Who we are

The ICGEB is a unique intergovernmental organisation initially established as a special project of UNIDO. Fully autonomous since 1994, it runs 46 state-of-the-art laboratories, in Trieste, Italy, New Delhi, India and Cape Town, South Africa and forms an interactive network with over 60 Member States. It plays a key role in Biotechnology worldwide for excellence in Research, Training and Technology Transfer to industry to contribute in concrete terms to the achievement of the sustainable global development. It operates within the United Nations System.

A brief overview and introduction by Mauro Giacca, Director-General, and Researchers in Trieste, Italy

The Organisation is dedicated to advanced research and training in molecular biology and biotechnology and advancing knowledge, applying the latest techniques in the fields of:

  • biomedicine
  • crop improvement
  • environmental protection/remediation
  • biopharmaceuticals, biopesticide and biofuel production

The ICGEB is governed by the Board of Governors, made up of representatives from each Member State and the Council of Scientific Advisers, composed of eminent scientists who oversee the scientific excellence of the Centre.

At present 700 people, from over 40 different countries, work at the ICGEB, of which almost 600 are scientific personnel, including research scientists, postdoctoral fellows, PhD students, research technicians.

History

  • 1983 – The International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology is launched with the signing of its Statutes (the international treaty sanctioning its existence, deposited with the Secretary General of the United Nations) by 26 countries during a Plenipotentiary Meeting, held in Madrid.
  • 1984 – The representatives of the Signatory Countries meet in Vienna and decide that ICGEB will be structured with two Components, one located in Trieste, Italy (also to be the Headquarters of the Centre), and one in New Delhi, India, as well as a network of Affiliated Centres.
  • 1987 – Pending the entry into force of the Statutes, ICGEB starts operations as a special programme of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). The implementation of the programme is made possible through funds provided by the Host Governments of Italy and India.
  • Arturo Falaschi is appointed Head of Trieste Component and on November 25, the first experiment is performed on the premises.
  • 1994 – The Statutes of the Centre enter into force on 3 February, and, in accordance with Article 1, the ICGEB becomes an autonomous, intergovernmental organisation.
  • 2007 – The Third Component of the ICGEB is established in Cape Town, South Africa.
ICGEB timeline
ICGEB timeline

The ICGEB currently has 65 full Member States, a further 22 countries are still pending ratification of, or accession to, the Statutes of ICGEB.