Despite the fundamental importance of biodata resources to the global research enterprise, their long-term sustainability is often far from secure. Many are reliant on short-term competitive funding sources, sometimes from a single or very limited number of funders.

The Global Biodata Coalition (GBC) is committed to stabilising and ensuring sustainable funding for global biodata infrastructure. The GBC Board Working Group on Sustainability brings together representatives from GBC Member and Observer organisations to consider ways that funders could cooperate to support the global biodata resource infrastructure in a more sustainable manner.

Consultation Paper

The Consultation Paper developed by the Sustainability Working Group is available to read and download via the GBC Zenodo channel: read the consultation paper.

Please note the important disclaimer below.

The Consultation Paper was open for community feedback from 2 October 2023 until 22 January 2024. Thank you to all those who responded for your valuable feedback.

The consultation period has now closed, but if you have feedback or wish to discuss the ideas in the paper, please email David Carr at the GBC Secretariat on .


The GBC Working Group on Sustainability has two overarching objectives
To identify and share best practice for individual funders — the Group is exploring the challenges faced by individual funders that support biodata resources, and opportunities for funders to share good practice and develop longer-term, more strategic and sustainable approaches for supporting the biodata resources that they fund.

To explore ways funders could cooperate internationally to sustain the global biodata resource infrastructure — the Group is developing premises, principles and models for cross-funder partnerships to more equitably and reliably fund biodata resources critical to research globally. It is also considering ways in which funders could cooperate to develop and sustain the biodata resource infrastructure as a whole.


The Working Group has developed a consultation paper proposing a series of options for cross-funder cooperation to enhance biodata resource sustainability. The Paper includes a series of premises and principles to underpin the development of cooperative and equitable mechanisms to fund and sustain biodata resources critical to the global research endeavour. We are inviting comments and inputs on this paper from our partners and communities — including funding bodies, biodata resource managers and the wider research community. Please see the box above for details of how to respond.

Based on the feedback received, the GBC plans to develop a White Paper for publication in 2024 which details how GBC will work with its partners to ensure resources to ensure the long-term sustainability of the global biodata resource infrastructure.

Working Group Members


Warwick Anderson (Chair)

Chair of GBC Board of Funders

Christophe Dessimoz

Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics (representing the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation, SERI)

Steve Ellis

US National Science Foundation (NSF)

Susan Gregurick

US National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Christiane Hertz-Fowler


Prashant Mathur

National Centre for Disease Informatics and research, India

Rowan McKibben

UK Research & Innovation (UKRI)

Claire O’Donovan


Valérie Thibaudeau

Inserm, France

Daryl Waggott

Genome Canada

GBC Secretariat: Guy Cochrane, Chuck Cook, Rachel Drysdale, David Carr


The consultation papers were prepared by the GBC Secretariat based on the discussions and inputs of Working Groups composed of experts drawn from GBC member and observer organisations. The papers do not present recommendations or policy proposals: rather, they present a series of ideas for discussion and feedback by GBC’s stakeholders and communities. These ideas reflect the key themes that emerged from the Working Group’s discussions, but will not necessarily always fully reflect the views of individual Working Group members. None of the ideas, viewpoints or any other content in this paper should be taken to represent the policy or positions of the organisations to which Working Group members are affiliated.