The Benefits of Membership

The ICGEB is an International Organisation with over 60 Member States with its operations aligned to those of the United Nations System. It has a dual mandate: excellence in scientific research and training, and technology transfer to industry in the field of biotechnology for sustainable global development.

The ICGEB is unique amongst all international and research organisations in pursuing its goals through the combination of international technical cooperation with advanced experimental research in its own state-of-the-art laboratories, located in Trieste, Italy (which also hosts the Headquarters), New Delhi, India, and Cape Town, South Africa. In addition, it undertakes institutional activities, such as capacity building, event organisation, networking, as well as promotion of excellence in science via research grant programmes and fellowships in ICGEB Member States.

Three easy steps to Membership

  1. The Government sends a written request to the ICGEB to become a Member
  2. This request is presented to the Board of Governors for approval
  3. Once accepted, the Government deposits the Instrument of Accession to the Statutes of ICGEB, with the UNSG, Treaty Section, Office of Legal Affairs, New York and becomes a full Member of ICGEB.
Map of ICGEB Member States

The instruments of action include:

  • Cutting-edge scientific research in its laboratories in Trieste, New Delhi and Cape Town
  • Advanced education supported by long-and short-term fellowships for PhD students and post-docs
  • Organisation of Meetings, Courses and Workshops at the international level
  • Competitive research grants for scientists in Member Countries, including Early Career Return Grants
  • Technology transfer to industry for the production of biotherapeutics and diagnostics
  • Access to a state-of-the-art facilities in the three Components
  • Provision of technical assistance and advisory services to Member States
  • Access to a worldwide network of biotechnology experts
    Advancing the achievement of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development

Being a Member of the ICGEB extends far beyond the practical benefits that individual scientists and research centres can obtain from the ICGEB institutional programmes. It means belonging to an Intergovernmental Organisation with more than 60 Member States, thus constituting the global authority and advocate on all issues related to the use of biotechnology for sustainable development. The ICGEB community is, therefore, a credible, neutral and strong global voice for biotechnology.

For the Least Developed Countries, membership in the ICGEB means having access to its vast and long- standing international network, and to be able to take part and benefit from the global advances being made in the Life Sciences. For countries with emerging economies, membership can facilitate the creation of regional research hubs within the geographical area of the country thereby directly promoting the use of biotechnology to address the problems important to that region. Finally, for all countries, membership in ICGEB results in partnering to promote scientific learning and innovation across a unique technological and educational platform; advancing towards the achievement of the UN 2030 Agenda, in particular SDG 9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure – and benefiting from its flagship extramural programmes: Fellowships, Research Grants, Meetings and Courses. Member States may also request targeted Awareness Workshops to be held for the scientific community in their country, where participants can interact with ICGEB scientists and obtain specific information on CRP grants and fellowships.

The governance of ICGEB is constituted by a Board of Governors, composed of representatives from each Member State and by a Council of Scientific Advisers, comprising distinguished international scientists, including Nobel laureates. Both governing bodies meet annually. The current rate of the annual assessment of membership is directly linked to the UN rate, corrected by a multiplier of 0.75; the minimum level of contribution is US$5000 and the maximum level of contribution is US$150,000.

Regional Research Centres

In addition, the ICGEB offers the opportunity to establish Regional Research Centres (RRCs) to contribute to strengthen research skills, knowledge and capacities of the local scientific community while pursuing specific objectives for research, training and technology transfer to industry to benefit both the hosting country and the region where the RRC is located.


The ICGEB awards an average of 25 grants per year under the CRP-ICGEB Grants Programme on a competitive basis and geographical distribution.

Meetings and courses

The ICGEB organises over 30 scientific meetings and courses per year in its Member States, for which Member State nationals are eligible to apply. There are a number of grants to support registration fee and/or living expenses during the meetings. There are, furthermore, many opportunities to attend other meetings organised or sponsored by ICGEB thanks to funds provided by ICGEB’s donors.


The Fellowships Programme offers long and short-term fellowships {PhD: 1 call per year offering financial support for 3 years; Postdoc: 2 calls per year and offering financial support for an average period of 2 years; Short-term PhD and Postdocs; 4 calls per year offering fellowships of 1-12 months’ duration). There is no specified limit on the number of trainees {Fellows) of any one nationality who can work and study simultaneously at ICGEB. The selection process for PhD and Postdoc Fellowships focuses on scientific excellence on a competitive basis, but also considers geographical distribution of awards.

Technology Transfer

Technology Transfer activities are undertaken through the Biotechnology Development Unit in Trieste, Italy and the Translational Health Group in New Delhi, India and focus on procedures for the development of simple and innovative technologies for the production of biosimilars, genetically engineered biomolecules for medical use, and viral diagnostics, respectively. These procedures and products are developed for easy adaptation to the conditions or requirements of Member States.


Outreach, ICGEB runs an in-house podcast facility and distributes its movies featuring broad scientific content on YouTube and Apple Podcast. This constitutes a vast learning resource that offers free educational movies for users. It also runs public engagement events on hot topics in science and scientific workshops.