses and Environmental Microbiology and the Biosecurity Office are involved.

Contact at RIVM: Joris Sprokholt. 

Funding

This project is funded by the European Union and is delivered on behalf of the EU CBRN Centres of Excellence. Grant agreement number: IFS/2019/408-380.