B3 hosted a successful and productive virtual Science Partnership Forum on 15 October, with over 80 participants taking part in the day-long event. Despite this being a virtual meeting the feedback was very encouraging and affirming of current research happening in the plant biosecurity space.

The forum is held twice a year and brings together researchers from across B3, PhD students currently working on biosecurity related topics, international scientists and connections, representatives from partner organisations, Biological Heritage NSC, stakeholders and end users. A new biosecurity focussed proposal funded through Genomics Aotearoa was also presented.

Director David Teulon said the event highlighted once again the value of the biosecurity community coming together to share updates, ideas and research as well as launching the latest call for B3 research concepts to be funded in the 2021-22 year.

Dr Teulon also presented updates on directions outlined in the draft 2020-2025 B3 Strategic Plan and said it was encouraging to hear from a number of PhD students about their work in biosecurity research.

Additionally, University of Canterbury engineering students highlighted their work on a project funded through the B3 project Biosecurity Excellence in Port Communities. Their research looks at detection methods for potentially contaminated containers that do not impact port operations. They did this through automated image capturing and processing.

“It is good to see such enthusiasm in our next generation of biosecurity researchers,” Dr Teulon said.

Also presenting was entomologist Dr Helen Spafford from Western Australia’s Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development team based in Kununurra. Dr Spafford presented on Fall Army Worm and how this is being managed in Australia.

The next Science Partnership Forum is scheduled to be held as part of the B3 Conference May 17-18 2021.