U.K. MOD seeks to increase biological security through collaboration

The Ministry of Defence announced on Saturday that it is looking to increase collaboration with the United Kingdom and international laboratories to strengthen biological security.

The MOD acknowledged outbreaks of natural disease and the spread of infectious agents, whether accidental or deliberate, are threats to global security. It is seeking to find innovative ways to keep the threat of such outbreaks under control.

The MOD announced it will be seeking improved biosecurity through its U.K. Biological Engagement Programme, which works hand-in-hand with the Global Partnerships, launched in 2002 at the G8 Kananaskis Summit. The U.K. BEP said it wishes to couple the best of U.K. academia and industry to find the best way to improve biological security across the nation. The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory's Centre for Defence Enterprise has released a report asking for new research in a multitude of areas.

The CDE has asked for collaborative research projects, including innovation from scientists in the U.K., Central Asia, Caucasus, the Middle East and North Africa to tackle biosafety, biosecurity, infectious disease diagnosis, modern laboratory techniques and technologies and new advancements in data analysis and scientific writing.

The CDE has also asked for better regional networks for scientific collaboration, by means of conferences, workshops and training courses, that address the objections of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention.

The CDE has asked that all proposals be submitted on the CDE website by October 28 of this year. The official announcement will be made today and October 3 during two webinars.