Are you an open data champion? The 2019 Ebbe Nielsen Challenge will award up to €34,000 in prizes to the most innovative entries that leverage biodiversity data and tools from the GBIF network to advance open science.

Between 23 January and 1 August, individuals and teams can prepare tools and techniques that improve the access, usefulness and quality of open biodiversity data and submit them to this open-ended incentive competition.

Challenge entries can take any number of approaches. Entrants may choose to develop new applications, visualizations, methods, workflows or analyses, often (but not always) making use of the GBIF API to access data. You may also build on or extend the capabilities of existing tools and features from across the GBIF network. We encourage entrants to review previous winners as well as previous entries—for ideas, problems or approaches you may wish to pursue (see below).

Entries should benefit multiple stakeholder groups, including data users, data holders and data managers. You may wish to review the GBIF Communications Strategy to see how we describe GBIF’s audiences.

We will assemble an expert jury to judge the entries that we receive on their openness and repeatability, relevance and novelty. Winners will be announced in October 2019 at the 26th GBIF Governing Board meeting in Leiden, the Netherlands.

The Challenge honours the memory of Dr Ebbe Schmidt Nielsen, an inspirational leader in the fields of biosystematics and biodiversity informatics and a principal founder of GBIF, who died unexpectedly just before it came into being.

Official rules: 2019 GBIF Ebbe Nielsen Challenge
Entry form: 2019 GBIF Ebbe Nielsen Challenge

The following summary of rules and requirements does not replace or supercede the official rules. Send questions or requests for clarifications to

Submission deadline

  • 1 August 2019, 1600 Central European Summer Time | UTC +

Read more about submission requirements, criteria and past vinners and entries at