History of the IBO

Excerption from IBO Operational Guidelines

1.3. History

(1) The biology competition between Czechoslovakia and Poland from 1985 to 1989 was the forerunner of the future IBO. 
(2) The positive experience from the International Olympiads in other natural sciences and mathematics prompted the idea of an International Biology Olympiad, for which UNESCO asked Czechoslovakia to take the initiative. 
(3) Six countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic, Poland and the Soviet Union) founded the IBO Competition in 1989 (Prague and Brno), and held the first competition in Olomouc in July 1990. 
(4) Notwithstanding some initial difficulties, this Olympiad was a great success. 
(5) More countries joined quickly in the following years and the number of participating countries still increases steadily. 
(6) Soon after the first IBO, a Coordinating Center was established in Prague to function as the administrative headquarters of the IBO. 
(7) In 2017, the IBO became an officially registered association with its seat in Kiel, Germany.