Call for Proposals for Grant Scheme to Safeguard Seeds in Svalbard

Grant for the Regeneration of Crop Diversity and Safety Duplication at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault

Genebanks currently maintain approximately 7.4 million samples of crop diversity worldwide. However, many of these samples are at unnecessary risk because they are not safety duplicated. Duplicating unique seed samples in other locations is necessary to safeguard them from accidental loss in genebanks.

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault (Seed Vault) is widely recognized, including by the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (the Plant Treaty), as the ultimate insurance policy for the world’s genebanks. It is an integral component of the global system of genebanks, providing a secure, low-cost, safety back-up of crop diversity collections.

The Biodiversity for Opportunities, Livelihoods and Development (BOLD) Project

The BOLD Project, funded by the Government of Norway and coordinated by the Crop Trust, aims to strengthen food and nutrition security worldwide by supporting the conservation and use of crop diversity in genebanks. It began in 2021 and builds on the work and achievements of the Crop Wild Relatives (CWR) Project (2011–2021). One component of the BOLD Project supports the backing up of crop diversity in the Seed Vault.

The Crop Trust, in coordination with the Secretariat of the Plant Treaty and the Coordinator of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault (on behalf of the tripartite Svalbard Seed Vault partnership between NordGen, the Norwegian Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Crop Trust), are therefore launching a competitive grants scheme to support collection holders in low- and middle-income countries to regenerate relevant collections and duplicate them at the Seed Vault.

Collection holders that are currently under-represented among depositors to the Seed Vault, such as universities and community seed banks are highly encouraged to apply. Priority will be given to collections that are available under the terms and conditions of the Standard Material Transfer Agreement (SMTA) of the Plant Treaty.

The Crop Trust will coordinate this program and manage the grants.


This grant opportunity is now closed to applications.

Due to a high volume of proposals, a decision is taking longer than expected. We will reach out individually to successful applicants by the end of February 2022.

We are not able to respond to individual emails asking for updates, but we encourage you to check this page for any news.