Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP) in Vietnam

From 2017 to 2019, URC, as a subcontractor to Jacobs, is supporting implementation of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s (DTRA) Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP) in Vietnam. DRTA focuses on addressing the danger to global health security posed by the risk of outbreaks of infectious diseases.

URC provides in-country support to engage with Vietnam’s public health sector to improve disease surveillance, detection, and response capacity. The project collaborates with testing and diagnostic laboratories and institutes controlled by the Ministry of Health (MOH), the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), and the Ministry of Defense (MOD). 

CBEP focuses on biological agents and seeks to enhance clinical, laboratory, and epidemiological safety and security by providing training, expertise, laboratory design support, security assessments, collaborative scientific research, and some equipment provisions.


Project Objectives

  • Enhance the capacities of biosafety and biosecurity (BS&S) for laboratory systems
  • Strengthen the abilities of biosurveillance (BSV) to detect, diagnose, survey, and report emerging and re-emerging pathogens of national and international concern
  • Improve the MOH, MARD, and MOD laboratory facilities
  • Strengthen capacity for coordinated and collaborative research


Key Project Activities and Achievements

Biosafety and Biosecurity

CBEP provides training to biorisk management staff from laboratories in both the human health and veterinary sectors, with nearly 175 managers and biosafety officers trained on BS&S topics including incident management and response and BS&S laboratory skills. The project developed a comprehensive mentoring program plan for BS&S and provides laboratory certification support to meet ISO 15190, an international standard to address the safety aspects of medical laboratories.


The project assists the MOH increase capacity of their emergency operation centers (EOCs) and has supported facility upgrades and improvements as well as procurement and installation of laboratory equipment for two new EOCs. These enhancements will ensure Vietnam effectively provides reliable surveillance and response to all public health hazards in a coordinated and systematic fashion.

Science and Research

CBEP provides training to staff within the MARD and the Military Medical Department on the development of concept papers, research proposals, and grant writing in support of reasonable and safe research on pathogens of concern to security.


Laboratory practice session during a biosafety and biosecurity training
Laboratory practice session during a biosafety and biosecurity training
2017 to 2019
US Department of Defense (DOD), Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)
Regions/ Countries