What is the Integrated Breeding Platform (IBP)?
The Integrated Breeding Platform (IBP) a not-for-profit entity whose mission is to help accelerate the delivery of new climate-resilient crop varieties, especially in developing countries. Our team is composed of dedicated breeding specialists, technology experts and data managers who came together to provide IT tools and services, crop breeding products, and consultancy and training to breeders. We believe that access to the right tools and opportunities will help breeders achieve more efficiency in crop improvement, and therefore have a concrete and direct impact on their specific local environments and markets.
Do "IBP" and "BMS" refer to the same thing?
No. The 'IBP' is short for 'Integrated Breeding Platform'. It is a not-for-profit organization which provides IT for breeding (of which the BMS is the centerpiece); plant breeding expertise (including consultancy and third party services); and capacity building. The IBP website also offers many community resources, all accessible from the main site menu above.
'BMS' or 'BMS Pro' stand for 'Breeding Management System'. It is a software suite, the core product of the IBP, but just a part of what we offer. Learn more about BMS Pro in these BMS-specific FAQs.
Is the Integrated Breeding Platform (IBP) part of, or the same as, the CGIAR Excellence in Breeding Platform (EiB)?
No, it is not the same initiative, nor is it managed under it. They are separate entities employing different teams.
The EiB is a project of the CGIAR, founded in 2016 as part of their new portfolio of research programs and platforms. Though the IBP also originated as a project under a CGIAR program in 2010 and up until 2013, today it is an independent entity under the responsibility of a nonprofit corporation registered in the US.
The IBP collaborates with the EiB as a participant in their module on bioinformatics, biometrics and data management. We share a common vision of improving breeding efficiency around the world, and our tools and services can be used in complementarity to what other initiatives have to offer.
How was the IBP created?
The IBP was officially launched in 2010 as a project of the Generation Challenge Programme (GCP), a time-bound, 10-year program of the CGIAR, with the aim to pull together existing, disparate breeding efforts and provide tools and technical support to enhance plant breeding efficiency in the developing world. The ‘Platform’ was then meant as an online, one-stop shop to information and innovations for plant breeders.
To complement these resources, the team assigned to the IBP project started working on developing their own Breeding Management System (BMS Pro), to provide a complete, easy-to-use software package that would contain all the tools needed by a breeder, and where breeding data would flow seamlessly between applications. A first desktop version of this system was released in 2013.
When the GCP closed in 2014, the IBP continued on as an independent non-profit initiative under the management of the Global Crop Breeding Support Service (GCBSS), thanks to funds from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It has since grown from being an online shop into a mature non-profit entity providing IT and breeding services to different types of organizations around the world.
Who manages the IBP?
The IBP is managed through the Global Crop Breeding Support Service (GCBSS), incorporated and registered as a nonprofit corporation pursuant to the District of Colombia Nonprofit Corporation Act. The management of our activities is committed to the GCBSS Board of Trustees. Day-to-day activities and operations are managed by the IBP Management Team.
How do you ensure sustainability?
Our activities are mainly sustained thanks to the generous support of various donors, our main contributor for the past 8 years being the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The strategy to promote our mission and complement our revenue stream is composed of four elements:
- Commercial activities: Our commercial activities are targeted at clients in regions and markets with the capacity to pay, where all income derived from them is reinvested in the ongoing development of our tools and services. These commercial activities are led and funneled through VSN International Limited, a UK-based company who has been supplying data analysis software for the biological and life sciences market worldwide for more than 30 years.
- Regional presence and support: This is ensured by partner institutions who have taken on the role of IBP Hub in their respective regions, and for their specific crop expertise. We also train scientists in IT and embed them at key breeding institutes and universities, so that they may help their host institution to modernize their practices and technologies, as well as work together as part of an extended regional team.
- Training the next generation: We work closely with universities and other institutions with an educational vocation, to have them include the use of data management tools in their curricula, effectively training the next generation of scientists who, in turn, will bring this knowledge into their professional life, for the benefit of their future employers.
- Job creation: On the longer-term, we hope that a critical mass of bio-informatics specialists will be able to take on the development and maintenance of software in plant breeding institutes, bringing their use to new heights. Our ambition is to foster the development of ‘agri-preneurs’ and local jobs as an incubator for young start-ups, to contribute to the professionalization of IT services geared at the agricultural sector.
Does the IBP provide project funding?
The IBP does not provide project funding at this time. Funding opportunities from third parties are sometimes published in our News section.
What products and services can I get from the IBP?
You can access a trove of free resources by registering on our website, including trait-linked markers, germplasm with crop ontologies, genomics information, negotiated rates with genotyping providers, open source software, scientific publications, peer forums, e-learning modules, event postings, and more.
Visit this other section for more information on the products and services available at a fee, including our core product, BMS Pro, and professional assistance with technical support, breeding consultancy, and professional courses.
What is the cost of these products and services (didn't I hear that it was free?)
Our goal has always been to ensure as much accessibility to our products and services as possible, for maximum impact on breeding practices around the world. As such:
- What’s free: Everyone is welcome to register as a community member on our website, where they will have access to all of its Community resources, including third-party tools.
- What’s paid: Fees apply to proprietary components of BMS Pro, to specialized services (such as dedicated training or IT and breeding expertise), and to any needed IT equipment (servers, cloud, internet connection, etc.).
- How costs apply: The prices are differentiated, and some discounts may apply, depending on an institution's size (number of programs and breeders), location (developing vs. developed countries) and activities (public, private or educational). Institutions in developing countries, and special purpose programs, can have parts or all of their quote subsidized, i.e. implementation costs will be covered by donor or public funds, pending their availability.
I hear this is more than just a website. How so?
The IBP website is meant as a central reference for breeders to access knowledge, tools and networks to improve their efficiency. As such, registered users will find various community resources, including open source software, publications, peer forums, e-learning modules, public-access genetic resources and negotiated rates with preferred service providers. When logged on to our website, users can also interact with other users and IBP staff.
Is registration on this website free?
Yes, registration on our site is entirely free of charge, and will always remain free.
I already have an account with the IBP from before the website was relaunched. How do I update my profile and login information?
The IBP website's registration management system used to be hosted through CyVerse (formerly the iPlant Collaborative), so members had to get an account through their platform to be able to login to the IBP. In other words, IBP and Cyverse user profiles were linked.
If your account was set before August 2019, you will need to reset your password to import your profile into the IBP website, because it will have been decoupled from your Cyverse account since your last visit. To do so:
- Attempt login with your username: the system will check against our user database.
- You will be requested to reset password: type in the email associated to your account.
- You will receive an email with instructions: click on the link provided in the email.
- Set your new password.
That's it! Your IBP profile will then be automatically imported and updated. This is a one-time step; just login directly on all subsequent visits.
Your profile on Cyverse remains active. Access it directly from their platform at cyverse.org using the password previously associated with it.
Is my registration information safe and protected?
Are there professional courses available other than in the use of BMS Pro, or than e-learning modules?
Yes. You can hire us to organize a course for your institution.on themes such as phenotyping, molecular breeding, data management. advanced statistical techniques, and experimental station management. Consultant fees will apply based on your course requirements. Visit the Services page for more information.
Can I join more than one crop community on the IBP website?
Yes indeed; you can join as many communities as you wish!