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Earth BioGenome Project, Earth Bank of Codes Partner to Develop Global Data Infrastructure

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The Earth BioGenome Project and the Earth Bank of Codes announced yesterday at the 48th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos that they have partnered to begin sequencing biological organisms on the planet with an eye towards using the data for the benefit of bio-based industries.

The Earth BioGenome Project was launched last year with the aim of sequencing the DNA of all 1.5 million species of eukaryotes on Earth, including all known plants, animals, and single-celled organisms. The project, which is being chaired by University of California, Davis evolution and ecology professor Harris Lewin, will take 10 years to complete and cost an estimated $4.7 billion.

In a statement, Lewin noted that the new partnership with Earth Bank of Codes "will construct a global biology infrastructure project to sequence life on the planet to enable solutions for preserving the Earth's biodiversity, managing ecosystems, spawning bio-based industries and sustaining human societies."

The Earth Bank of Codes will make the sequence data available to those who wish to develop bio-inspired chemicals, materials, processes, and innovations that may help to solve some of the planet's biggest problems, the EBP added. The partnership is part of the World Economic Forum's 4IR for the Earth Initiative.

Further, Lewin and his partners have organized a pilot project called the Amazon Bank of Codes initiative in the Amazon basin, as a proof-of-concept project. They will aim to offer indigenous and traditional communities an opportunity to gain a share of the economic value generated from the use of biological data and natural assets from their local biomes.