Project Title: "Biosafety and biosecurity risk management for Georgia", EU / UNICRI, C4; Project Duration: 15.08.2013 - 15.08.2015.

Project Summary

a).Project Objective: This project aims to reduce biological threats in Georgia through raising awareness of staff working on biological material in Georgian institutions. Knowledge of biosafety aspects and protective measures are at a fairly low level in Georgia, moreover, that there is no biosafety officer’s specialization that would support to establish safe and secure work practices. The project envisaged to institutionalize biosafety officer’s status, which is one of the major contributing factor in the laboratory and field work in order to protect the lab environment through monitor and control measures.

b) Project Implementation: The project aims to achieve this by preparing of about 60 specialist selected from a variety of institutions, who will undergo training in biosafety and biosecurity on the basis of National Center for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC) and by its training program. The training program will be developed based on adoption of existing training materials and by considering of risk assessment analysis. In the first stage there will be determined all the gaps and inaccuracies identified during risk assessment conducted in the selected institutes working and handling the biologically hazardous materials. The obtained results allow us to focus on what aspects need to pay attention while developing the training materials, to determine which training model and design will be appropriate to develop, how to divide the target groups' by considering of their needs. 
With the aim to strengthen professional capacity in the field of biosafety, 10 specialists from laboratory network will be sent to the leading European universities, who will be formed as biosafety officers. These specialists will serve as trainers in the training activities planned in Georgia at the next stage in order to share their knowledge to other colleagues. This interaction will increase the overall awareness among medical and veterinary staff. Training workshops will be held at NCDC, where the selected candidates from those institutes, where initial risk assessment was conducted will participate. The training sessions will include a theoretical and practical materials, scenarios on decontamination of biologically hazardous materials and initial response actions to the operating procedures;
Final accord of the projects is to arrange a broad public discussion between the beneficial institutes (management, trained staff), governmental officials from medical and veterinary field and all interested parties to discuss challenged in biosafety/biosecurity legislation and introduce recommendations considering the risk assessment analysis.

c) Expected results:
• Georgia will benefit with 10 specialists (biosafety officers), who pass the certificated training courses in European a leading institutes; also will have trained in general biosafety standards, 60 specialists, among them: lab specialists, lab managers, public health workers, and all those, who work on biological materials;
• Implementation of the program will result in the preparation of recommendations, to support make the amendment in the biosafety legislation and regulations;
• Raising the rate of the general biosafety awareness among medical and veterinary specialists.