I returned last week from a successful visit to the USA. The purpose of the visit was to attend the Quads Scientific Collaboration Working Group meeting and to identify research areas that can be developed as collaborative efforts as part of the re-bid.
There is strong interest within the USDA-APHIS-CPHST group for collaborative links with the CRC. Areas such as digital diagnostics, climate change and quarantine inspection technologies are examples of those areas that have real potential for strong international collaboration.
Last week an information paper was circulated widely that gives an overview of the re-bid. The paper can be found on our website. The paper gives an outline of the draft program structure and likely research areas within each program. The Science Committee are currently developing a program overview that will explore the research areas in greater detail. Our Research Leader, Dr David Eagling and his team of Program Leaders will have a first draft completed in early March.
The draft program structure is;
• Program 1: Managing area freedom – diagnostic and surveillance tools
• Program 2: Securing product integrity – system approaches
• Program 3: Enhancing biosecurity preparedness – pre-border, border and post-border protection
• Program 4: Engaging communities – through education and training
• Program 5: Delivering biosecurity innovation – through market validation
The name proposed for for the re-bid is Plant Biosecurity CRC. The tagline will change from biosecurity built on science to science underpinning market access. In this way the CRC’s name will emphasise the importance of trade and market access. I am keen to hear individual views on other possibilities for a name and tagline.
The taskforce continues to work on developing the re-bid and a consultant has been engaged to assist with the process.
To assist the CRC in developing the re-bid an independent review on the quality of science being undertaken by the CRC has been arranged. The review will be undertaken around the Global Biosecurity 2010 conference and the review panel consists of three highly respected members of the plant biosecurity system, Dr Gordon Gordh (chair), Mr Andrew Inglis and Dr Bill Roberts.
Global Biosecurity 2010
The conference commences next week and the organising committee are very happy with the program, the quality of speakers and the social activities which are so important for building networks. This event could not be possible without our wonderful sponsors and the organisations who have chosen to exhibit at the conference. The number of registrants has now exceeded 400 which is very pleasing.
I look forward to catching up with many of you next week in Brisbane.