International Bio Funders Compact to Integrate Biosecurity into Life Science Research Funding

People working at a laboratory

20 June, 2024, OSLO, Norway and WASHINGTON DC, USA - Today the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), in partnership with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), launched the international Bio Funders Compact at the 2024 Global Health Security Conference in Sydney, Australia. The Compact incorporates biosecurity into the bioscience research funding process to safeguard life science research from accidental or intentional misuse. Joining NTI and CEPI as founding signatories are Sentinel Bio — a new philanthropic fund launching soon — and the Global Health Security Fund.

The world is experiencing a 21st century bioscience and biotechnology revolution driven by rapid technological advances and accelerated by artificial intelligence. These advances offer significant potential benefits for promoting human health and pandemic preparedness, fostering economic development, and guarding against climate change. However, the accelerating global development of life science research and biotechnology is also contributing to growing risks of accidents or deliberate misuse.

Life science funders and investors in government, philanthropy, and the private sector hold significant leverage at the beginning of the bioscience and biotechnology research and development lifecycle. However, many funders do not conduct rigorous biosecurity reviews as part of their decision-making processes, and there are no agreed-upon best practices for doing so. The Bio Funders Compact will address this critical gap.

“The Bio Funders Compact will bring together global funders of life science research who are committed to safeguarding the tools of modern bioscience and biotechnology,” said Jaime Yassif, Ph.D., Vice President for Global Biological Policy and Programs at NTI. “We are inspired by the funders who are stepping forward today to make this shared commitment to prioritizing biosafety and biosecurity in their work. This is an important step forward for guarding against future pandemic risks and protecting populations around the world."

“I am very pleased to have signed the Bio Funders Compact this week on behalf of CEPI. It demonstrates our commitment as a research funder to promote safe, secure, and responsible investments in research against epidemic and pandemic threats. I am proud that CEPI is one of the first signatories to this important effort that will strengthen our collective capacity to safeguard life-saving research,” said Dr. Richard Hatchett, CEO of CEPI. “Enabled by generous support from Global Affairs Canada, CEPI has also recently launched a biosecurity program and will publish its first biosecurity strategy later this year, which will outline how we will strengthen biosecurity capacity in support of our 100 Days Mission.”

The Compact will improve global security by strengthening funding-based incentives for scientists and technologists to comply with biosecurity and biosafety best practices, reduce the likelihood that funders will support unduly risky research, and promote a research culture that prioritizes safety and security. Signatories commit to: 

  • Implement pre-funding biosecurity and biosafety reviews as part of the decision-making processes within our organization.
  • Conduct post-funding assessments of adherence to biosecurity and biosafety best practices among researchers that we fund.
  • Develop implementation plans to fulfill this pledge while focusing on the mission and needs of our respective organizations.
  • Designate an individual or team to oversee biosecurity and biosafety pre- and post-funding reviews as well as other activities that align with this pledge.
  • Share best practices for biosecurity and biosafety risk assessment and risk reduction among bioscience and biotechnology funding communities.

Learn more about the international Bio Funders Compact here. Organizations interested in joining the compact can reach out to [email protected] 

Notes to editors

About the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI)

NTI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan global security organization focused on reducing nuclear and biological threats imperiling humanity. Learn more at

About the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) 

CEPI is an innovative partnership between public, private, philanthropic, and civil organisations. Its mission is to accelerate the development of vaccines and other biologic countermeasures against epidemic and pandemic threats so they can be accessible to all people in need. CEPI has supported the development of more than 50 vaccine candidates or platform technologies against multiple known high-risk pathogens or a future Disease X. Central to CEPI’s pandemic-beating five-year plan for 2022-2026 is the ‘100 Days Mission’ to compress the time taken to develop safe, effective, globally accessible vaccines against new threats to just 100 days. Learn more at  



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Cathy Gwin, Senior Director of Communications
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