Important information to MIRRI users about limitations on the access to resources/services in connection with entities located in the Russian Federation

In line with the positions of the European Commission and the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures, MIRRI informs its user communities that, until further notice, requests for accessing resources/services provided by MIRRI partner organisations located in the Russian Federation will not be considered. Moreover, requests submitted to MIRRI by users based in the Russian Federation or in the Republic of Belarus for accessing resources/services provided by MIRRI and/or any of its partners organisations will also not be considered. MIRRI joins the voices of all who are calling for peace, mutual understanding and tolerance. MIRRI promotes scientific excellence beyond all national boundaries, but this is only possible in a context of peaceful cooperation banning all forms of violence.

2ND TNA CALL WEBINAR

Applications for the 2nd Transnational Access Call (TNA) are still OPEN, submit your proposal until May 15th, 2022!

The TNA programme provides free-of-charge access to facilities, a wide-range of microbial resources and services that our IS_MIRRI21 partners have made available for the scientific community. The TNA online portal is available with full details on the eligibility, access providers, submission and reporting rules and guides, and how to apply.

On Wednesday, 23rd March 2022 11h30 CET we will hold a live webinar with the Access officer and the 9 IS_MIRRI21 partners participating to the ongoing call. After a brief presentation outlining the goals of the IS_MIRRI21 TNA programme, we will explain everything you need to know about the 2nd TNA Call (eligibility, application procedure, current TNA offer, modalities of access, etc.). If you have any concern or doubt regarding your proposal, this webinar is the perfect opportunity for you to get all your questions answered!

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!


Now open – the second TNA call

The second Transnational Access Call (TNA) opened on February 1st – applicants can submit their proposals until May 15th, 2022. The IS_MIRRI21/MIRRI Transnational Access (TNA) programme is an initiative to promote transnational cooperation and mobility of researchers throughout pan-European research infrastructures. Research institutions and companies in the fields of Agro-Food, Environment & Energy and Health & Food are welcome to apply for funded access to high-quality microbial resources and services, or to state-of-the-art facilities and technological platforms provided by the IS_MIRRI21 partners across Europe.

In this 2nd TNA Call, 9 IS_MIRRI21 partners offer on-site and remote access to:

  • 6 experimental facilities
  • 4 services
  • a wide variety of microbial resources

Along with the expertise of the Access Providers’ staff to conduct scientific studies.

Applicants are required to contact the Access Officer Adriana Chiarelli (access@mirri.org) to verify the technical feasibility of their projects prior to the submission of their proposal. Prospective participants can find the handbook for application in our TNA Application Guidelines available online.

Find out more about the application procedure, the eligibility criteria, and the selection process of the TNA programme! Also, make sure to have a look at the TNA Catalogue to check the TNA offer provided this year and identify the facilities that best fit your needs!

Submission deadline: 15 May 2022

Publisher: SPI (Daniel Pichler)

MIRRI WEBINARS: Microbial resources for a Green, Healthy and Sustainable future & Cutting-edge technologies for 2030 microbial Culture Collections

The partners of IS_MIRRI21, with the leadership of INRAE from France organised two webinars on November 18 and November 19, 2021, aiming at addressing microbial resources and microbial culture collections.

The first webinar, called “Microbial resources for a green, healthy and sustainable future”, focused on MIRRI’s Strategic Research & Innovation Agenda (SRIA) and how future research, innovation and market opportunities can be anticipated through the project’s strategic areas and further mapped under the Horizon Europe clusters on Health, Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment. After opening remarks by Luís Soares (MIRRI Executive Director), keynote speaker Dominik Sobczak (European Commission; ESFRI) addressed the relevance of research infrastructures to the new European Research Area and for delivering the impacts of Horizon Europe. MIRRI’s seven strategic areas were presented by Sylvie Brisse (Institut Pasteur), Nélson Lima (Universidade do Minho), Rosa Aznar (CECT/UVEG), Paris Laskaris (NKUA), Cristina Varese (UNITO), Craig Faulds (INRAe CIRM-CF) and Gerard Verkleij (KNAW). These presentations were complemented by speakers who showcased MIRRI’s participation in Horizon Europe and its clusters, such as the example of the ISIDOre project by Raquel Hurtado-Ortiz (Institut Pasteur), the BY-COVID project by Paolo Romano (USMI) and the general introduction of the Horizon Europe clusters of Health (Virginie Sivan, NCP-France, MESRI) and Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment (Marta Conde-Vidal, NCP-Spain, CDTI).

