The Institute for Plant Biotechnology (IPB) was founded at Stellenbosch University in 1998, in collaboration with the South African Sugarcane Research Institute. The Institute originally operated as part of the Department of Botany, but after strategic restructuring at the University it moved to the Department of Genetics in the Faculty of AgriScience, where it currently functions as an independent unit.
The IPB was established under the leadership of Dr Frikkie Botha. In 2004 Professor Jens Kossmann took over and was appointed director, a position that he currently still occupies. Under Prof Kossmann the IPB functions as a multicultural and interdisciplinary team of researchers and postgraduate students who focus on research opportunities in plant biotechnology. Fundamental research forms the core of the IPB's activities, but every project has some long-term application.
The Institute is situated on the main campus of Stellenbosch University, in the heart of the Winelands region in the Western Cape province of South Africa.