Enabling informed and consistent decision making

IBSTG, a multicentre collaboration between international biofilms NBIC, the USA Center for Biofilm Engineering, the Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering (SCELSE), and an EU Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) Action Anti-Microbial Coating Innovations to Prevent Infectious Diseases (AMiCI), was formed in 2020 to guide the international development and acceptance of standardised biofilm models and test methods in healthcare, environment and industry. 

We are keen to hear from Industry partners and others willing to engage with us in the UK and help us either understand regulatory needs or explore ways of progressing our common goals.


To drive the international development, harmonisation and implementation of biofilm test methods and standards in health care, the built environment, and industrial systems.  


Enable informed and consistent global decision making on the regulation of biofilm products. 


  • Collaborate with regulatory decision makers to define the importance of using biofilm methods for biofilm specific label claims.  
  • Promote the need for harmonised global biofilm standards to public officials through a consortium of established and recognised regional expert organisations.  
  • Support standardisation and validation of biofilm test methods that are referenced in regulatory guidance documents. 
  • Promote the use of statistically validated biofilm methods in regulating products with biofilm label claims relevant to various industry and consumer segments. 
  • Leverage the global nature of the consortium to harmonise testing methods across geographies.  
  • Engage industry, research institutions, and academic stakeholders in the method development process in coordination with the various regulatory agencies.  
  • Champion biofilm methods in country and industry specific standard setting committees.  
  • Promote international consensus in the biofilm methods recognised in regulatory guidance documents. 

Position Statement

Biofilms are self-organised communities of one or more types of microorganisms embedded in an extracellular matrix. They collectively represent the largest biomass and activity centre on the planet, playing a major role in the biology and chemistry of the environment (both natural and engineered) and in maintaining public health. A report from NBIC estimates that biofilms impact globally about $5 trillion of economic activity across industry segments. 

  • The International Biofilm Standards Task Group’s mission is to drive the international development, harmonisation and implementation of biofilm test methods and standards in health care, the built environment, and industrial systems, thereby enabling for the inclusion of biofilms into the regulatory conversation.
  • This international group has, in their network, a community of academics, industrial partners, health care professionals, engineers, economists, regulators, and the standards community. These stakeholders have a clear need for international standards and regulations to aid in the development and testing of products to control or exploit biofilms. Further, they recognise the importance of using standard test methods when validating product efficacy. 
  • It is our primary intent that science and evidence-based data support methods development for the verification of the use of a product in a particular application.
  • Our Industry partners have a recognised need for a defined regulatory pathway to create innovation in the marketplace and the adoption of new approaches. 
  • There is value in this independent global task force being able to represent the current state of the science and the needs of our stakeholders in relation to biofilm methods.


NBIC (UK) Paulina Rakowska

Center for Biofilm Engineering (US) Darla Goeres

University of Porto (Portugal) Nuno Azevedo 

SAMK (Finland) Merja Ahonen 

BRIC (Australia) Scott Wade 

SCELSE/SNBC (Singapore) Michel Birnbaum 

Manchester Metropolitan University (UK) James Redfern  

COST AMiCI (EU) Minna Keinanen-Toivola


    Interested in Working with Us?

    If youre interested in working with us or learning more about our biofilm standardisation initiatives, please contact our Biofilms Standards and Regulatory Programme Manager, Paulina Rakowska.

    Southern Policy Centre Seminar

    Dr Paulina Rakowska

    Biofilms Standards and Regulatory Programme Manager

    Paulina develops and manages external relationships with government and policy makers to deliver step changes in biofilm standards and regulations, and works with NBIC Co-Directors to identify and deliver investment to NBIC’s core partners that enable the development of biofilm standards and biofilm biobanks.