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International Engagement: Responsible Bioscience for a Safe and Secure Society Workshop One (2011)

Biological science and biotechnology are advancing globally at an unprecedented rate and are
being applied to such diverse sectors as energy, agriculture, health, and the environment.
Science and technology output can enhance the economic vitality of countries and regions.
International scientific collaboration plays an essential role in advancing the biological sciences
and applying their results to societal needs. These partnerships can improve relations between
countries and enhance both safety and security worldwide. Successful and sustainable
collaboration requires that potential partners have access to trained personnel and funding, and
the partnerships are mutually beneficial.

Compared to more developed regions of the world, countries in the Broader Middle East and
North Africa (BMENA) lag behind in education, specialized research institutions, and
internationally ranked universities. This situation ultimately results in low scientific productivity
with concomitant diminished levels of economic development and public health.1 A robust
scientific enterprise – both workforce and infrastructure – and strong cooperation among
scientists internationally are critical for addressing complex issues in health, agriculture, and
national security. Shared principles and practices – including bioethics, intellectual property,
biosafety, and biosecurity – facilitate productive scientific collaboration.

Related Focus Areas