ICBO 2021 was held as a hybrid event, with face to face meetings held in Bolzano on 15-18 September 2021, augmented by a virtual participation option.

NEW: Recordings of the presentations are now online

The program for the event is available, including online joining instructions. 

Virtual poster session

The International Conference on Biomedical Ontologies (ICBO) is a premier annual conference series that brings together researchers, students and professionals involved in the development and application of ontologies in all areas of biology, medicine, diseases, human health, genome biology, environment, biomes, nutrition, food, plants, agriculture and others.

ICBO 2021 will be held as a part of the Bolzano Summer of Knowledge 2021.



The theme for ICBO2021 is Ontologies for Global Challenges. This includes: 

  • Ontologies relating to COVID-19
  • Ontologies relating to the climate crisis and the UN’s sustainable development goals
  • Ontologies overcoming barriers between basic research and translation
  • Ontologies addressing the reproducibility crisis in scientific research
  • Ontology as a tool for open science to reduce segregation of research results and improve access to the full body of knowledge across scientific disciplines, especially as applied to urgent topics such as the climate crisis
  • Ontologies in practice across national boundaries, e.g. medical ontologies needing to serve international contexts
  • Ontology in translation: ontologies supporting knowledge, data and applications in multiple languages
  • Overcoming the practical boundaries of ontologies in integrated applications including data annotation, data integration, data science, machine learning and other artificial intelligence technologies


The organising committee of ICBO 2021 is detailed here.

The Bolzano Summer of Knowledge 2021 is being arranged locally by Oliver Kutz and the Research Centre on Knowledge and Data (KRDB), Faculty of Computer Science, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano.

Keynote Speakers

We are delighted to announce that our keynote speakers for ICBO 2021 will be:

Professor Stefan Schulz (joint keynote with FOIS 2021), Institute for Medical Informatics, Statistics and Documentation, Medical University of Graz, Austria

Professor Chris Mungall, department head for Molecular Ecosystems Biology in Environmental Genomics and Systems Biology at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Professor Susan Michie, head of the Centre for Behaviour Change, University College London.

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