IIBN in Brief


IIBN fosters sustainable applications of biotechnology for innovative farming and inclusive industrial development with a focus on low and middle income countries.


IIBN’s niche

IIBN is a responsive, not-for-profit stakeholder network. By catalyzing synergies and partnerships, IIBN augments international cooperation opportunities, leverages resources, and attracts investments in R&D and capacity building supportive of the IIBN engages in mapping the needs and opportunities in developing and emerging economies through knowledge and information sharing, fact finding missions, and stakeholder meetings.

IIBN also catalyzes initiatives that strengthen human capacities, develop or adapt biotechnology methods and products to the conditions in low and middle-income countries.

The VIB-Ghent University, Institute of Plant Biotechnology Outreach serves as a first point of contact for enquiries about expertise available in the IIBN network and opportunities for capacity building and project development.

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IIBN’s Structure and Governance

IIBN is an international stakeholder network with four Founding Members from Africa, South America, China and Belgium and two Patron Agencies, the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Flanders Government. IIBN has a governance structure consisting of the Founders Committee and a Secretariat. The Founders Committee is composed of the four Founding Members and the two Patron Agencies with following representatives:

  • Prof Diran Makinde for the African Biotechnology Network of Expertise, AU-NEPAD, South Africa
  • Prof Maria Fatima Grossi de Sa for the Center of ENERGEN, EMBRAPA, Brazil
  • Mr Junhua Wu for the Guangxi Academy of Sciences, China
  • Em Prof Marc Van Montagu for the Institute of Plant Biotechnology Outreach, VIB-UGent, Belgium
  • Dr René Van Berkel for the UNIDO, Austria
  • Dr Monika Sormann for the Flanders Government through the Dept of Economy Science and Innovation, Belgium

The Secretariat supports the day-to-day activities of the IIBN in accordance with the IIBN Charter. The VIB-UGent, Institute of Plant Biotechnology Outreach has assumed the role of Secretariat during the establishment faze of IIBN.

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Patron Agencies

The UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO, Vienna, Austria) is the specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability (see UNIDO in Brief) . IIBN was set up within the framework of UNIDO’s programs on Resource Use Efficiency and Sustainable Agribusiness.

IIBN receives support from the Flanders Government through its Department of Economy, Science and Innovation. Flanders is internationally recognized as a regional center of excellence in biotechnology with a track record of innovations that are impacting agriculture and health globally. Through IIBN, the Flanders Government wishes to facilitate access to the biotechnology expertise in Flanders and beyond to developing and emerging economies.


Founding Members

Center of Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (Cenargen)