On 9 August 2015 in Geneva prof. Słomski and about 40 participants took part in the workshop “Advances in Design and Use of Microbial Production Systems” organised by the IAP Biosecurity Working Group. The meeting concerned the microbial systems that can be used to produce therapeutic proteins, as well as chemical particles, such as medicaments and biofuels. Implementing production based on bioprocesses will further develop thanks to the progress being made in genetic engineering and the possibility to transfer the metabolic pathways among living organisms.
A lot of attention was paid to synthetic biology. The problems concerning increasing the use of microbial systems in the production of biological and chemical substances in regard to the BWC programmes implementation were also included in the workshop programme. Prof. Słomski chaired the afternoon session „Strategies for Reducing Design and Development Barriers” and moderated
the final discussion among the workshop participants. He also presented the results of his studies concerning the use of bacteria in producing important substances for the industry. A summary report of the workshop will be made available at the Meeting of States Parties in December 2015 and posted on the IAP Working Group website.
The Polish delegation at the BWC Experts Meeting (10-15 August 2015) was comprised of six representatives, including prof. Ryszard Słomski, who acted as a delegate and a non-governmental organisation representative. The meeting was chaired by the Ambassador Mazlan Mahomet from Malaysia. According to the decision of the Seventh Review Conference three regular points
of the agenda were discussed: 1) cooperation and assistance, with a particular focus on strengthening cooperation and assistance under Article X; 2) a review of developments in the field of science and technology related to the Convention; and 3) strengthening national implementation of BWC decisions. Also the two-year long works on how to strengthen the implementation of Article VII of the Convention were considered, including the detailed procedures and mechanisms for the provision of assistance and cooperation by the States Parties.
On 10 August prof. Słomski presented the position of the IAP Inter-Academy Panel: (link) and on 12 August he presented the IAP past activities and its plans for the future: (link). Both statements were included in the daily BWC meetings’ reports (http://www.bwpp.org/documents/MX15-02.pdf and http://www.bwpp.org/documents/MX15-04.pdf).
Furthermore, prof. Słomski took part in the satellite meetings: 1) Developments in Science and Technology Relevant to the BWC, Switzerland (with contributions from National Academy
of Sciences, Royal Society, OPCW, Bio Secure and Research Group for Biological Arms Control (10 August); 2) Safeguarding Science in the 21st Century: Biosecurity Textbook, The Netherlands
and the UK (11 August) and 3) National Measures to Address Dual Use Research, The USA and the Netherlands (12 August). The third event provided examples from four countries – the USA, the Netherlands, Indonesia, and Malaysia and it was notable that in each case the national academy of sciences of that country is playing a significant role in helping to develop policy.
The Biosecurity Working Group also received attention during the plenary sessions as part of a presentation by Dr. Peter Mcgrath, IAP Executive Director. The main topic of his talk was the work of TWAS on science diplomacy, but he included the activities of the Biosecurity Working Group as another example of the contributions that scientific organizations can make to promoting international peace and security. A copy of his presentation may be found at http://tinyurl.com/o8dnk6