Finally, several scientific speeches were held, addressing the current status of microalgae as a source of biologically active compounds (Juan Luis Gomez, BEA), the use of microbial BRCs in support of the ecological transition to sustainable and healthy food products (Michel-Yves Mistou, INRAe-CIRM), the Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and other key organisms for improving crop production (Stéphane Declerck, BCCM-MUCL), the collaborative work experience in the field of oil bioremediation with industrial partners (Maria Kuyukina, PFRC UB RAS), the bioconversion of lignin-derived aromatics compounds into platform chemicals (Ronald de Vries, KNAW) and several scenarios on how to preserve yeast diversity from worldwide endangered cold habitats in the era of climatic change (Benedetta Turchetti, DBVPG).

The second webinar, called “Cutting-edge technologies for 2030 microbial culture collections”, took place on November 19 and was subdivided in a section about microbiota conservation and characterisation, the MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry and genomics. Matthew Ryan (CABI), Thomas Riedel (DSMZ), Perrine Portier (INRAe CFBP), Hauke Smidt (U Wageningen) and Vincent Thomas (BioAster) were the speakers of the session dedicated to microbiota, while Anneleen Wieme (BCCM/LMG), Sylvain Brisse (Institut Pasteur) and Vincent Robert (KNAW; Bioaware) discussed the applications of MALDI-TOF. Antonis Rokas (Vanderbilt Univ. Nashville), Sarah Lebeer (U Antwerpen) and Federica Palma (Institut Pasteur) delivered their presentations in the final session, dedicated to genomics, before Jean-Luc Legras (INRAe CIRM-Levures) concluded the event.

The first webinar provided insights into microbial solutions in line with the 2030 EU Food Policy, functions of soil microbes for plant health and the industrial scale-up of microorganism production to produce a healthier environment, among many other interesting speeches, research outcomes and recent findings. This webinar also showcased concrete destinations in Horizon Europe which may be funding opportunities for research and innovation in these fields. In sum, the presentations held had the objective of fostering ideas and innovations regarding applications of microorganisms in different sectors – and especially how these can have symbiotic effects with existing large organisms. The same applies to the second webinar, albeit the more technical content. The presentation in the November 19 webinar featured concrete suggestions and best practices with respect to the taxonomic composition of microbial communities, building databases for culturomics projects and using genomic libraries to study strain biodiversity, among other areas of application.

Over 340 participants from 42 countries attended the webinars, with the overwhelming majority (88%) coming from public organisations, that showed particular interest in MIRRI’s activities and future outlook. The partners of the H2020 project, IS_MIRRI21, were truly excited to have welcomed such a large crowd from different nations and more than happy to deliver information into the interesting and ever-dynamic world of microbiology and microorganisms. The presentation summaries can be read here.

For more information about MIRRI and microorganisms in general, make sure not to miss any of our upcoming event!

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Contacts:

For more information and feedback, please contact us at: franciscorocha@spi.pt; danielpichler@spi.pt.

IS_MIRRI21 engages with the public for #WorldMicrobiomeDay2021

The partners of the H2020 project, IS_MIRRI21, launched a webinar on 27 June 2021 for the annual event of World Microbiome Day. The event aimed to approach members of the society to investigate and bring recognition to the value of microorganisms in the world. The webinar was organised by two experts and representatives of MIRRI partner organisations, Giulia Cheloni (National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment, France) and Anna Poli (Università degli Studi di Torino, Italy) and other experts from the same institutions in France (Marwa Zaarour) and in Italy (Cristina Varese). The webinar had four main sessions, i) Demo about Microbiome and Microorganisms for a Sustainable World ii) Quiz on microbial biodiversity and sustainability, iii) a presentation on Culture collections and their role in microbial biodiversity preservation and exploration; and finally, iv) how IS_MIRRI21 intends to strengthen the impact of culture collection by connecting them. 

