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Biosecurity Risk Assessment in the Life Sciences: Towards a Toolkit for Individual Practitioners

Biosecurity Risk Toolkit cover
Publisher: SIPRI
SIPRI, Stockholm:
March, 2023

There are a number of potential risks and unintended consequences associated with research at the intersection of biological sciences and emerging technologies, including the risk of misuse for malicious purposes. While there are established biorisk management approaches to dealing with these dangers, gaps remain. This paper focuses on the role of individual practitioners in contributing to a larger culture of biosafety and biosecurity. It presents a proposed toolkit that involves a risk assessment process and strategies to manage potential risks. The paper outlines ways to motivate practitioners to proactively take responsibility for considering and managing the biorisks associated with their work, aiming to close the knowledge gap by equipping scientists with appropriate tools to implement a comprehensive biorisk mitigation strategy at the practical level. It concludes by deploying the approach using a potential application from nanobiotechnology for demonstration purposes and considers next steps.



1. Understanding the biorisk landscape

2. Biosecurity risk assessment in practice

3. Proposed approach for a practical biorisk assessment toolkit  

4. Biosecurity risk assessment of emerging technologies 



Dr Mirko Himmel is an Associate Senior Researcher within the SIPRI Armament and Disarmament research area.