On 20 August 2014, the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), NSC Alliance, and Society for Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC) announced the launch of a new national initiative to build a research and end-user community dedicated to developing a Network Integrated Biocollections Alliance (NIBA). The project is an outgrowth of recent scientific meetings in which scientists have articulated a need to digitally capture biological specimens and associated data held in natural science collections for use in research, education, and for the public interest.

The project, Organizing, Coordinating, and Sustaining a Network Integrated Biocollections Alliance, is supported by a five-year grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to the AIBS.

Initial partner organizations are AIBS, SPNHC, and NSC Alliance. The project is also coordinating with iDigBio, the national digitization initiative led by the University of Florida and Florida State University.

An advisory committee will be established in the coming weeks. This group will then develop plans for engaging with the wider scientific community in the work of this project.

Please visit www.niballiance.org to learn more and to receive project updates, including information about opportunities to participate in the project.