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Seeking Research or Material Deposit Collaboration? Look No Further Than Inside ABO Membership!

Bigelow Laboratory is well known for its leading algal culture collection and marine microbiology research. Did you know Bigelow also houses 1 of ONLY 3 US-based WIPO International Depositary Authority facilities approved for patent procedure under the Budapest Treaty?

By Mike Lomas, NCMA Director, Senior Research Scientist, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences

Bigelow LaboratoryBigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences is a world-renowned oceanographic research institution that has materially contributed to what is known about the global ocean for the past four decades. Bigelow currently provides  academic, industrial, and government partners with the same services used by its scientists, to help advance research, enhance discoveries, and find solutions to today’s complex problems. The Lab has six Core Facilities that provide a range of services to individual clients who benefit from its expertise, equipment, and entrepreneurial spirit. In addition, for those interested in working directly in a research-based environment, Bigelow offers its Industrial Collaboration Laboratory and Pilot-Scale Greenhouse for entrepreneurial activities.

Did you know that one of Bigelow’s Core Facilities, the National Center for Marine Algae and Microbiota (NCMA), offers a Private Deposit service for biological material and houses 1 of ONLY 3 US-based World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) International Depositary Authority facilities approved for patent procedure under the Budapest Treaty?

Whether one needs to cryopreserve its biological material for the purpose of patent procedure or would simply prefer a secure backup option outside of its existing lab, Bigelow possesses a dedicated cryopreservation and culturing facility and highly experienced staff ready and willing to meet a Depositor’s needs. The Lab currently accepts a wide range of biological material, e.g., algae, microbes, and terrestrial plant tissue and seed, and has unmatched experience working with marine microorganisms.

PATENT DEPOSIT.  WIPO designated Bigelow’s NCMA as an International Depositary Authority for the purpose of patent procedure under the Budapest Treaty in 2013. As mentioned, Bigelow currently accepts terrestrial plant tissue and plant seed, microbes (non-pathogenic bacteria, non-parasitic protozoa, archaea), and algae (unicellular and multicellular). Deposits can be made directly for this purpose or readily transferred from a Depositor’s private deposit, as applicable, depending upon the status of the Depositor’s IP in development.  The NCMA provides viability tests after the initial deposit and handles all deposit distribution once filed patents are awarded. 

PRIVATE DEPOSIT. As mentioned, the NCMA also accepts biological material into its Private Deposit collection. In this scenario, Depositors typically choose to deposit and cryopreserve (or perpetually culture) their material for off-site storage, risk management, and curation of their valuable biological strains. If a Depositor’s biological material is not cryopreserved, NCMA can either work with them to develop appropriate cryopreservation protocols (NCMA has been cryopreserving algae since 1992 and has~1600 of its own strains cryopreserved) or maintain their strains in liquid medium on a long-term basis. All deposits are completely confidential and accessible only to the Depositor through Bigelow’s secure web-based platform.

About Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences

Bigelow Laboratory’s mission is to investigate the microbial drivers of global ocean processes through basic and applied research, education, and enterprise. What we are learning will be essential to the conservation and responsible use of the ocean and the many valuable services it provides.

Please contact us at or (415) 203 8231 for more information or to discuss research or deposit collaboration.

Note: This is a guest post for the ABO blog. The views and opinions expressed by the author(s) are theirs alone and do not necessarily indicate the views and opinions held by the Algae Biomass Organization

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