International Bio Funders Compact

Incorporating biosecurity reviews into bioscience and biotechnology funding processes.


Funders and investors hold significant leverage at the start of the bioscience and biotechnology R&D lifecycle. However, most funders do not conduct rigorous biosecurity reviews as part of their decision-making processes, and there are no agreed-upon best practices for doing so.


Establish a public commitment by bioscience and biotechnology funders to incorporate biosecurity and biosafety into their decision-making processes.


Reduce the likelihood that funders will support unduly risky bioscience research. Incentivize scientists and technologists to adhere to biosecurity and biosafety best practices.

What is the international Bio Funders Compact?

Life science breakthroughs have led to a surge in public and private biological research funding globally, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Funders hold significant leverage at the start of the bioscience and biotechnology research and development lifecycle and can incentivize scientists to follow biosecurity norms and best practices. However, many funders do not conduct rigorous biosecurity reviews as part of their proposal assessments and funding decisions, creating significant vulnerabilities.

Although some limited pre-funding biosecurity review processes exist within the U.S. government and elsewhere, there are no agreed upon best practices for doing so. There are often little to no biosecurity safeguards in place among private funders—such as philanthropies and investors—who are playing a growing role in supporting bioscience and biotechnology research and development. Where they do exist, current oversight mechanisms for public and private funding are insufficient for guarding against accidental or deliberate misuse of the rapidly advancing tools of modern bioscience and biotechnology. This is a global issue, as many influential funders operate internationally.

To address this challenge, NTI | bio is partnering with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to launch the international Bio Funders Compact (BFC), a public commitment by funders to incorporate biosecurity into their decision-making processes. The BFC constitutes an impactful biosecurity intervention early in the bioscience and biotechnology research and development life cycle. By inserting a more robust biosecurity check point at the funding stage, this compact provides an early intervention to prevent unduly risky projects from moving forward.

Signatories to the BFC commit to implementing pre-funding biosecurity reviews and post-funding assessments, sharing best practices among fellow funders of life science research, and allocating human and financial resources to fulfill their commitments. The BFC is designed to be flexible to meet the organizational needs of a diverse set of funding institutions, while also providing support to help signatories follow through on their pledge. NTI is convening international experts to develop tools that help funders put their commitments into practice, including a pre-funding assessment framework to help organizations assess incoming proposals in terms of the level of risk they pose and to offer risk mitigation strategies. NTI and partners will also convene the Bio Funders Forum, a venue where funders can share best practices and report on their BFC implementation progress.

Bio Funders Compact Commitments

Signatories commit to:

  1. Implement pre-funding biosecurity and biosafety reviews as part of the decision-making processes within our organization.
  2. Conduct post-funding assessments of adherence to biosecurity and biosafety best practices among researchers that we fund.
  3. Develop implementation plans to fulfill this pledge while focusing on the mission and needs of our respective organizations.
  4. Designate an individual or team to oversee biosecurity and biosafety pre- and post-funding reviews as well as other activities that align with this pledge.
  5. Share best practices for biosecurity and biosafety risk assessment and risk reduction among bioscience and biotechnology funding communities.


Richard Hatchett

Andrew Nerlinger
Executive Director and Co-Founder
Global Health Security Fund

Claire Qureshi
Sentinel Bio

Learn more about the BFC and the implementation plan here. If you or your organization are interested in becoming a signatory to the Bio Funders Compact, please contact us at [email protected].

This project emerged from NTI | bio’s Biosecurity Innovation and Risk Reduction Initiative (BIRRI).



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