The SILVA Commercial Licenses

There are two basic types of SILVA Commercial Licenses offered:

    (i) the standard license for internal R&D purposes
    (ii) licenses for extended usage (beyond internal R&D)

The difference of these two license types is if your business/enterprise will (i) indirectly or (ii) directly profit from your intended SILVA usage.

See below for detailed information on the two license types and how to acquire a corresponding SILVA Commercial License.

For any questions related to the SILVA Commercial Licenses please contact silva@ribocon.com

The complete official SILVA Terms of Use/License Information for academic and non-academic users can be found on the SILVA web portal at www.arb-silva.de/silva-license-information.

Obtaining a SILVA Standard R&D License for commercial purposes is a fully standardized process based on a fixed license agreement. See the following boxes for detailed information.

There are two basic scenarios for a SILVA R&D use case within commercial environments (indirect profit):

  • pure SILVA-based internal research
    (such as analysis of gut microbiota to e.g. test/adapt food)
  • SILVA-aided product development without SILVA integration into the product
    (e.g. primer evaluation for commercial PCR kits)

Non-R&D scenarios (direct profit) demand for an Extended SILVA License (see below for more information).
In case of doubt if the R&D scenario applies for you, please contact us for further discussion with a short description of your use case (if required we can sign a non-disclosure agreement first).

A 'SILVA Standard Commercial R&D License' is covering a single complete site of your business/enterprise, the license is only granted site and not user-specific. It allows you to use the current SILVA release, and all additional releases within the next 12 months, without any time limitation for commercial R&D purposes (you receive a perpetual use right for these database releases!). Just in case you would like to use data sets released after the 12 month period, you have to extend/renew your license (of course, this can be done at any time in the future, there is no need to avoid gaps because of the perpetual use right).

The reasonable prizes for this license are fixed and depend on the overall size of your business/enterprise (not only your site). We have four prize categories (micro, small, medium-sized, and large companies) and will provide information for your quick self-classification on your enquiry (see box below).

If you are interested in acquiring a 'SILVA Standard Commercial R&D License' based on the information provided above, please contact us at silva@ribocon.com with the subject "SILVA standard R+D license enquiry". We will then send you our corresponding Standard End-User License Agreement for commercial R&D usage (current version is 2.0 of January 2017) for your review and provide information on company size self-classification for calculation of costs (there are different price categories depending on the size of your business).

If you agree with the detailed terms and conditions you can initiate the actual ordering process. This can be a short informal confirmation by email and we send out a corresponding invoice afterwards, or you can ask us for a formal quote first, we wait for a Purchase Order (if required by your administration), and we then provide the invoice.

The effective date of your license can be defined by you and your license will become valid with receipt of payment. With receipt of payment we will also confirm the validity of your license by providing an additional formal letter.

SILVA commercial usage beyond common R&D purposes (see above) is specified as follows:

  • (1) commercial sequence analysis SERVICES providing SILVA-based classifications
    (or similar SILVA-based data analysis services)
  • (2) integration of SILVA into software or other products you sell
    (direct or indirect redistribution of SILVA)
  • (3) integration of SILVA into local data analysis pipelines related to your internal production processes
    (e.g. industrial quality control)


For use case (1) as listed above, we now also set up a fixed license agreement and a fully standardized process. See the following boxes for detailed information.

A SILVA Extended SERVICE License is covering all corresponding activities of your business/enterprise. It allows you to use the current (or any older) SILVA release within the validity period of your license (which is six or twelve months) to generate commercial data analysis service-based turnover up to a defined threshold.

There is no need to disclose any financial details (it is not a percentage-based fee of your actual SILVA turnover). Instead, you simply decide for one of the turnover categories offered by us, like a common annual or biannual subscription model.

If you unexpectedly exceed your booked SILVA-based turnover within the validity period of your license, this is also no problem - throughout your whole period (or even retroactively) you can upgrade to the next turnover category by paying only the balance of the two corresponding price categories. And of course, only the part of your overall project-specific service turnover which is directly linked to a SILVA-based analysis has to be used for internal calculations.
But please also note that booked turnover budget which remains unused within the validity period of your license is non-refundable (this reflects the compromise we decided for of not asking you for turnover reports which would allow for more accurate percentage-based fees).

If you are interested in acquiring a SILVA Extended SERVICE License, please contact us at silva@ribocon.com with the subject "SILVA extended SERVICE license enquiry". We will then send you the corresponding End-User License Agreement for Commercial Service Usage (current version is 1.0 of January 2017) for your review and provide price information (there are different price categories depending on your extent of SILVA-based service usage).

If you agree with the detailed terms and conditions you can initiate the actual ordering process. This can be a short informal confirmation by email and we send out a corresponding invoice afterwards, or you can ask us for a formal quote first, we wait for a Purchase Order (if required by your administration), and we then provide the invoice.

The effective date of your license can be defined by you and your license will become valid with receipt of payment. With receipt of payment we will also confirm the validity of your license by providing an additional formal letter.


For use cases (2) and (3) as listed above, terms and conditions must be negotiated for your specific solution, resulting in a customized license agreement. If you are interested in acquiring such a SILVA Extended License, contact us at silva@ribocon.com with the subject "SILVA extended license enquiry" for more information. Please clearly indicate your intended use case and also include a brief outline of your planned SILVA usage to facilitate an efficient initial communication. Thank you!

Basic Terms (Commercial Users)

If you represent a COMMERCIAL/ NON-ACADEMIC SILVA USER you need to purchase a license in the moment you want to exploit any SILVA downloads (data sets, subsets thereof, and/or analysis results).

Without such a license, only limited/temporary use of SILVA data downloads for test purposes is allowed. All downloaded files need to be deleted latest after 10 days and commercial exploitation of your results/outcome is not permitted.

For browsing/using the SILVA webpage to obtain any information provided (without downloading any data), there are no restrictions also for non-academic users (no commercial license required).

For the SILVAngs service (use on registration only) separate terms apply.