EMBL-EBI at 25 years

To mark the 25th anniversary of EMBL-EBI, we looked back at the early days of the institute and we asked some of our colleagues to share their thoughts about the future of bioinformatics and related fields.

Thought leader video still
In Focus: Public-private partnerships; watch the video.

EMBL-EBI: Our impact

We collaborate with scientists and engineers all over the world, and provide the infrastructure needed to share data openly in the life sciences.

Understanding how genetics affects the health of humans, plants and animals is essential to advances in disease prevention, food security and biodiversity.

We develop databases, tools and software that make it possible to align, verify and visualise the diverse data produced in publicly-funded research, and make that information freely available to all.

EMBL-EBI at a glance


of raw storage data


web requests made to our websites on an average day


jointly-funded with 603 institutes from 62 countries, in 2018 alone

22 500

participated in our 355 training events

EMBL-EBI's achievements

Global impact

A real-time visualisation of requests to EMBL-EBI data resources.

Economic value

In 2015 we worked with a management consultancy, Charles Beagrie Ltd., to facilitate a large-scale, economic analysis of the institute’s impact on research practice and the global economy.

45% of users

said they could neither have created/collected the last data they used themselves, nor obtained it elsewhere


EMBL-EBI data and services contributed to the wider realisation of future research impacts worth £920m annually or £6.9b over 30 years (NPV)


EMBL-EBI data and services directly underpinned an estimated £335m of research last year or £2.5b over 30 years (NPV)

£1bn to £5bn

Direct efficiency impact of EMBL-EBI data, representing direct worth of between £5,382 to £26,000 per respondent per annum

This work, encouraged by the BBSRC, fed into a new framework for impact assessment. The resulting report included a survey of over 4000 data-service users, 45% of whom indicated that they could neither have created nor collected themselves the last data they used, nor obtained it elsewhere. The findings demonstrate the vital role of public databases in life-science research, and indicate that for every million pounds invested in EMBL-EBI, roughly 20 million pounds is returned to the global economy.

Download the Executive Summary Or get the full report