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Centre of Excellence for Biosecurity Risk Analysis (CEBRA)

CEBRA undertakes applied research to help prevent and mitigate the impacts of biosecurity breaches. CEBRA, together with its funding partners, the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, and New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries, are developing practical, custom solutions for contemporary biosecurity risk management problems.

Founded in 2006 as the Australian Centre of Excellence for Risk Analysis, and based at the University of Melbourne, CEBRA works under an innovative model of research co-production. The governance of the research process, including delivery of research outcomes, is shared, from end to end. This working model is supported by a rigorous peer-review process that provides assurance of the scientific integrity and quality of research outputs. CEBRA’s body of work spans statistics, ecology, mathematics, economics, veterinary science, and sociology. CEBRA collaborates with colleagues in government, academia, CSIRO and the private sector.

The co-production model and strong national and international partnerships have enabled CEBRA to deliver research outcomes with tangible impacts. For example, CEBRA’s research into efficient risk-based inspection regimes and importer behaviour towards incentives has enabled the regulator to develop and then expand a compliance-based inspection scheme to a range of plant-product import pathways. Applying statistical and operational business knowledge, as well as principles of behavioural economics and micro-economic theory to the problem of dealing with high volumes of incoming units has allowed the Australian Government to implement real risk-based management and increase the efficiency of service delivery without compromising the protection of our economy, environment and social amenities.

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