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Biosecurity Innovations Cluster

13 October 2023

UC Biosecurity Innovations (UCBI) is a trans-disciplinary research cluster dedicated to solving key biosecurity problems. Learn about UC's Biosecurity Innovations Cluster.


About us

UC Biosecurity Innovations (UCBI) aims to build biosecurity capabilty through

  • innovative teaching and research
  • novel tools and technology
  • national and international partnerships and collaborations. 

Biosecurity is a multi-faceted topic and so are our people. Founded in 2020, our team of more than 25 researchers have a passion for biosecurity.

With cutting edge equipment and containment facilities, we link research in biology, technology, mathematics, statistics, law, journalism, education, social and behavioural sciences with Mātauranga and other indigenous knowledge systems.


Our research themes

Contact our Director, Steve Pawson or our theme leaders below to discuss opportunities and outcomes for our four research themes.


Biosecurity risks

We identify biosecurity risks and invasion pathways before new species cross the border and

  1. test and improve risk assessment processes
  2. design and build new detection tools
  3. connect with communities to build biosecurity capability

Biosecurity surveillance

To find new species fast so that they can be eradicated we specialise in

  1. software: machine learning/artificial intellingence, data mining
  2. hardware: the design, build and testing of sensors
  3. molecular tools: chemical lures, e-DNA, biodegradable materials

Biosecurity capability

Human behaviour, trade and tourism, is part of the biosecurity problem and the solution. We focus on building biosecurity capability and

  1. the ethical, social and legal implications of biosecurity action
  2. the psychology, education, social media and risk communication impacts of biosecurity action
  3. Māori and Pasifica roles in biosecurity

Biosecurity system

We check that the biosecurity system is effective, resilient, collaborative and

  1. is informed by and meets the needs of all Te Tiriti o Waitangi partners, communities and businesses
  2. can safely share data with domestic and international partners
  3. reduces risk on trade and tourism pathways
  4. has a relevant spatial component e.g. biosecurity geoanalytics
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