Kansas Bioscience Authority starts research initiative

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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OLATHE, KAS. — The Kansas Bioscience Authority has launched a $2.5 million initiative to create products that protect the nation’s food supply and protect Americans from the use of animal-born diseases to disrupt the economy or infect humans.

The initiative, called the Collaborative Biosecurity Research Initiative, is designed to promote inter-institutional research that will develop countermeasures for foreign-animal diseases; provide advanced test and evaluation capability for threat detection, vulnerability and countermeasure assessment for animal and zoonotic diseases; support the licensure of vaccine countermeasures; and strengthen biosecurity capabilities of institutions serving specific regions and populations.

"We are issuing a call today for the nation’s biggest researchers to partner with us to protect public health and safeguard the agriculture economy," said Tom Thornton, president of the K.B.A. "Our facilities are highly specialized and world-class, and our scientists are doing world-class research. Now is the time for collaboration to take on this important national challenge."

Mr. Thornton said a deliberate attack or a natural outbreak would reduce public trust in agriculture safety and the country’s ability to provide food and agriculture products.

Agriculture and food infrastructure represents 12% of the national gross domestic product and accounts for one in six jobs in direct or related employment.

The C.B.R.I. is teaming up with Kansas State University to allow academic, federal-agency and nonprofit researchers work with Kansas State scientists and provide research not possible at other institutions. The C.B.R.I. will provide up to $500,000 to investigators doing research projects with researchers at the university’s Biosecurity Research Institute.

"The research horsepower leverages by this initiative will enable K-State and our collaborators to play a critical role in protecting our nation from high-consequence biological threats," said Ron Trewyn, vice-president for research at K.S.U. "And we will now be able to take the one-of-a-kind facility we have in the Biosecurity Research Institute to the broader scientific community."

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