Both organizations signed the GBIF Memorandum of Understanding, following approval by the Executive Committee of their respective petitions to become Associate Participants. The status enables organizations to be represented on the GBIF Governing Board, although they are not entitled to vote.
Naturalis holds a biological collection of more than 37 million specimens. In 2013 it merged with ETI Bioinformatics, which had been an Associate Participant since GBIF was founded in 2001. Naturalis leads a number of international initiatives and acts as host for Species 2000 and the Catalogue of Life.
Canadensys unlocks biodiversity information held in biological collections across Canada, and repatriates data from more than 200 countries. It has developed a range of tools and resources for publishing data through GBIF, especially associated with use of the GBIF Integrated Publishing Toolkit, that have been picked up and adapted by a number of GBIF Participants.