Honouring the assessments by the most competent contemporary experts in the world that biotechnology based on genetic engineering represented one of the three areas of scientific and technological advancement that were the most likely to move society forward, the responsible governmental bodies, at that period, incorporated this field of science into the Strategy and Programme of scientific and technological development of B&H as one of the priorities. Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology was established in 1988 as the most rational form of implementation of the adopted research orientation.  

In 1993, by a legal act, the Assembly of RB&H has assumed the founders rights and established Institute for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology with the status of public research institution. 

On October 10, 2000, the Institute became associate member of University of Sarajevo. In accordance with the Law on higher education of Sarajevo Canton, which is in effect since 2013, the Institute is equal member of University of Sarajevo.