BRIDGE stands for "Biodiversity informatics to bridge the gap from genome information to educated utilization of genetic diversity hosted in Genebanks". It aims at evolving the Federal ex situ Genebank at IPK Gatersleben from a "storage facility" of genetic resources to an integrated resource and information centre, representing a one stop shop for facilitated and informed utilization of crop plant biodiversity.

In a proof-of-concept study based on deep genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) of the entire IPK barley collection of more than 20,000 accessions, comprehensive and coherent information will be generated on genetic diversity and population structure. Systematic valorization of these genomics data will be facilitated by building an innovative and intuitive diversity informatics and data warehouse infrastructure for accommodation and analysis of BIG DATA sets. This IT platform will generate a link to phenotypic legacy data, accumulated in the Genebank over more than six decades of conservation management. By facilitating access to such data, a value chain will be leveraged that on the one hand will lead to improvements in conservation management and on the other hand will boost the educated evaluation and utilization of crop genetic diversity for research and plant breeding.

To ensure sustainability and widespread application, the project will foster capacity building of future students, young researchers and plant breeders in the key areas of "utilization and management of genetic diversity" and "diversity informatics" by associating with the ScienceCampus Plant-based Bioeconomy, Martin-Luther-University, Halle-Wittenberg.