Associate Members are at the "cutting edge" of AEGIS: they are the ones that actually carry the brunt of managing the European Accessions that collectively form the European Collection. Associate Members include genebanks and other institutions holding collections or providing PGRFA conservation-related services such as information, evaluation and characterization services, regeneration and plant health services.
Associate Membership of AEGIS are voluntary. Only institutions located in an AEGIS Member Country are eligible for Associate Membership. Potential Associate Members are identified by the ECPGR National Coordinators. They can become Associate AEGIS Members by signing an Associate Membership Agreement with the National Coordinator accepting the responsibilities of an Associate Member. These responsibilities are the following:
- to ensure the long-term conservation and maintenance of their European accessions according to approved minimum standards;
- to participate in and / or to facilitate supporting activities such as regeneration, viability testing and others organized by the respective ECPGR Working Group for the crop/species in question;
- to provide for the safety-duplication of their European accessions at another genebank, possibly in a different country and/or at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault;
- to facilitate the access and availability of their European Accessions and related information according to agreed international instruments, e.g. ITPGRFA and CBD;
- to document the information on their European Accessions according to agreed minimum standards, including those of passport, characterization and evaluation data; and
- to keep the above-mentioned information updated in the National Inventory and to make it available to EURISCO and whenever possible in the ECPGR Central Crop Databases (ECCDB).