A new phase in EDA’s testing and evaluation project of biological detection, identification and monitoring (DIM) equipment was launched on 26 February at a kick-off meeting at the Agency. Dubbed ‘T&E Bio DIM Phase 2’ (2020-2023) the project aims to deliver improved testing and evaluation capabilities to ensure the performance of biological DIM systems at the development and procurement stage. It follows up to the project’s first phase which prepared the ground and set the framework for further action in this domain.
Five EDA Member States (Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands) as well as Norway (which has signed an Administrative Agreement with the Agency) are participating in T&E Bio DIM Phase 2.
Detection, identification and monitoring of biological material are critical to enhancing situational awareness in a timely manner, supporting decisions, and enabling military commanders to take the most appropriate decisions in a recognized chemical and biological environment. Despite the importance of biological DIM, Europe still lacks coordination and harmonisation of the technical requirements for Member States’ test and evaluation (T&E) equipment. This makes it difficult to compare and exchange T&E results both within and between European countries as well as NATO members. It also causes duplication of effort and reduces the cost-effectiveness of both national and international military and civilian T&E efforts, e.g. by limiting the burden-sharing and cost-reduction potential that could have been realised.
In Phase 1 of the project, a general framework (in the form of a set of commonly defined requirements and criteria) was developed for T&E of biological DIM equipment. Based on this framework, Phase 2 is set to deliver improved testing and evaluation capabilities.
T&E Bio DIM Phase2 kick-off meeting at EDA on 26 February 2020
European Bio Defence Laboratory Network
Moreover, another related EDA project is under preparation, the European Bio Defence Laboratory Network (EBLN Phase II), which will aim to strengthen EU preparedness by establishing a fully characterised collection of biological agents and a closely collaborating laboratory network at EU level in order to rapidly identify biothreat agents. Participating Member States in EBLN II are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden.
The two projects are part of EDA’s long term research efforts to enhance Member States’ bio defence capabilities and thereby, improve Europe’s overall ability to respond to emerging biological threats.