Rapid advances in technology hold the promise of a future that is more resilient to disease, food insecurity, and environmental instability. There is no doubt that advances in genomics, synthetic biology, and virology will continue to prove essential to achieve a safer, healthier, and more secure society.
At the same time, global trends in travel, trade, terrorism, and technology are increasing the risk of a deliberate or accidental high-consequence biological event. Advances in technology, cheaper DNA synthesis, and widespread access to gene editing tools have made it possible for a broader array of actors to manipulate biological agents and systems. These scientific advances are outpacing the ability of national governments to provide effective oversight, forcing the technical community to govern itself – and creating an uneven patchwork of security and safety practices across facilities, countries and regions.
NTI | bio is working with stakeholders around the world to mitigate the misuse of tools and technologies to carry out biological attacks and to reduce the risk of a laboratory accident that could result in a high-consequence or catastrophic biological event.
This work includes:
- Convening a global group of
leaders to develop, promulgate, and incentivize the adoption of a set of global
norms and actions to reduce biological risks associated with advances in
- Developing and incentivizing biosecurity
innovation, including novel technical solutions for overcoming security
- Strengthening and expanding the use of tools to detect the synthesis or modification of dangerous biological agents.
In 2019, NTI and its Biosecurity Innovation and Risk Reduction Initiative partners will launch five working groups to engage new stakeholders, identify urgent actions, and catalyze the adoption of new approaches to reduce biological risks associated with advances in technology.
The working groups will focus on the following five concepts identified as initial priorities by Initiative members:
- Common Mechanism to Prevent Illicit Gene Synthesis
- Financial Incentives for Biotechnology Investors to Improve Biosecurity
- Standards for Funders,Grantees, and Publishers to Identify and Mitigate Biological Risks
- Establishing a Seal of Approval to Incentivize the Adoption of Biosecurity Norms
- Insurance Incentives for Reducing Biological Risks
More information about this initiative, including concept papers by experts involved in the project outlining steps to be taken to reduce risks associated with advance in technology, can be found on the event page for the .