In 2011, a team of scientists announced the international i5K initiative (Robinson et al. 2011). The initiative set the ambitious goal to sequence and analyze the genomes of not less than 5,000 insect species within the next five years. Priority is given to species of agricultural (pest species, beneficial organisms) and medical (pathogenic organisms, species producing of pharmaceutical active components) importance and species of relevant for basic research. Also sequenced are arthropods that are fundamental for the maintenance of ecosystems and for our understanding of the biology and evolutionary history of insects. The i5K initiative is open to scientists around the world and aims to attract specialists from different disciplines (e.g., molecular biology, genetics, physiology, phylogenetic systematics, faunistics, bioinformatics, and database management). At the Center of Molecular Biodiversity Researcher, Dr. Oliver Niehuis, head of the molecular laboratory and leader of the section genomics, and Prof. Dr. Bernhard Misof, head of the zmb, are elected members of the i5K coordination group. Together with other scientists at the zmb, they study within the i5K initiative the origin and evolution of winged insects.