The International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) conducts innovative research in life sciences for the benefit of developing countries. It strengthens the research capability of its members through training, internship and funding programmes and advisory services to member states. The Centre employs a comprehensive approach to promoting biotechnology internationally and is dedicated to advanced research and training in molecular biology and biotechnology with applications in the fields of public health, energy production, industrial production of high added-value commodities, nutrition, and environmental protection/remediation. Its expertise is also solicited by international agencies and member countries on biosafety.

The Centre was conceived by the UN in 1983 in recognition of the importance of biotechnology to economic development and food security, and the need to bridge the growing gap between developed and developing countries in this area of research and development. In 1989, the Centre became operational with the establishment of its research and training laboratory in Trieste, Italy. This was followed by a second facility in New Delhi, India and a third facility in Cape Town, Africa. In 2003, Trinidad and Tobago became a member of the ICGEB and Cabinet appointed NIHERST as the liaison office.