B3 Director David Teulon said the five separate virtual meetings – featuring presentations from   all of B3’s current research projects in the collaboration’s five themes – was the first time extensive information about all B3 projects have been able to be shared  at one time.

All B3’s project leaders contributed, along with key members of the research teams, with the Theme Leaders (who chaired the meetings), the Theme Representatives, and other key stakeholders in virtual attendance. “These were B3’s first virtual meetings of this size”, said Dr Teulon, “and we were unsure how they would work. We learnt that we could have invited many more from NZ’s biosecurity community as well as interested parties from overseas”.

The virtual meetings were held over three days in early May during the COVID-19 lockdown in lieu of the postponed B3 Conference 2020.

“Those people working in biosecurity research, our partners, stakeholders and end users appreciated hearing directly from the B3 teams as well as having an opportunity to ask questions and make connections,” Dr Teulon said.

“The outstanding feature of this all-of-programme-approach was the identification and development of linkages across the different themes and projects”. “This provided us with quite a different perspective of the B3 programme and will enable us to develop an even more effective programme in the future”.

“I was very pleased with the level of interaction, the connections made and potential follow up to further our research projects,” Dr Teulon added.

MPI’s Aurelie Castinel said the B3 virtual theme meetings were an excellent way to share, discuss and assimilate the research completed to date.

“It also gave an opportunity to identify synergies and gaps across themes as all projects were presented in detail,” Dr Castinel said.

DOC’s Chris Green also appreciated the meetings declaring them a huge success.

“It was a great show-case of what is happening across the B3 spectrum of research projects, which I found rewarding, and I got a great deal out of it,” Dr Green said.

B3 has rescheduled its conference to 17/18 May 2021 in Wellington, and is planning to repeat the virtual theme meetings in 2022