Faculty has been selected as the prime contractor for the National Biosurveillance Network (NBN) to help the country prepare, evaluate and respond to future biosecurity risks across animal, human and plant health.

Leading a team of 50 user-design, science and technology specialists across Faculty, Accenture, Ginkgo Bioworks and the London Data Company, Faculty has also assembled a 12-member Expert Advisory Panel consisting of leading academics and international experts to steer the work.

The work, commissioned by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), on behalf of the Cabinet Office, will initially assess current biosecurity programmes across government and identify gaps in capability.

The NBN has come from emerging UK government policy on biosurveillance, taking advantage of advances in science and technology, as well as the UK’s leading international expertise in data, AI, innovation and life sciences.

The initial ‘discovery’ phase, which began in February 2023, will provide a roadmap towards a new surveillance network and capability for the UK.

Faculty will help review what has been done to date regarding biosurveillance, the gaps within existing systems and how existing capabilities can be extended. Faculty’s work will also consider the operational design of a series of pilots to test the NBN concept.

The long term aim for the NBN is for it to monitor all biological threats, including those not yet known. The aim is to build a connected, cross-government, cross-industry, cross-UK network to ensure threats are detected and responded to more effectively.

“The National Biosurveillance Network is a pivotal piece of work that will help secure the UK’s future biosecurity. Faculty is proud to draw together and lead a team of industry-leading experts in an agile and innovative way to ensure we meet the needs of this project. With rapid advances in science and technology, the NBN Discovery phase starts to articulate a new way to secure the UK against high-impact biosecurity risks, both known and unknown.”

Hugh Neylan, Head of Health at Faculty

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