What is BOSC?

BOSC is an annual meeting organized by the Open Bioinformatics Foundation (OBF), a non-profit, volunteer-run group dedicated to promoting the practice and philosophy of Open Source software development and Open Science within the biological research community.

Most years, BOSC has been part of the Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology meeting (ISMB/ECCB). In 2018, BOSC partnered with the Galaxy Community Conference (GCC) in a very successful joint meeting in Portland. In July 2020, BOSC will once again join forces with GCC to form the new Bioinformatics Community Conference (BCC2020) in Toronto, Canada.

BOSC ​includes ​talks,​ ​poster​ ​sessions,​ ​birds-of-a-feather gatherings, and ​lots​ ​of​ ​opportunities​ ​for​ ​networking. It is followed by​ ​collaborative​ ​working​ ​sessions​ ​at the CollaborationFest.​ ​These​ ​events​ ​bring​ ​together​ ​software​ ​engineers,​ ​bioinformaticians,​ ​and​ ​researchers​ ​to collaborate​ ​and​ ​extend​ ​open​ ​source​ ​bioinformatics​ ​tools.

BOSC​ ​participants​ ​come​ ​from​ ​a​ ​wide​ ​variety​ ​of​ ​research​ ​environments​ ​and​ ​backgrounds:

  • Biological​ ​researchers,​ ​students,​ ​and​ ​post-docs​ ​who​ ​​ ​are​ ​learning​ ​bioinformatics​ ​analysis tools and techniques
  • Power​ ​bioinformatics​ ​users
  • Bioinformatics​ ​tool​ ​and​ ​workflow​ ​developers
  • Bioinformatics​-focused​ ​principal​ ​investigators​ ​and​ ​researchers
  • Sequencing​ ​core​ ​facility​ ​staff
  • Industry​ ​scientists​ ​and​ ​bioinformaticians
  • Data​ ​producers

Previous Events

The​ ​OBF​ ​has​ ​organized​ ​BOSC​ ​every​ ​year​ ​since​ ​2000.​ From 2000 to 2017,​ ​BOSC​ ​was ​run​ ​as​ ​part​ ​of​ ​the​ ​large​ ​ISMB conference; in 2018 it partnered with the Galaxy Community Conference.​ In 2019 BOSC returns to ISMB. ​The​ ​OBF​ ​CodeFest​s (now renamed CollaborationFest, or CoFest) have ​been​ ​held​ ​every​ ​year​ after BOSC ​since​ ​2010.

The table below shows the approximate number of participants in BOSC and the CoFest. Figures​ ​for​ ​the​ ​CoFest​ ​and​ ​BOSC​ ​are​ ​number​ ​of​ ​people​ ​registered​ ​for​ ​at​ ​least​ ​one​ ​day​ ​of​ ​the​ ​meeting.​ ​The​ ​BOSC figures​ ​do​ ​not​ ​include​ ​drop-in​ ​attendees​ ​from​ ​the​ ​parallel​ ​sessions​ ​organized​ ​by​ ​other​ ​groups.​ ​The​ ​figures​ ​for CoFest​ ​do​ ​not​ ​include​ ​remote​ ​participants.

YearLocation BOSC ParticipantsCoFest Participants
2018 Portland, OR, USA150100
2017 Prague, Czech Republic 23065
2016 Orlando, FL, USA9036
2015Dublin, Ireland12535
2014Boston, MA, USA10060
2013Berlin, Germany10037
2012Long Beach, CA, USA 10013
2011 Vienna, Austria 12035


We gratefully accept sponsorships from private companies and organizations. In the past these sponsorships have enabled us to

  • offer free registration to some BOSC speakers to lower the financial barrier of their attendance
  • support the Travel Fellowship program of the OBF, increasing participation from groups otherwise underrepresented in the community
  • provide child care at the event
  • underwrite the cost of conference events such as dinners or refreshments at poster sessions
  • help defray the cost of videography
  • provide space and catering at the CoFest

Sponsorship Levels

We ask sponsors for a minimum donation of $1,000 to support BOSC or $500 to support the CoFest. Sponsors can decide to support one or the other or both. We are happy to accept sponsorship at higher levels, and can discuss with you the concomitant benefits. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact us at bosc@open-bio.org!

BOSC 2019 Sponsors

CodeFest 2019 Sponsors

Benefits of Sponsorship

We acknowledge our sponsors before, during and after the event in multiple ways:

  • We list our sponsors on the BOSC website
  • Sponsors are thanked and named in the introduction/closing slides during the meeting
  • We show the sponsor logos on large BOSC posters displayed outside the meeting room and in the poster area
  • The sponsors are thanked in selected emails to our mailing list, tweets and blog posts (with your logo) that go out before, during and after the event
  • The sponsors are listed in our published reports after the meeting, e.g., https://f1000research.com/articles/7-1309/v1
  • We are open to discussing specific requests, such as distributing stickers or leaflets, or earmarking the sponsorship for a specific activity.

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact us at bosc@open-bio.org!