One of the key objectives of the event was to present how EU-funded projects such as IS_MIRRI21 are supporting the research and innovation ecosystem. In addition, an overall overview of how culture collections are used to preserve biodiversity and the roles of microbes in the sustainability of the environment was presented. Moreover, a video demo was used to explore the world of microorganisms and introduced the importance of the microbiome. The presentations were made with the intention of fostering ideas to build a sustainable world through the exploration and exploitation of symbiotic relationships between large- and micro-organisms. 

This was followed by an enlightening quiz on microbial biodiversity to later be used as a trigger for curiosity and debate during the Q&A session. A total of 77 participants attended the webinar, which was concluded with a heartfelt enjoyment and excitement for the next event. The webinar recording can be viewed here.

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Contacts:

For more information and feedback, please contact us at: franciscorocha@spi.pt; tedoraaibu@spi.pt

Call for a Special Issue

Call for the issue on “Microbiota Exploitation for the Development of Innovative and High Added-value Fermented Food

To be published in the journal: Foods (ISSN 2304-8158) IF 4.092
Guest Editors: Dr. Luciana De Vero, Prof. Dr Andrea Pulvirenti, Prof. Dr.Ilaria Mannazzu

Fermentation of dairy products, vegetables, cereals, meat, and fish have emerged in human history, almost concomitantly across the different continents, as a strategy for the preservation of raw materials and the production of food and beverages for times of shortage. Since then, humankind has traditionally and empirically utilized fermentation not only for preservation purposes but also for the improvement of the organoleptic properties, texture, digestibility, palatability, and safety of all sorts of food matrices. This has led to the production of a myriad of fermented products that are the result of different cultural preferences and traditions and cover about thirty percent of the human diet, regardless of geographic area and lifestyle. Nowadays, fermentation is widely employed also to enrich food and beverages with beneficial viable microorganisms and/or their metabolites in order to positively impact human health. This result can be achieved either through the exploitation of the wild microbiota naturally associated with raw materials or as the result of the inoculation of selected starters and requires the characterization, preservation, management and circulation of microbial diversity.

Keeping into consideration the keywords “food microbiota” and “fermentation”, this Special Issue aims to collect original research papers, review articles, and short communications addressing novel and relevant findings on the applications of lactic acid bacteria, acetic acid bacteria, yeasts and filamentous fungi isolated from food matrices or preserved in culture collections. Of particular interest will be contributions regarding:

  • the characterisation, exploitation, and preservation of beneficial microbiota for fermented local-food production;
  • the development of high added-value and novel fermented products;
  • the reduction of chemical preservatives in food through the production of natural antimicrobials of microbial origin;
  • the production of bioactive compounds with health-promoting activity.

The deadline for submission is 31 August 2021 (with a possibility for extension).

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Applicants should indicate in the application cover letter that the manuscript is recommended by Dr. Vero.

Applicants and interested authors have the following discounts:

30% discount – available until 31 August 2021;
20% discount – available until 30 September 2021;

Know our first four researchers who will be granted access to MIRRI/IS_MIRRI21 facilities in 2021

Roksana Majewska – Postdoc researcher at the North-West University (South Africa)

Roksana is a marine biologist, phycologist, and natural scientist with experience in various fields of aquatic and environmental studies. She is a research fellow at the Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management, North-West University (South Africa) and the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, where she studies tropical and extreme habitat diatoms using both morphological and molecular approaches and supports the management and development of the South African National Diatom Collection. Roksana is also a visiting scientist at the Department of Integrative Biology, The University of Texas in Austin (USA), and the Chair of the Africa BioGenome Project Pilot Committee.

Assunta Saide – Postdoc researcher at Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn (Italy)

Assunta’s research interests are marine biotechnology, cellular and molecular biology with a strong expertise in mechanisms of induction of apoptosis and cellular death in human cancer cells. As a researcher of the POR project ADVISE at the SZN, she is involved in the characterisation of biological activities of chemical compounds extracted from microalgae, on different cancer cell lines and the identification of the targeted genes. The aim is to identify new compounds that induce a specific type of cell death in cancer cells; and/or stimulate an immune response in normal cells so that they can inhibit cancer cell growth

Agapi Doulgeraki – Assistant researcher at Institute of Technology of Agricultural Products, ELGO-DEMETER (Greece)

Dr. Agapi Doulgeraki is an Assistant Researcher (topic: Food microbiology) at the Institute of Technology of Agricultural Products of Hellenic Agricultural Organization – DIMITRA. She is specialised in food microbiology and application of molecular techniques. Specifically, her research interests focus on monitoring microorganisms and their behaviour in foods by application of standard and molecular techniques, enhancement of foods’ safety and quality (use of natural antimicrobials, fermentation, packaging, probiotics etc.), biofilm formation on biotic and abiotic surfaces and biofilm decontamination. She holds a degree in Food Science and Technology from Agricultural University of Athens and a Ph.D. in Food microbiology from Cranfield University.

