In 2017, five public Italian Institutions (University of Torino, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, University of Perugia, National Research Council, and San Martino Polyclinic Hospital) agreed to co-found the Joint Research Unit MIRRI-IT, with the aim of supporting the adhesion of Italy to MIRRI and creating its Italian node, as a first step for the construction of the Italian network of collections of microbial resources. MIRRI-IT aims to increase the communication between Institutions, collections and stakeholders, and to overcome the fragmentation in the availability of resources and services.
To date, 17 associated members have joined the five founding Institutions, representing a large portion of the microbial collections in Italy. Among new partners are universities, medical and veterinary research centres, and regional and national research centres. Represented resources include the majority of microbial organisms and collections often possessing original strains, not available elsewhere. A website has been created where all the information and news regarding MIRRI-IT can be found (http://www.mirri-it.it/). The expertise and point of view of MIRRI-IT partners has also been presented in a collaborative paper (see De Vero L. et al. 2019, https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7120685).
In recent months, the scientific committee of MIRRI-IT has restarted its activities after the stop due to COVID-19, planning the organisation of several working groups, which operate in different topics concerning collections research and management. The groups are focused on the following subjects:
- Microorganisms of food interest;
- Microorganisms of agricultural, forestry and environmental interest;
- Microorganisms of medical and veterinary interest;
- Data and catalogue management;
- Certifications, especially ISO standards relating to collections;
- Molecular characterisation and identification of microorganisms;
- Common protocols and procedures;
- Updating of the National Plan on agro-biodiversity; and
- Relations with scientific societies and foreign collections, promotion and communication.
With this new scientific structure, MIRRI-IT will definitely match the purposes of IS_MIRRI21 Work Packages, functioning as a productive interface between the individual Italian collections and the European Institutions and stakeholders.
For more information, you are welcome to get in touch by email with the Coordinator, Prof. Varese, at firstname.lastname@example.org.