Award for SILVA

ELIXIR brings together Europe’s leading organizations in the life sciences to manage and secure the growing amount of data generated by publicly funded research. The organization has recognized 18 databases as systemically relevant. They play a fundamental role in the long-term preservation and provision of biological research data.

The SILVA project founded by Glöckner is specialized in high-quality ribosomal RNA (rRNA) data sets for research and industry. The rRNA genes occur in all living organisms and are therefore a perfect marker – like a barcode – for the identification of organisms and for understanding their origin. It contains seven million sequences divided into various categories and classes. SILVA is used in marine, land and air biodiversity research, quality control in industry and medical diagnostics. Every day, more than 3,000 visitors from 200 countries access the website to use the freely accessible data sets and tools.

Already in 2015 SILVA was selected for the German Network for Bioinformatics Infrastructure, de.NBI ( The de.NBI network consists of eight closely linked service centers with 40 partners, which together provide a high-quality bioinformatics service offering. Glöckner hopes that the recognition of SILVA as a key European resource, will now provide financial sustainability to secure the operation of SILVA. Up to now SILVA could only be kept alive by means of temporary project funds.

About Jacobs University Bremen:
Studying in an international community. Obtaining a qualification to work on responsible tasks in a digitized and globalized society. Learning, researching and teaching across academic disciplines and countries. Strengthening people and markets with innovative solutions and advanced training programs. This is what Jacobs University Bremen stands for. Established as a private, English-medium campus university in Germany in 2001, it is continuously achieving top results in national and international university rankings. Its almost 1,400 students come from more than 100 countries with around 80% having relocated to Germany for their studies. Jacobs University’s research projects are funded by the German Research Foundation or the European Research Council as well as by globally leading companies.
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