A joint CSER & CLTR response to the UK Government’s refreshed Biological Security Strategy has been released.
We are pleased to see many important commitments to strengthening the UK’s capabilities for preventing, detecting and responding to biological threats in the Biological Security Strategy (BSS), published on 12 June 2023.
We particularly welcome commitments to formalise the Government’s biosecurity leadership, governance and accountability structures, to invest in the UK’s real-time biosurveillance and detection capabilities, and to lead internationally in establishing standards of best practice for responsible innovation.
We also commend the Government on allocating £1.5 billion per year to support this work, but urge the Government to continue to sustain a level of investment commensurate with the urgency and importance of implementing the BSS’ priority outcomes.
To facilitate the delivery of the Strategy’s 15 priority outcomes on such an ambitious timeline, we suggest the Government should:
- Identify reporting milestones and specific, measurable targets for each of the priority outcomes within the Strategy.
- Set out how it will develop thoughtful regulatory standards and practices for ensuring responsible innovation.
- Establish mechanisms for identifying and accessing the diversity of relevant expertise needed to support the Strategy’s implementation.
- Ensure a variety of intervention options are being evaluated and appropriately incorporated into future biological event response planning.