Since their creation, the BCCM collections have managed the information related to the preserved biological material. In the 1980's, the digitisation of their culture catalogues in relational databases started and in 1989 a first printed version of the BCCM catalogues was published.
In addition to catalogue data, the BCCM collections also progressively digitized other data for the daily management of the collections (stock management, clients/services, operations, equipment...) as well as literature and scientific data (sequences, fatty acids...)
Currently the BCCM is finalising the implementation of a centralised Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) that will be used by all the BCCM collections for managing, storing and querying their digital contents.
In 1995 the BCCM created their website (bccm.belspo.be) where an online version of all the BCCM catalogues is published and where general information, the list of services, the newsletter, detailed information on the Budapest Treaty and patent deposit and on-going projects can be found.
The BCCM website has been updated and will further be improved gradually to include the latest functionalities for online communication and a 'one-stop-shop' that will make it possible for customers to register and track orders of biological material.
The BCCM actively participated in several initiatives aiming at the creation of data standards for microbial information exchange and linking: Microbial Information Network Europe Project (MINE), Common Access to Biological Resources and Information (CABRI, www.cabri.org), European Biological Resources Centres Network (EBRCN, http://www.ebrcn.net) and the OECD Task Force on Biological Resources Centres.
The BCCM collections also exchange their catalogue data in a standardised way with several other international initiatives and biodiversity information infrastructures such as the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF, www.gbif.org), the Global Catalogue of Microorganisms (GCM, gcm.wfcc.info) and StrainInfo (www.straininfo.net).