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The Spanish Type Culture Collection (CECT) is the only public Microbial Biological Resource Centre (mBRC) in Spain serving as a repository and provider of bacteria, archaea, yeast and filamentous fungi.


To provide quality controlled microbial reference material and associated data; to offer services related to preservation, identification and characterization of microorganisms; to provide training, consultancy and advice on aspects related to the handling and use of microbial resources, including legal issues; to perform R&D on microbial resources; to maintain high-performance levels by following international recommendations and standards.


The CECT aims to promote Spanish strategies for the preservation and exploitation of microbial resources, in line with recommendations for Biological Resource Centres (BRCs) established by the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The CECT aspires to act as an interface connecting Spain with worldwide efforts in this field, and work together with other Microbial BRCs (mBRCs) to help boost European competitiveness in biotechnology.

Main features

Started by Prof. J. R. Villanueva as a research collection in Madrid (1960), the CECT moved to Salamanca, then to Bilbao and finally to Valencia under the direction of Prof. F. Uruburu. It is housed at the University of Valencia (1980) where it became a Service (1991) satisfying the requirements of an International Depositary Authority (IDA, 1992). The CECT was headed by Prof. E. Garay from 2003 to 2012 and subsequently by Prof. R. Aznar, its current director.

It is registered at the WDCM (number 412) and is a Member of the WFCC (1977) and ECCO (1983). The first edition of the Catalogue (1976) listed 436 strains but since then the collection has grown steadily and currently registers over 8200 strains (2022).

The CECT holds the ISO 9001 certificate (2004) and complies with the OECD Best Practice Guidelines for BRCs; it is located in high-quality facilities at the Scientific Park of the University of Valencia. The CECT actively participates in European and International initiatives working together with mBRCs to share good practices and experience in order to meet the demands of academic and industrial communities (GBRCN, EMbaRC, MIRRI…). Currently, CECT, representing UV, is part of the Microbial Resource Research Infrastructure - European Research Infrastructure Consortium (MIRRI-ERIC,, established by Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2022/1204 of 16 June 2022.

Future challenges

Our future goals include: expanding our services to meet users’ demands; providing tailor-made services/courses; combining marketing strategies with academic standards, and establishing cooperation agreements for biotechnological exploitation.