Fortunato Palma Esposito – Postdoc researcher at Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn (Italy)

Fortunato is an early career Postdoc researcher at Marine Biotechnology Department at Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn of Naples. He obtained his PhD degree in biotechnology in 2018 followed by almost 2 years of work as an innovation consultant writing and managing European projects. Fortunato has a broad experience in microbiology, working with bacteria, yeast and fungi especially from marine sources. Fortunato’s scientific interests are mainly based on the sustainable exploitation of marine microbial biodiversity to identify novel bioactive compounds for biotech applications. He was a visiting student in several Biotech labs in Europe and successfully participated in others TNA programmes. 

 

 

Publisher: Institut Pasteur

Launch of the new MIRRI website and MIRRI CWE

On 24 March 2021, the new MIRRI website (www.mirri.org) was launched, creating a Collaborative Working Environment (CWE) that facilitates interaction among MIRRI partners and users from various stakeholder communities, boosting the possibilities to share knowledge, exchange experience and collaborate to achieve common goals in research and development. The CWE presents a forum to bring together partners and users from various communities, scientific areas and industry stakeholders.

Through the CWE, MIRRI provides:

  • Unique entry point to the broadest catalogue of microbial resources, advanced services and education & training microbial-related offer in Europe
  • Access to state-of-the-art facilities and tailor-made services and pipelines, going from bioprospection to validation of functional properties, through Transnational Access Programmes
  • Access to the largest datasets associated with microbial resources in Europe, embedded in the EOSC and following FAIR principles
  • Access to a wide selection of experts in different topics related with the use of microbial resources
  • Access to training courses and e-learning webinars covering different aspects on the use of microbial resources, targeted to mBRC users
  • Access to official academic schemes, different learning materials and workshops to train mBRC and Culture Collection professionals
  • Access to digital content to increase the knowledge about microbes in the society, adapted to different audiences (schools, policy makers, broad audience)

All these elements are being implemented on the frame of the IS_MIRRI21 project, so the website is being updated as the CWE construction progresses, offering new services as well as pieces of information.


Have innovative ideas? 

Contact us at info@mirri.org. We welcome your suggestions to improve our MIRRI CWE!

Italians do it.. microbiologically! The Joint Research Unit MIRRI-IT: status and undergoing activities

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 coordinatore@mirri-it.it.

MIRRI receives a delegation from the European Council

MIRRI was honoured with a visit from a delegation of 40 Economic Advisers and other members representing 27 countries from the European Commission on 8 June 2021. The Directorate-General for Economic Activities (DGAE) and the Portuguese Permanent Representation to the European Union (REPER) organized a tour across several institutions including Centre of Biological Engineering (CEB) at University of Minho (UMinho) and International Nanotechnology Laboratory in Braga, Portugal.

Under the scope of the Portuguese Presidency of the European Union Council, the delegates had an overview of the industrial, technological and innovative initiatives from the North of Portugal. MIRRI, with headquarters at UMinho, was selected among few research project and spin-offs, to take part in the exhibition and showcase its work. MIRRI’s Team presented its mission, organisation and activities, and disseminate its Strategic Research & Innovation Agenda 2021-2030. In addition, the Portuguese Society of Microbiology (SPM) availed a mascot SACA (representing Saccharomyces Yeast) to MIRRI to promote the upcoming International Microorganism Day, on 17 September, 2021.

Nelson Lima, Head of MIRRI-PT and H2020 IS_MIRRI21 Project Coordinator, and the MIRRI Central Coordinating Unit members – Luís Soares, Bassem Kheireddine and Ana Ferreira, represented MIRRI in the event. The team engaged with the countries’ representatives with the aim of fostering the promotion of activities and enlargement of MIRRI with new entities from the public, private and industrial domains.