The past four years have highlighted significant gaps in our global health security infrastructure - while we have seen tremendous technical advances in our ability to detect and respond to pathogens, there is significant opportunity to improve the end-to-end response system. There is urgency to act. Increased trade, climate change, and urbanization all lead experts to anticipate increases in both the frequency and severity of naturally occurring pathogens.

Meanwhile, rapidly expanding and globalizing capabilities in biological engineering have also increased the probability that significant biological incidents, such as the accidental or intentional release of genetically enhanced pathogens will happen.

The evolution of this landscape demands a new approach to detecting and responding to biological threats. The future approach to global health security infrastructure should be innovative, public-private-centric, and increasingly focused on building localized end-to-end systems that provide self-sufficiency.

In response, the World Economic Forum recently launched the Biothreat & Disease Surveillance Initiative to catalyze the establishment of public-private collaborations that improve the capacity to prepare and respond to biological threats.

This Initiative will convene a dedicated community of industry partners and, through a stepwise process, co-design with select governments and public health institutions, new business and operational models capable of responding to biological threats.

Recognizing the complex causality of such threats and the multi-sectoral responses required, this Initiative brings together a diverse set of industries beyond just the health sector (e.g. social media, technology, re-insurance, telecoms, travel, mobility, supply chain and logistics).

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