About ICBA

Who we are

ICBA is an international, not-for-profit applied agricultural research center.

Our vision is of a world where sustainable livelihoods and food security are ensured for all who live in marginal environments.

We harness the power of research and innovation through partnership to tackle challenges, develop solutions and create impact. 

Read our five-year strategy.

About ICBA: Who we are
Our Work

Our Work

We identify, test and introduce resource‐efficient, climate‐smart crops and technologies that are best suited to different regions affected by salinity, water scarcity and drought.

Through our work, we help to improve food security and nutrition and create jobs and livelihoods for some of the poorest rural communities around the world.

We support decision-makers in designing policies and strategies to improve natural resource management, mitigate and adapt to climate change effects and other challenges, and enhance agricultural production in marginal environments. 

What makes ICBA unique

Since its formation in the United Arab Emirates in 1999, ICBA has established itself as a global center of excellence and a go-to research-for-development partner in different regions.

ICBA’s uniqueness lies in its focus on improving food security and nutrition, enhancing water security and environmental sustainability, and creating jobs and livelihoods in marginal environments, the areas of the world which face the problems of salinity, water scarcity and drought, among others.

ICBA exists to make a lasting, positive change in the lives of some of the most vulnerable rural communities around the world. This goal lies at the heart of all our work.

To make things happen, ICBA has an international team of scientists, experts and professionals with wide-ranging backgrounds, competences and experiences. This allows us to tackle different challenges in a holistic and interdisciplinary way.

ICBA’s comparative advantages:

  1. Extensive experience in developing tailor-made solutions to problems of salinity, water scarcity and drought
  2. Unique long-running research and knowledge on salinity and water scarcity in marginal environments
  3. One of the world’s largest collections of germplasm of drought-, heat- and salt-tolerant plant species
  4. Inter-disciplinary research teams and world-class research facilities
  5. Unique focus on alternative rather than mainstream solutions and approaches
What makes ICBA unique
Organizational information

Organizational information

ICBA is an international, not-for-profit organization and operates in line with its articles of association approved by the Government of the United Arab Emirates and the Islamic Development Bank.

As an international, not-for-profit organization, ICBA is supported by contributions and grants from governments, foundations, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, multilateral agencies and academia. The full list of funders can also be found on our donors and partners page.


In 1992, the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) initiated a series of expert consultations which outlined the objectives and activities of a new institution. In November 1992, the IsDB Board of Executive Directors approved financing for the establishment and initial operation of what would become ICBA. Subsequent consultations between the IsDB and the General Secretariat of the Gulf Cooperation Council led to the selection of the United Arab Emirates as the host country for the center.

In 1996, the IsDB and the Government of the United Arab Emirates signed an agreement to formally establish ICBA.

In 1997, the Municipality of Dubai allocated 100 hectares of land in Academic City, where ICBA's head office is now located. The center became operational in 1999.


Our values

Professionalism and Integrity

We carry out our mission in a responsible and diligent way. We strive to provide quality services to all our stakeholders and achieve the highest standards of professionalism in our research, communications, fiduciary management, and operations. We take responsibility for our individual and organizational performance.

Excellence and Innovation

We promote a culture of innovation and always look for ways to improve our individual and collective ability to conduct our mission.

Partnership and Teamwork

We value teamwork, sharing knowledge among ourselves and our partners to build on our collective strength and interdependence. We show mutual respect to all those with whom we work. We constantly reach out to new partners who share our vision and values, and work with them to fulfil our mission.

People and Relationships

We recognize the importance of human relationships and understand that they serve as an important tool for change. We engage employees as partners. We seek to strengthen relationships among employees to create an enabling and supportive environment.