INTERNATIONAL PROGRAM FOR RISK MANAGEMENT IN THE BIOINDUSTRY
A participant in the P244NTSCECND project implemented by the Nuclear Technology Safety Center (NTSC) under the Agreement with the ISTC, Tazhibayeva Tamara — PhD in Biology, Associate Professor of the UNESCO Chair in Sustainable Development of the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University became a participant in the International Program «Securing Laboratory Infrastructure in a Post-Pandemic Age», funded by the American Foundation Health Security Partners (HSP).
The goal of the program is to develop an institutional framework for managing biorisks and cyberbiosecurity in the modern bioindustry.
More than 20 scientists and practitioners from research institutes, universities, clinical and reference laboratories in Armenia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Romania took part in the program. HSP mentored international experts representing Project Safe Lab — Laboratory Defense Project (USA), The Center for the Study of Democracy (Bulgaria), Sention (Australia), Virginia Tech (USA) .
HSP Program Manager Renee Travis described the new program in detail. The multilevel program included the following activities: 3-day , in-person biorisk management and advanced biosecurity workshop in Tbilisi, Georgia, January 25-27, 2023; two-day, virtual seminar on cyberbiosecurity February 14-15, 2023; a mentorship session with a team of HSP experts focused on implementing best practices in these subject; a wrap-up virtual plenary session for participants to discuss lessons learned and develop future recommendations for their organizations.
The seminar in Tbilisi was held at the Lugar Center and began with a tour of the BSL-2 and BSL-3 Georgian Biosafety Laboratory, which meets all the necessary standards for researching and combating the spread of dangerous bacterial and viral infections, including COVID-19. The range of issues addressed at the seminar by facilitators Dr. Lora Grainger from Project Safe Lab and Dr. Tatyana Novossiolova from The Center for the Study of Democracy included: threats to biosecurity in the 21st century; biorisk management in laboratory practice; new technologies and dual-use research in the life sciences; bioethics and culture of risk management in research and production.
Currently, bioindustry enterprises have become targets for cyberattacks on access to research data and materials. In this regard, it is extremely important to identify and assess the vulnerability of laboratory structures to mitigate and prevent possible threats of unauthorized access, leakage and misuse of biomaterials and research results, which should become a reliable shield for industrial espionage, terrorism, and military use.
Topics such as facilitators from Australia Managing Director Dan Shields, Dr Rebecca Hoile (Section Pty Ltd.) and Dr Feras Batarseh (Virginia Tech) addressed the Cyber Biosecurity Virtual Workshop, focusing participants on the elements and activities of Cyber Biosecurity, Cyber-Physical and Information Security, Policy Development, programs and action plans of the enterprise in this new, but certainly relevant in modern conditions, field of activity. The interactive format of the seminars, work in small groups to solve situational problems, discussions and test tasks will serve as an invaluable experience for all participants in this program.
The proposed approaches and recommendations of international experts on biosafety risk management are closely related to the Intracompany Export Control Program (ICP) developed by us for bioindustry enterprises and will serve as the basis for inclusion in the database on the nonproliferation of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats being created by the NTSC.
Tazhibayeva T. — Participant of the ISTC Project R 244NTSCECND, Ph.D. in Science, Associate Professor of the UNESCO Chair for Sustainable Development of Al-Farabi Kazakh National University