About the Community
For more than 10 years, laboratory biosafety and biosecurity workshops and training programs have been conducted in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Despite these efforts, best practices and training materials often are not shared among the MENA scientific and health sectors. To address this issue, Gryphon Scientific and the Royal Scientific Society of Jordan, funded by the U.S. Department of State Biosecurity Engagement Program, lead an effort to promote information-sharing about best practices and training materials for laboratory and field biological or chemical safety and security in the region through the MENA Bio-Chem COMPASS, which stands for MENA Region Community of Practice for Biological and Chemical Safety and Security.
The MENA Bio-Chem COMPASS was created to promote interactions among regional and international experts working in biological and chemical safety and security, whether in diagnostic, industrial, or research settings, in laboratories or the field. The community of practice is action-oriented and focused on engaging scientists and educators who actively promote biological and/or chemical risk mitigation strategies in their institutions, within their professional networks, and with scientists in other institutions nationally, regionally, and internationally. The community of practice aims to promote sustainability, information-sharing, and dissemination of biological or chemical risk management efforts, identify gaps not already addressed by past and current programs, and enable new collaborations to translate best practices from one organization to others. Through these efforts, the developers hope that biological and chemical safety and security will be strengthened throughout the region.
The virtual platform facilitates communication, information sharing, and collaboration among members of the MENA Bio-Chem COMPASS.
Our Vision and Mission
The vision of the community of practice is to advance the human and technical capacities of Bio/Chem safety and security activities in laboratories and field settings throughout the Middle East and North Africa by promoting information-exchange, collaboration, and development of training materials on best practices.
Building from this vision, the mission of the community of practice is to contribute to providing safer and more secure work environments for Bio/Chem professionals and to raise the awareness, knowledge and preparedness of concerned parties in MENA countries. This vision and mission are achieved by providing opportunities, though a virtual platform, for scientists and educators in MENA countries to share existing training materials, collaboratively identify training needs and develop training materials to address those needs, seek advice from fellow experts about challenging bio or chemical risk management situations, and learn about opportunities to enhance their own skills and knowledge-base for addressing biological and chemical risks.
MENA Region Community of Practice for Biological and Chemical Risk Management Workshop
In April 2019, a workshop was held in Amman, Jordan to encourage participation and commitment on information-sharing about best practices and training materials for laboratory biological and chemical safety and security in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region through the community of practice. Participants representing a number of MENA countries and institutions gathered to engage in interactive activities and discussion about the vision and purpose of the community of practice, the virtual community platform, and strengths and limitations of existing training programs and engagement activities on biological and chemical safety and security in the MENA region.