International Network on Biotechnology: First Network Partners Meeting
On 12-13 July 2016, the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) organized the First Network Partners Meeting for the International Network on Biotechnology (INB). The meeting was organized in collaboration with the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and attended by a diverse group of stakeholders, including academic and research institutions from South-East Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and the Americas. Also present were representatives from the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), the Biological Weapons Convention – Implementation Support Unit (BWC-ISU), Interpol and the World Health Organization (WHO).
During the meeting, discussions were held on how the INB can support education on topics including, biosafety, biosecurity and bioethics by drawing on the local knowledge and collective expertise of participating institutions.
UNICRI showcased several different types of educational resources that could be developed within the framework of the INB, including:
- Short awareness-raising videos;
- Technology briefs, focusing on advances in biotechnology;
- Virtual lab tours, developed for training purposes; and
- Table-top exercises.
UNICRI emphasised that all the resources showcased during the meeting could be tailored to the local needs of partner universities and institutions, and could be crafted to match the unique characteristics of audience coming from different regions, countries, institutions and age-groups.
Offering a very positive response, the INB’s partners not only affirmed the value of educational resources of this kind, but also committed to further co-developing and disseminating these resources through their respective institutions.
The meeting concluded with the identification of 14 actions that the INB’s partners would take in the coming months in order to co-develop, use and disseminate educational materials dedicated to addressing dual-use concerns in the life sciences and biotechnology. UNICRI, for its part, reiterated its role in facilitating this process and coordinating these actions.
For more information, please contact Mr. Jayant Sangwan, Associate Programme Officer, UNICRI CBRN Risk Mitigation and Security Governance. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org