The Centre for Long-Term Resilience welcomes the publication of the refreshed Biological Security Strategy (BSS) from the UK Government, which outlines Government’s vision for transforming the UK's preparedness for, and resilience to, the full spectrum of biological threats by 2030.
COVID-19 emphasised that the UK—and the world—are vulnerable to extreme biological risks. These risks can be mitigated but this requires serious efforts to invest in and sustain the capabilities necessary to prevent, detect and respond to emerging threats.
The UK Government has shown it understands the importance and urgency of such efforts: the BSS identifies 15 priority outcomes to achieve by 2030, which—taken together—should serve to mitigate the risk of future naturally occurring pandemics, lab accidents, and deliberate biological attacks. The Strategy is also accompanied by a £1.5 billion/year investment to support its implementation.
Our biosecurity team will be publishing a full response and analysis of this strategy over the coming hours.
The refreshed Biological Security Strategy can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-biological-security-strategy
The Cabinet Office's press release can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/dowden-world-class-crisis-capabilities-deployed-to-defeat-biological-threats-of-tomorrow
Deputy Prime Minister Rt Hon Oliver Dowden said: "This plan and our £1.5 billion investment per year puts us in a strong position to defeat the biological threats of tomorrow - from diseases to bioweapons and antimicrobial resistance. It’s a strong and ambitious approach: one that harnesses the sheer ingenuity of the UK’s researchers and scientists, and deploys our world-class crisis management capabilities to protect the people of the UK."
Dr Cassidy Nelson, CLTR's Head of Biosecurity Policy, commented: "This much-needed strategy underscores the UK’s role as a global leader in enhancing resilience against biological risks. We welcome the goal to achieve resilience to the full spectrum of biological threats by 2030, and commend the use of built-in accountability measures to drive the implementation of the strategy. We now need sustained resourcing and prioritisation to achieve tangible improvements to the UK’s biosecurity capabilities on such an ambitious timeline."