IS_MIRRI21 forges to the second year with the overarching vision of establishing Microbial Resource Research Infrastructure (MIRRI) as a sustainable pan-European research infrastructure. In the first year of the project, each task of the IS_MIRRI21 consortium has leaped forward to meet its milestones timely. These accomplishments include the arrangement of facilities for the first Transnational Access Programme (TNA), development of the alpha version of the Collaborative Work Environment (CWE), establishment of the Strategic Research & Innovation Agenda 2020-2030 for MIRRI and defining the advanced training courses for the Education and Training Programme. The project now begins its second year with the launch of the first Transnational Access call in January 2021 and many more.

The European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) is a strategic instrument to develop the scientific integration of Europe and strengthen its international outreach. The competitive and open access to high quality Research Infrastructures (RIs) supports and benchmarks the quality of the activities of European scientists and attracts the best researchers from around the world. ESFRI recognises RIs as fundamental pillars for the European Research Area, as they play a critical role in addressing global (societal, environmental, economic) challenges and the Sustainable Development Goals. In addition, RIs are essential to deliver the impacts of Horizon Europe and the national/regional smart specialisation strategies.

MIRRI has been part of the ESFRI roadmap since 2010. Pending a positive evaluation by ESFRI, MIRRI seeks to become a landmark on the 2021 roadmap. MIRRI has a unique position in the landscape of RIs as it is the only RI focussing on the preservation, study, provision and valorisation of microbial resources (MIRs). MIRs are used in a very broad area of sectors such as health, food, environment, etc. MIRRI will soon be established as a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (MIRRI-ERIC). To this end, statutes and the technical and scientific description of MIRRI have been approved by the assembly of prospective members, composed of 10 potential member countries and one future observer country. At the end of 2020, these countries initiated their national procedures to adhere and commit to MIRRI-ERIC. The second step submission requesting the European Commission to set up MIRRI-ERIC, is envisaged to take place in Spring 2021.

In the meanwhile, implementation of MIRRI’s activities is realised on the basis of the IS_MIRRI21 project. MIRRI intends to serve the bioscience and bioindustry communities by facilitating access, through a single point of access, to the broadest range of high-quality microorganisms, their derivatives, associated data and services.

Among our top priorities, MIRRI aims to be, at all times, properly aligned with the global and the European strategic agendas, as well as with the effective needs of the user communities, in order to help them deliver the maximum value and impacts from their projects, technologies and products.

These priorities have been the main motivation behind the development of MIRRI’s Strategic Research & Innovation Agenda 2021-2030. Resulting from an exhaustive and comprehensive exercise of self-analysis, on one hand, and of landscape analysis and horizon scanning, on the other, this Agenda will serve the fundamental purpose of placing MIRRI’s strategic focus, for the decade ahead, over a selected group of socioeconomically highly relevant areas, within the broad domains of Health & Food, Agro-Food, and Environment & Energy. It is intended to be a “living document”, to be revised and updated at the rhythm that the global challenges, the research and innovation landscape and the users’ needs will dynamically change and evolve.

We trust that MIRRI’s Strategic Research & Innovation Agenda 2021-2030 will also serve as an inspiration for our users, for other research infrastructures, and for public authorities and policy makers, on our common mission of tackling global societal challenges, today and in the future, towards a green, healthy and sustainable world.

MIRRI-ERIC Central Coordinating Unit (CCU)

As an embryo of the future Microbial Resource Research Infrastructure-European Research Infrastructure Consortium (MIRRI-ERIC) Central Coordinating Unit (CCU), the management back office of IS_MIRRI21 European project is now adequately staffed and operating in full working capacity. The recruits are:

     • Executive Director – Luís Soares
     • Project and Financial Manager – Bassem Kheireddine
     • IT Officer – Peio Ziarsolo
     • Access and Communication Officer – Liliana Avila Ospina
     • Secretary – Ana João Ferreira

The team is structured in a manner to bridge as a liaison between Executive and Operational Units of the project in order to effectively implement the decisions and plans of the IS_MIRRI21 Agreement. MIRRI headquarters, at the University of Minho, Braga (Portugal), is currently hosted in a temporary space since November 2020. Meanwhile, the permanent facilities of the CCU are under refurbishment and expected to be ready in the first quarter of 2021.


Users from research organisations and companies worldwide (in the fields of biotechnology, agro-food, pharmaceuticals, environment, etc.) are welcome to apply for funded access to any of the 14 IS_MIRRI21 partners’ facilities across Europe. The TNA offers on-site and remote access to a wide variety of microbial resources, laboratories, state-of-the-art facilities, technological platforms and the experience of their staff to conduct scientific studies.

Applicants are invited to submit a research proposal which will be assessed by a panel of experts in microbiology based on scientific merit. They can apply to one or several of the 14 TNA offers proposed by our partners or carry out their projects within the workflow strategy. The TNA workflows propose an interconnected set of products, services and resources offered by clusters of IS_MIRRI21 partners that will allow the users to refine and mature their research and innovation projects. Through this approach, the users will also benefit from the experience and knowledge of several access providers.

Applicants must contact the access officer for pre-feasibility evaluation of their projects prior to the submission of the proposal.

For more information about this access opportunity and the application process, please contact our Access and Communication Officer, Liliana Avila Ospina, at

To find out more about the TNA programme and our facilities please check our TNA catalogue and the IS_MIRRI21 TNA portal.

