BIOSCAN Strategic Plan

BIOSCAN Strategic Plan

The International Barcode of Life Consortium (iBOL) is a partnership between member nations, represented by key institutions active in biodiversity genomics. iBOL’s goal is to implement a cost-effective DNA-based identification system for all species on earth and to advance the use of this system to benefit science and society

iBOL is currently working to deliver its second major program of activity, BIOSCAN. Please read the BIOSCAN Strategic Plan 2019-2026 Use this topic to comment on the plan and discuss strategies to achieve the goals of the program.


BIOSCAN brings together a wide range of stakeholders with varying primary interests, including taxonomists and collection managers, ecologists, regulatory bodies, governments and intergovernmental bodies, biodiversity informatics platforms, local communities and citizen scientists, as well as researchers whose main focus is genomic studies, sequencing technology or bioinformatics. Each of these groups will play a significant role in delivering BIOSCAN and has perspectives and interests that will help to shape implementation of the program. BIOSCAN will succeed by enabling all of these groups to develop and own a shared vision and by encouraging cooperation to form a rich global community of interest.

The BIOSCAN strategy includes five interlocking objectives. Each of these is critical for delivering the BIOSCAN vision, and advances towards each objective reinforce efforts around the other four. Follow the links below to contribute to strategic planning for each objective.

  1. Community - Build and support a global community of practice with the skills and linkages needed to survey and monitor all species via barcoding and metabarcoding.
  2. Capabilities - Develop and operate world-class infrastructure for low-cost sequencing and bioinformatics to support global-scale biodiversity monitoring.
  3. Coverage - Develop and deploy efficient and reproducible approaches for DNA-based sampling and monitoring of all eukaryotic groups in all ecosystems.
  4. Impact - Deliver data and knowledge products that maximise the ability of science and society to explore and interpret species richness and patterns of biodiversity.
  5. Sustainability - Ensure sustainable and persistent operation of core infrastructure and preservation of samples, DNA extracts, and data from barcoding and metabarcoding activities.

Each objective is supported by a set of strategies. In some cases, these are already clearly defined, but further work is required across the iBOL community to refine planning for many others.

The objectives and strategies serve several purposes:

  • They communicate the nature and structure of the BIOSCAN program and its planned deliverables
  • They establish the major areas of investment required to deliver BIOSCAN
  • They provide a structure for the iBOL community to plan decentralised projects and investments in a way that contributes to the overall vision
  • They will serve as a structure for discussion and communications within the iBOL community around BIOSCAN plans and progress
  • They will provide the structure for annual work planning and progress reporting activities at the global and national scales

The information under this topic is important for developing the BIOSCAN program - please add comments here on any matters relating to the BIOSCAN Strategic Plan as a whole. Otherwise, comment under the linked topics or start a new topic on a matter you consider important.