Ebbe Neilsen Award 2021

Deadline: 2 August 2021
Open to: all individuals, teams of individuals, companies and their employees, and governmental agencies and their employees
Benefits: a total of up to €20,000 in prizes


Call for 2021 Ebbe Nielsen Challenge is open!!!

The 2021 Ebbe Nielsen Challenge has opened with the view to recognize innovative entries that influence biodiversity data and tools from the GBIF network to advance open science. GBIF—the Global Biodiversity Information Facility—is an international network and data infrastructure funded by the world’s governments and aimed at providing anyone, anywhere, open access to data about all types of life on Earth.

The entries will be judged by an expert judge. The judge will then present a selected pool of winners. Between 20 January and 2 August 2021, individuals and teams can prepare tools and techniques that improve the access, usefulness and quality of open biodiversity data and submit them to this annual open-ended incentive competition.

Challenge entries can take any number of methodologies. Contestants may choose to develop new applications, visualizations, methods, workflows or analyses, often making use of the GBIF API to access data. They may also build on or outspread the capabilities of existing tools and features available across the GBIF network. The organizers encourage competitors to review previous winners as well as previous winning entries for ideas, problems or approaches they may wish to follow.

Multiple stakeholder groups, including data users, data holders and data managers should be benefited from the entries. The contestants may wish to review the GBIF Communications Strategy to see how we describe GBIF’s audiences.


A panel of expert judges from relevant scientific, informatics and technology domains will evaluate submissions based on the following criteria:

  • Openness and repeatability: Are the constituent elements of the submission, like code and content, freely available and transparent? Are they appropriately licensed?
  • Applicability: Does the submission have sufficient relevance and scope that the communities GBIF support can use or build it?
  • Novelty Has a significant portion of the submission been developed specifically for the challenge? Submissions based largely or entirely on previously published work are not deemed to be eligible entries.


The Challenge is open to all individuals, teams of individuals, companies and their employees, and governmental agencies and their employees.

The Challenge is not open to:

  • Current staff members at the GBIF Secretariat
  • Individuals currently contracting directly with the GBIF Secretariat
  • Members of the GBIF Science Committee
  • Heads of Delegation to GBIF


  • The 2021 Ebbe Nielsen Challenge is deliberately open-ended, so entrants have a broad remit for creating tools and techniques that advance in open science and improve the access, utility or quality of GBIF-mediated data. Challenge submissions may be new applications, visualization methods, workflows or analyses, or they build on and extend existing tools and features.
  • It is expected that successful entries provide practical, pragmatic solutions for the GBIF network while advancing biodiversity informatics and biodiversity data management in relation to the GBIF mission and strategic plan.
  • A total of up to €20,000 in prizes.
  • No entry fee

How to apply?

For more information and to apply, please visit the official website.