Bread wheat, the staple food for 35% of the world’s population and the most widely produced crop, is one of the most important crop species. Genomics offers powerful tools for understanding the molecular basis of phenotypic variation as well as accelerating gene cloning, marker assisted selection, and more efficient exploitation of genetic diversity. In 2005, a group of growers, breeders, and plant scientists launched the IWGSC (http://www.wheatgenome.org/) with the goal of securing a high quality, reference sequence of the bread wheat genome. A milestone-based strategy coupled with short and long-term roadmaps provides breeders access to an increasing array of tools and resources without having to wait for the completed sequence. To reduce the complexity of the allohexaploid, highly repetitive, 17Gb bread wheat genome, the IWGSC follows a chromosome-specific approach to develop physical maps, low coverage sequencing, and high quality sequencing of the MTPs before moving towards a gold standard reference sequence. Physical maps have been completed or are underway for all 21 chromosomes of the reference cultivar, Chinese Spring. To facilitate anchoring, marker development, and to gain a first insight into the gene space composition, the IWGSC launched an internationally coordinated survey sequencing initiative that will provide breeders with survey sequences and the virtual gene order for all 21 chromosomes. High quality, BAC-by-BAC sequencing of the chromosome 3B began in 2010 at Genoscope and has been followed with sequencing of 7BS. An overview of recent IWGSC achievements will be presented.