Upcoming events and workshops which will be hosted by IS_MIRRI21

   MIRRI membership enlargement workshop for countries outside  
 IS_MIRRI21’s consortium

Organiser: Institute of Agriculture and Food Biotechnology

The IS_MIRRI21 partner, Institute of Agriculture and Food Biotechnology from Poland will organise a workshop in 2021 for all interested Culture Collections, microbial Biological Resource Centres and key project stakeholders from countries that have not yet been involved in the IS_MIRRI21 project. These key stakeholders can be associated to academic institutions, government and non-government representatives, businesses in the bioindustry area and individuals that harbour interest in bringing together research, education and industry to promote global responsibility towards biodiversity and to construct an innovative Europe.

The aim of the workshop is to engage with prospective and highly relevant stakeholders with the objective of creating awareness about MIRRI-Microbial Resource Research Infrastructure’s services and offers, and potentially expanding its member countries.

More information and updates about the workshop agenda will be published on the IS_MIRRI21 website and social media pages in the coming months.

Registration will be mandatory but free of charge.

For more information, please contact Joanna Bucka-Kolendo and Kamila Daniluk at

IS_MIRRI21’s presence at the Science is Wonderful and International Microorganism Day 2020 virtual events

As a European Commission funded project under the Research and Innovation Action framework, one of IS_MIRRI21’s objectives is to encourage and contribute to science communication and education of publics, with a special focus on the scientific education of citizens and stakeholders. IS_MIRRI21 and MIRRI were represented in more than 12 events in the first year of the project, two of which were the International Microorganism Day organised by the Federation of European Microbiological Societies and Science is Wonderful event of the European Research and Innovation Days. As part of its objective to improve scientific knowledge and hard-core skills among its various stakeholders, the project partners developed an educational video entitled ‘Superbugs and amazing microbes’ about microorganisms and their effects on human beings and the environment to display in both events.

On 17 September 2020, University of Minho represented MIRRI and IS_MIRRI21 at the International Microorganism Day 24 hour continuous live streaming of webinars and online activities with the educational video and a presentation in real-time. This initiative aims to raise consciousness about the significance of microorganisms and microbiology research among citizens. Correspondingly, for the first time, the Science is Wonderful event of the European Research and Innovation Days took off online from 22 to 24 September 2020, bringing divergent audiences worldwide to the same platform in real-time. The event saw over 10000 visits from citizens, school children, universities and industry, inspiring the contributors of the exhibition to prove collaboration and co-design online is possible. IS_MIRRI21 was one of the 40 international projects that secured a booth at the exhibition to engage children, citizens, researchers and stakeholders throughout the three intensive days of the event. Both events showed a great level of creativity and encouragement towards public engagement and science education and were highly regarded as successful virtual exhibitions at a grand scale.

For more information about IS_MIRRI21’s participation in the Science is Wonderful exhibition, please visit the IS_MIRRI21 website.

Check our educational video ‘Superbugs and amazing microbes’ on the IS_MIRRI21 YouTube Channel.

Background image © Institut Pasteur

MIRRI on LinkedIn

With the aim of amplifying its outreach and improving communication with the professional communities using social media, MIRRI has recently restructured its presence on LinkedIn. A new company page has been created to serve primarily as a vehicle to communicate and disseminate relevant information about the activities and initiatives being promoted by MIRRI and its partners. On a broader context, the page also serves the purpose of disseminating relevant contents – including news, events, reports, studies or, simply, facts – about the “world of microbes” and its connections with domains such as Life Sciences, Biotechnology, Health, Agro-Food, Environment and Bioeconomy. In less than three months after its launch, the page had already caught the attention of over 260 followers.

The company page also hosts the showcase page of the H2020 project, IS_MIRRI21. The project audiences will receive news about the project’s progress, important developments in the project consortium and tasks, new informative materials developed by the project and updates on upcoming events through this channel. Historical moments such as dates of scientific breakthroughs and globally acknowledged occasions will be celebrated through this page with the dissemination of facts and figures.


The IS_MIRRI21 website together with the project social media channels are vital instruments that aid the project consortium to communicate with IS_MIRRI21 and MIRRI’s important stakeholders. As the overall aim of IS_MIRRI21 is to institute MIRRI as a self-sustaining body, the engagement of different and broad number of stakeholders is key in its victory. It is with that in mind that the IS_MIRRI21 website now has various resources for the different audiences.

For all our stakeholders, the project brochure is now available in multiple European languages: English, Spanish, Polish and Portuguese and will soon be accessible in French, Italian and Russian. Educational and diverting FREE games, infographics and videos with fun scientific facts are on the website for adults and children to enjoy playing whilst learning.

For our stakeholders linked to academia and bioindustries, the Transnational Access Programme (TNA) portal is now live and accessible via the IS_MIRRI21 website complete with vital information about the TNA programme, TNA flyer, TNA Catalogue and Guidelines for application. You can also find scientific publications in English and Spanish, with Open, Free or Restricted Accesses under Resources. The scientific papers are the achievements of members of the IS_MIRRI21 consortium. The publications are studies of different biological themes including taxonomic and functional research of microorganisms, novel family members of microorganisms, microbial Material Deposit and Transfer Agreements in line with the Nagoya Protocol and many more.

Keep up with our progress and collaboration with other projects and infrastructures through our press releases on the News page. The IS_MIRRI21 consortium will continue to connect with you through the project website and Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn pages!

Twitter Facebook Linkedin Rss Youtube

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme, under the Grant Agreement nº 871129. This document reflects only the author’s view and the Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

Implementation and Sustainability of Microbial Resource Research Infrastructure for the 21st Century

All original photographs on this newsletter are copyrighted by:
@ Institut Pasteur
@ BCCM/ULC Cyanobacteria collection
@Thijs Rooimans & Wl-KNAW

©2021 ISMIRRI21 PROJECT. All rights reserved.