NTI Launches New Global Biosecurity Innovation and Risk Reduction Initiative

NTI | bio,
partnering with experts from around the world, launched the
Biosecurity Innovation and Risk Reduction Initiative
in Cambridge, Massachusetts on
October 29. The multi-
year project seeks to identify, develop, publicize, and
promote concrete and normative actions to reduce global catastrophic biological
risks associated with advances in technology.

“It is
imperative to recognize both the important benefits and the risks associated
with advances in biotechnology,” said NTI
Co-Chair and CEO Ernest J. Moniz. “This
initiative engages the global technical community to develop concrete actions
now that allow us to reduce the risk of accidental or deliberate misuse and
create new opportunities for biosecurity innovation.”

included global leaders in the related fields of
genomics, virology, microbiology,
security, bioethics, research funding, and science publishing.

that advances in biotechnology are rapidly outpacing the ability of governments
to provide effective oversight, Initiative participants–including leading
technical experts and organizations such as Wellcome Trust, the World Economic
Forum, and the World Health Organization—discussed the vision and actions that
would guide the effort and agreed to take forward specific proposals for
institutions, companies, and investors to reduce risks
.  The proposals include incentives and new mechanisms
for the technical community and the private sector to prevent misuse and
promote a safer, more secure pursuit of biotechnology innovation to benefit
society. Among them:

  • A universal platform to prevent illicit gene synthesis
  • Financial incentives for biotechnology investors to improve biosecurity
  • Standards for funders and grantees to identify and mitigate biological risks
  • Insurance incentives for reducing biological risks
  • Seals of approval for experts and institutions who adhere to biosecurity best practices.

2019, NTI and its partners will organize working groups composed of Initiative
members and other subject-matter experts to further refine proposed new actions,
consider pilot projects to demonstrate their feasibility, and develop
strategies for widespread adoption.

NTI effort is made possible through generous support from the
Open Philanthropy Project.

About the Nuclear Threat Initiative

The Nuclear Threat Initiative works to
protect our lives, environment, and quality of life now and for future
generations. We work to prevent catastrophic attacks with weapons of mass
destruction and disruption (WMDD)—nuclear, biological, radiological, chemical,
and cyber. 

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