One of BEP's primary objectives is to increase biosafety and biosecurity awarenessand best practices within a country or region through direct engagement with scientists, public and veterinary health workers, and government officials. This engagement helps improve biorisk management practices through training and consultation with experts, which may involve providing biosecurity and biosafety equipment and upgrades. As with all BEP strategies, this method is focused on addressing the country or region-specific biosafety and biosecurity needs in ways that are commensurate with local resources and expertise.
Methods employed to increase biosafety and biosecurity include, but are not limited to:
- Technical Consultation and Risk Assessments: Offer consultation and risk assessments for laboratories that handle or store dangerous pathogens to ensure that proper procedures and precautions are in place, as well as technical consultation on proper laboratory equipment and appropriate facility size and scope; provide assistance with long-term sustainability plans, but do not encourage or provide construction funding for high containment (BSL 3 or 4) laboratories
- Training on Biorisk Management and Train the Trainer Programs: Provide training, as well as train the trainer courses, to researchers and laboratory safety officers to teach best biosafety and biosecurity practices, as well as biorisk assessment skills, and build internal capacity for these trainees to train others within their country or region
- Safety and Security Upgrades: Provide safety and security upgrades to ensure that facilities possess the necessary equipment and materials to perform work in a safe and secure environment
- Biological Safety Associations: Support the establishment of biological safety associations within a country or region to bring together all areas of the scientific community to discuss biorisk management issues, perform trainings, and establish guidelines and expectations for best practices in biosafety and biosecurity
Biorisk management cuts across all three of the pillars of biosecurity engagement and is an integral component of each BEP-sponsored engagement or project. For each activity, BEP focuses on ensuring that engagements are sustainable, and that best practices are likely to continue even after U.S. funding has ended. This is why the establishment of long-term engagement mechanisms, such as biological safety associations and train the trainer programs, is becoming an even more important part of BEP. Through these types of engagements, BEP will focus on building the institutional knowledge and infrastructure that will foster a sustainable culture for biorisk management.