The Centre for Biosecurity and Biopreparedness (CBB) was established by a decision in the Danish Parliament in 2001 under the name the National Centre for Biological Defence. On 1 September 2008 the Centre changed its name to signal that the Centre is both the national agency for biosecurity, as well as a part of the national security organisation. Biosecurity means that all companies working with materials that can be misused to produce biological weapons must now live up to certain security requirements and have a licence from CBB.
CBB coordinates all activities regarding biological warfare agents and bioterrorism at Statens Serum Institut (SSI) both in relation to daily preparedness activities, i.e. training and exercises, and in situations of crises. CBB is the National Point of Contact for national and international alerts, enquiries, reception of samples and on this basis, the Centre is responsible for providing results and expert advice. The activities of the Centre are based on scientific evidence and include expertise in the fields of medicine, microbiology, and special expertise in relation to biological weapons.
The Centre is responsible for administering Act no. 474 of 17 June 2008 on securing certain biological substances, delivery systems and related materials and Act no. 53 of 11 January 2017 on control of animal pathogens. This means that CBB shall counter the proliferation of biological weapons relevant technology by assisting public as well as private agencies and companies in establishing adequate security requirements that prevent that dangerous materials fall in the wrong hands. Licence to work with controlled materials will only be issued to professional and legitimate purposes. In order to receive a licence, companies must have an appointed biosecurity officer as well as relevant security arrangements setups.
The crucial responsibility is to ensure that the Centre 24/7 has the capability to counter the dangers from a biological release or attack. If there is suspicion of a biological terror attack or an accidental release of dangerous materials, the Centre will investigate what has taken place, and which countermeasures should be implemented. The preparedness capability is kept up to date by conducting exercises and training internally in the Centre as well as with other preparedness relevant agencies (Police, The Emergency Management Agency, public health authorities, and defence), developing and maintaining incident doctrines for various circumstances, as well as by maintaining the necessary equipment for incident response. In the operational capability of the Centre, the decision support system HPAC (Hazard Predicition & Assessment Capability), is an essential element in relation to dispersal assessments. HPAC is capable of modeling how for example a biological warfare agent will disseminate.
The 24/7 preparedness element of the Centre consists of a Senior Medical Doctor and a Field Investigation Team. The Field Investigation Team is activated if, on the basis of a technical threat assessment, the Centre cannot rule out that a reported incident involves potentially dangerous biological substances. The responsibilities of the Field Investigations Team include: collection of information, sample taking, rapid analysis and medical advice regarding the identification of potential biological warfare agents, verification of area of danger and clinical advice regarding immediately required steps, including medical countermeasures. Additionally, foreign special laboratories are a part of the 24/7 operational capability of the Centre.