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MIRRI wins the Landmark status on the 2021 ESFRI roadmap

On 7 December, the roadmap 2021 of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) has been officially launched.

MIRRI has passed the thorough evaluation process organised by ESFRI, and we are now proud to announce that MIRRI has been awarded the Landmark status on the updated ESFRI roadmap. The ESFRI Landmarks are Research Infrastructures that were implemented, or reached an advanced Implementation Phase under the Roadmap, and that represent major elements of competitiveness of the European Research Area. The Landmarks can be already delivering science services and granting user access or can be in advanced stage of construction with a clear schedule for the start of the Operation Phase. Obtaining this recognition rewards the work of all MIRRI partner organisations and their staff, for some years now, on making MIRRI a fully operational, long-term sustainable research infrastructure.

In addition, it represents another important milestone towards making MIRRI a reference actor in the European Research Area. The next step, which we hope to be happening soon in 2022, is to obtain the European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) status.


Launch of the Second TNA programme Call

Apply & get free of charge transnational access to nine IS_MIRRI21 partners’ research facilities across Europe to carry out your research projects!

The IS_MIRRI21/MIRRI Transnational Access (TNA) programme allows users from research organisations and companies (in the fields of Health & Food, Agro-Food, and Environment & Energy) 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. This TNA pilot aims at testing and implementing the overall service provision within MIRRI and building the user trust. With this 2nd TNA call, access is offered by nine IS_MIRRI21 partners. Users can get on-site and remote access to up to 6 experimental facilities, 4 remote services and a wide variety of microbial resources from 3 partner collections, along with the expertise of the Access Providers’ staff to conduct scientific studies. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there may still be constraints for the on-site access; remote or hybrid access may be advisable when appropriate.


Consult our TNA Catalogue to find out more about our services, products and facilities and choose the best fit to your needs! 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 more about the application procedure, the eligibility criteria, and the selection process of the TNA programme!

Key dates of the call:
 • Opening of the call: 1st February 2022
 • Submission deadline: 15th May 2022
 • Access period: June – November 2022


Webinar and workshops to be announced

UVEG-CECT is organizing the mBRC directors meeting as a step forward in the implementation of MIRRI. Key decisions need to be taken to establish the operation procedures for the MIRRI-ERIC.

The proposed projects are in the domain of Applied Life Sciences and Non-Medical Biotechnology, Immunity and Infection, Food microbiology, Marine biotechnology, and natural products discovery. Such proposals are also perfectly in line with the Strategic Research & Innovation Agenda 2021-2030, with a major focus on SA2.

Learn more about how IS_MIRRI21/MIRRI Transnational
Access programme helped these researchers!


MIRRI involvement in Horizon Europe

Since the launch of the new framework program Horizon Europe, MIRRI has actively participated through some of its partners in the preparation of joint applications, together with other RIs, to the HORIZON-INFRA-2021-EMERGENCY-01 and HORIZON-INFRA-2021-EMERGENCY-02 calls. Both applications have been short-listed for funding – respectively, project BY-COVID, coordinated by ELIXIR, and project ISIDORe, coordinated by ERINHA. Through its partners, MIRRI is also participating in the preparation of two other joint applications to new Horizon Europe calls – namely, HORIZON-INFRA-2021-SERV-01-01 and HORIZON-INFRA-2021-SERV-01-02. The former one, was already submitted and, among 19 partners, MIRRI was involved and represented by UMinho. We collaborate with several RIs to prepare the proposal to provide cutting edge cancer research services across Europe. Besides, MIRRI keeps its previous participation in the project EOSC-Life, which is creating an open, digital, and collaborative space for biological and medical research.


Programmes launched/co-organised with other organisations


The Microbial Resource Research Infrastructure (MIRRI) and the British Embassy Lisbon, with the technical support and expertise from the UK-based consultancy firm Intercil, have just co-launched the Biotech’ Business Mentorship Support (BBMS) Programme.

This pilot programme aims at providing tailored support for researchers selected by MIRRI among the applicants to the 1st Transnational Access call, implementing a mentorship scheme to cover crucial research-to-market topics. By the end of the programme, participants will have defined their value proposition, further validated their idea, and will leave with a better understanding of their innovation’s route to market.

The initial meeting of BBMS takes place on Wednesday, 2nd February. A public presentation of outcomes is scheduled for early April.


