Statement of Task

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In response to a request from the Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Chemical and Biological Defense Program, Office of the Secretary of Defense, the National Research Council (NRC) will establish a standing committee to assist DOD efforts to decrease the risk of and counter biological threats. The committee will convene approximately four times annually to hold discussions on topics of interest to the DoD program office, to better understand developments in the field and if warranted to develop detailed studies on specific topics. Discussions with the DOD may lead to workshops or other NRC activities that involve the full expertise of the institution. The standing committee itself will not produce or be used in the development of any report or any advice or recommendation.

In executing its role, the standing committee will bring together at its meetings expert academic scientists and engineers, experts from industry, and government officials to discuss scientific and technological opportunities and potential implementation challenges and issues that are identified by the committee or sponsor and are of interest to the sponsor. The committee will give special attention to hosting gatherings of representatives from the diverse government agencies responsible for various scientific approaches to decreasing the risk of biological threats as well as personnel from other pertinent DOD organizations, to facilitate information exchange and mutual problem solving. At these meetings, members of the committee and other meeting participants will (1) receive reports on and discuss the relevant DOD and interagency programs, (2) foster discussions to enhance interoperability, coordination, and solution development within DOD and among the agencies, and (3) discuss in detail areas of science, engineering, and technology development relevant to the DOD biodefense mission, including bringing forward promising solutions from other venues.

The committee may formulate statements of task for prospective activities at the NRC, each of which would be subject to institutional approval and subsequently be conducted by a separately appointed ad hoc committee in accordance with NRC policy and procedures.