Investment into the future of microbial resources: culture collection funding models and BRC business plans for biological resource centres
Through their long history of public service, diverse microbial Biological Resource Centres (mBRCs) have made myriad contributions to society and science. They have enabled the maintenance of specimens isolated before antibiotics, made available strains showing the development and change of pathogenicity toward animals, humans and plants, and have maintained and provided reference strains to ensure quality and reproducibility of science. However, this has not been achieved without considerable financial commitment. Different collections have unique histories and their support is often tied to their origins. However many collections have grown to serve large constituencies and need to develop novel funding mechanisms. Moreover, several international initiatives have described mBRCs as a factor in economic development and have led to the increased professionalism among mBRCs.