The value and importance of trans-Tasman biosecurity research connections between Australia’s Plant Biosecurity Research Institute (PBRI) and New Zealand’s Better Border Biosecurity (B3) have been affirmed and strengthened following a recent virtual meeting of the organisations’ Chairs and Directors.
B3 Director Dr David Teulon said the meeting last month included looking at the suitability of the current Memorandum of Understanding – signed in August 2019 – between the two research organisations based on what is currently happening in their respective research programs. The leaders looked at how increase the effectiveness of trans-Tasman plant border biosecurity collaborative research.
Both organisations are enthusiastic about taking next steps to achieve a more mature relationship that builds on work already completed to date, which includes workshops on priority invasive species, identifying and initiating joint research projects and planning regular joint symposium or conferences.
The PBRI Symposium in Brisbane in August 2019 provided a valuable platform for exploring shared research interests, but progress in this area was impacted by the postponement of the 2020 B3 Conference where further discussions were planned. The PBRI/B3 relationship has so far had important flow on effects in facilitating greater interaction between Australian and New Zealand government and industry biosecurity interests.
Director’s Jo Luck (PBRI) and David Teulon (B3) are in regular discussions to explore meaningful collaborative research opportunities and both agree that moving forward area they want to progress is developing a strong and sustainable trans-Tasman graduate community.
“We need to keep an eye on our future capability needs and provide for professional development if our biosecurity systems are to remain successful, “Dr Luck says.
Chairs Greg Fraser (PBRI) and James Buwalda (B3) agree the focus moving forward should be on being more proactive and strategic. This approach will assist PBRI and B3 to work together to develop the best research teams to tackle biosecurity challenges of common interest rather than duplicating efforts.
“We need to develop truly jointly funded and collaborative projects in areas of high concern for both countries,” says Dr Buwalda
Both PBRI and B3 will place greater emphasis on the commonalities in their strategies and investment plans to develop more strategic goals for collaboration and the Directors will develop yearly action plans. Additionally, the Directors plan to be more active in attending each other’s operational and strategic planning meetings. PBRI and B3 will continue to plan for joint conferences held in Australia and New Zealand in alternate years. The next B3 Conference is planned for Wellington in May 2021.
An updated MOU is now being developed and will be considered by the PBRI and B3 Boards in the near future.
For more information contact
Dr David Teulon, B3: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Jo Luck, PBRI: Jo Luck email@example.com