MIRRI membership expansion beyond the European continent

As MIRRI continues its international expansion strategy, the Coordinator of the IS_MIRRI21 project, Nelson Lima, went on a mission to Brazil and Chile. MIRRI and a group of reference entities and networks in these two Latin American countries interacted through a series of meetings, aiming at exploring a possible membership in MIRRI, besides the establishment of other types of partnerships.


A meeting discussing a partnership between MIRRI and FIOCRUZ/Oswaldo Cruz Foundation took place in Brazil. The main focus involved the Biological Collections Coordination and COVID-19 Biobank at the FIOCRUZ. In addition, at Instituto Oswaldo Cruz (IOC) – Laboratory of Taxonomy, Biochemistry and Bioprospecting of Fungi- another meeting was held to discuss with Manoel Oliveira the fungal collection organisation and potential collaboration with MIRRI.

In his visit to Chile, Lima, provided keynote sessions to disseminate the work of MIRRI and discuss collaboration opportunities, and established contacts with local culture collections, researchers, industry stakeholders and public authorities. He pointed out that MIRRI membership will offer a two-way gateway: European users will have access to Chilean biological resources and expertise and Chilean users will have easy access to European resources and related services.

Figure 1 MIRRI @ FIOCRUZ in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)


Figure 2 MIRRI @ UFRO in Chile


MIRRI’s participation in several Latin-American symposia

Aurora Zuzuarregui, Microbial Resources Manager at CECT (UVEG, Spain), was invited to the “III Symposium on Valuation and Conservation of Microbial Resources” (Chile, 6-8 September 2021) and to the “III International Conference of the ValSe-Food Network and VI Symposium Chia-Link 2021: Valuable Iberoamerican ancestral seeds for the food of the future” (Chile, 15-17 November 2021). She talked about the role of culture collections in the implementation of Nagoya Protocol and presented the key MIRRI advances about the catalogue of resources and the forum of experts in these matters.

Later on, Rosa Aznar, director of CECT (UVEG, Spain), and Vincent Robert, from KNAW-WI (Netherlands) presented “The European culture collection initiatives for the valorisation of microbial resources”, and “Data, facts, & research”, respectively, at the “XIII International Symposium on Genetic Resources for the Americas and the Caribbean (SIRGEAC): Agrobiodiversity, a world of opportunities in times of crisis” (Colombia, 30 November – 3 December 2021).

The three symposia, about management of genetic resources for food and agriculture, demonstrated the interest of Latin-American countries to the value of MIRRI in this regard.

Next April, Rosa Aznar, Nelson Lima and Philippe Desmeth will participate in the online symposium organized by the Argentinian Subcomission on Culture Collections of the Argentinian Association


MIRRI at the Russian Microbiological Congress in 2021

The 3rd Russian Microbiological Congress took place in Pskov in September 2021. The VKM presented MIRRI’s pan-European research infrastructure at this event, highlighting MIRRI’s unique structure as a “single point of access” to over 50 microbial domain Biological Resource Centres (mBRCs), research institutes from 11 countries, over 300 people working with MIRRI and an H-index up to 100+. The VKM stressed why MIRRI is a first-choice partner for Research & Innovation across several key scientific and economic areas, such as Health & Food, Agro-Food and Environment & Energy. Additionally, the Russian National Node in the strategic agenda of Europe and MIRRI was presented.


Progress on the developments of MIRRI-CWE and transfer of TNA platform to MIRRI-CWE

Further development and implementation of the MIRRI Collaborative Working Environment (CWE) Platform is ongoing (mirri.org) focusing on the MIRRI’s catalogues (microbial resources, services and workflows) and extending it with other modules and functionalities.

At present, MIRRI resources catalogue contains data from 158,941 strains and can be accessed at (1) and two taxonomic databases are also available containing 546,141 taxa of fungi, yeasts and bacteria (2) and another one containing 8,480 virus species (3).

Detailed information on the General services and Application-specific and integrated services (4), and Training & Education (5) is showed and in the process to become searchable.

Access to Expert clusters forum will be available soon (6). In some time, other tools for direct interaction with MIRRI experts will also be made available. The access and use of the CWE is aimed at the entire MIRRI community and stakeholders. For that, mechanisms of registration, profile attribution and access authentication are also under implementation to be made available soon.

The TransNational Access (TNA) platform is now implemented as new module in CWE, and will be made available on time for the launch of the 2nd call (7).

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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
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