Biodiversity Information Science and Standards : Conference Abstract
Conference Abstract
An Evolving Business Model for a Biodiversity Biobank Network: GGBN
expand article infoKatharine Barker, Jonas J Astrin§, Gabriele Droege|, Jonathan Coddington, Ole Seberg
‡ National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., United States of America
§ ZFMK, Bonn, Germany
| Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin, Berlin, Germany
¶ Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Open Access


GGBN, the Global Genome Biodiversity Network, is a consortium of virtually linked biodiversity biobanks that provide unified open access to their sample data through a web portal (, together improve best practices and develop standards. Since its inception in 2011, GGBN has largely been supported by external grants and in-kind support from its members. Starting with representatives from thirteen organizations across Africa, Australia, Europe, North, Central, and South America, preliminary plans for an international coordinating mechanism for biodiversity biobanks was developed. In 2013, an interim executive committee was established and an MOU (memorandum of understanding) was distributed to 17 potential collaborators for signature. Subsequently a governance and business model were developed based on input from across the collections and research communities. As the network grew, the interim executive committee solicited letters of intent to transition GGBN into a formal member-driven organization. In 2016 with 12 biodiversity collections online through GGBN’s data portal, the organization was launched and the business model implemented. This included a general and a technical secretariat, an executive committee and general assembly of its, at that time, 41 members. Having grown to encompass 87 general assembly members and 22 collections online in two years, GGBN is assessing its current business model, with focus on increasing revenue, and marketing strategy. Results of this assessment and associated next steps for GGBN are presented and discussed.


biodiversity biobanking, business model

Presenting author

Katharine Barker

Presented at

Biodiversity_Next 2019 

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