GGBN International Conference on Biodiversity Biobanking

Current Conferences

GGBN Conference 2018

Vienna, AT

22. May 2018 – 25. May 2018


Welcome Note

Biological diversity, or biodiversity, is broadly defined as the variety of life on Earth. Almost two million species have now been identified worldwide, but the actual number of species is estimated to be between 10 and 30 million. This vast amount of biodiversity is an essential provider of ecosystem goods and services. However, despite the important role biodiversity plays in our lives, it is currently experiencing severe genetic erosion due to our unsustainable activities. The exponential loss of genetic diversity throughout the world has led to initiatives to conserve biodiversity inside (in situ) and outside (ex situ) their natural habitats. Particularly the latter is an important strategy, since very often original habitats are also under threat.

Formed in October 2011, the Global Genome Biodiversity Network (GGBN) is an international network of over 55 institutions that share an interest in long-term preservation of genomic samples representing the diversity of non-human life on Earth. GGBN provides a platform for biodiversity repositories from across the world to collaborate, ensuring quality standards for DNA and tissue collections, standards for genomic samples, improving best practices for the preservation and use of such collections, and harmonizing the exchange of material in accordance with national and international legislation and conventions. The preservation of the genomic diversity of the Tree of Life is a monumental and interdisciplinary task, grander than any one institution can manage alone.  GGBN meets this challenge through a worldwide network of biodiversity repositories.

With its third international conference “GGBN 2018” taking place in Vienna from May 22nd to 25th, GGBN along with the accompanying organizing institutions will focus on topics related to the exploration of the wealth of diversity that is currently stored in biodiversity biobanks worldwide. Surrounding the main theme of “The International Day for Biological Diversity” proclaimed by the United Nations, sessions will cover agricultural, forest and environmental biodiversity and their characterization by state-of-the-art genomic, phenomic and molecular tools. This characterization process is a substantial part of any long-term strategy to ensure the preservation of biodiversity and thereby to secure the foundation for subsistence of mankind.

In addition, a session open to the public (in German) is dedicated to familiarize the Austrian public with the current issues and challenges Austrian biodiversity is facing. With this session we intend to educate a wider public and to increase the awareness of the importance of biodiversity in each person’s daily life. This will be finalized by a panel discussion in which different stakeholders will discuss the value and future of Austria’s biodiversity.

The GGBN international conference will be of interest for different stakeholders ranging from academia to industry and the public sector. We hope that you will join this international event to discuss the most recent findings on biodiversity conservation, analysis and function. We look forward to welcoming you in Vienna from May 22nd to 25th, 2018.

Eva M. Sehr

On behalf of the Organizing Committee


Organizing Committee

Eva M. Sehr (AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, Chair)

Angela Sessitsch (AIT Austrian Institute of Technology)

Alexandra Khassidov (ÖGMBT)

Katie Barker (GGBN / NMNH)

Gabi Droege (GGBN / BGBM)


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GGBN 2017 Regional Asian Workshop

China National Genebank

Shenzhen, CN

21. July 2017 – 22. July 2017

The China National Genebank (CNGB) is glad to welcome you to an upcoming workshop on "Linking DNA and Tissue Collections in Asia", held July 21-22 2017 in Shenzhen, China.

RSVP Deadline

We have slightly extended our RSVP deadline. If you are planning to attend the workshop, please send an email to myself at and Yibing Huang no later than May 30, 2017 to confirm your attendance.

Workshop Schedule

Please click below on "Program" for a working summary of the workshop schedule. The agenda will start the morning of Friday July 21 and end in the late afternoon of Saturday July 22.  A welcome dinner will be provided to participants on the evening of Thursday July 20th.

Please also note that we would like to invite participants to provide overviews of collections and research by country. Additional guidance will be forthcoming after the RSVP deadline.

The workshop will cover the following topics:

  • Introduction to the Global Genome Biodiversity Network
  • Why join GGBN, what are its applications as a shared resource, what are the benefits to your institution in particular and the research community in general?
  • Benefits of GGBN for biobanking in Asia
  • Benefits of Best Practice for Biodiversity Biobank Collections and Networking with GGBN. General information on GGBN membership, governance model, legal aspects of providing data and samples, restrictions, collaborations, Nagoya Protocol
  • General information on the GGBN Data Portal, GGBN Data Standard and how to provide data to GGBN
  • DNA/Tissue Banking in Asia

Travel Support

Lodging, some meals and ground transportation will be provided by China National Genebank.  China National Genebank will also offer some additional travel support based on participant needs.  See details below.

Travel (Ground/Shuttle Bus):

Roundtrip transportation support between your hotel and airport will be arranged for you and paid directly by the China National Genebank. Additionally, we will provide shuttle bus service between your hotel and CNGB.  A confirmation email of detailed transportation information will be sent to you once your travel dates are confirmed.

Travel (Airfare-only for those who submit the travel support application):

For those in need of additional travel support, we have prepared a Travel Support Application. Please submit your form no later than May 30, 2017 for consideration. We will notify you of decisions by June 5, 2017. For those participants who receive additional travel support in the form of airfare, roundtrip airfare between your home institution and Shenzhen, China will be arranged for you and paid directly by the China National Genebank.


Many participants will require a formal letter of invitation in order to secure a visa to visit China for this workshop.  Please contact Katie Barker at and Yibing Huang for an official invitation letter.


Lodging will be provided for you at the KINGKEY PALACE HOTEL, No.90 Yankui Road, Dameisha, Yantian District, Shenzhen, China for the duration of the workshop (nights of July 20-21). The location is a 30 minute drive from the CNGB and 15 minute walk from the Dameisha Beach. Once your travel dates are confirmed, we will reserve your room; a confirmation email will be sent to you at that time. Though your room will be billed directly to the CNGB, you will be required to provide a personal credit card upon check-in to cover any incidental expenses.  Breakfast will be included with the hotel.


The following meals will be provided at no cost to you as a part of your participation in the workshop:

  • Morning and afternoon coffee breaks during workshop meetings
  • Lunch on Friday and Saturday
  • Dinner on Thursday and Friday


CNGB is a non-profit, national government initiated, science and industrial infrastructure project, and a platform that provides services of basic life science research and biological industry development. With five years’ preparation, CNGB has achieved remarkable successes in the area of bio-specimen storage, gene sequencing, database construction, and industrial application of biotechnology, all at leading international levels, and started building of gene synthesis and gene editing platforms. CNGB will ride the global wave of life science discoveries in recent years and evolve into “Three repositories and Two Platforms”, i.e. Biorepository (Storage), Bio-information Databank (Understand), Living Biobank (Application), Digitalization Platform (Read) and Synthesis and Editing Platform (Write), to create a solid foundation that would bring resources to researchers and bridge all gaps surrounding big-resource, big-data, big-science and big-industry.

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