Microbial resources for a green, healthy and sustainable future
Besides their essential role for life on Earth, microorganisms have historically been used by humankind for its benefit – for example, in food processing and preservation processes – and, in today’s world, microbial resources are an invaluable asset for the bioindustries and the bioeconomy, crossing domains of application as diverse as agro-food, health and well-being, new materials, environmental bioremediation, valorisation of waste and by-products, or energy production.
The preservation and provision of microbial resources for research, biotechnological and bioindustrial purposes greatly relies on the so-called microbial domain Biological Resource Centres (mBRCs) and culture collections (CCs), which are therefore considered as an essential part of the infrastructure underpinning biotechnology and the bioeconomy.
MIRRI: from microbial collections to real-life innovations
The Microbial Resource Research Infrastructure (MIRRI) is the pan-European distributed Research Infrastructure for the preservation, systematic investigation, provision and valorisation of microbial resources and biodiversity. It brings together 50+ microbial domain Biological Resource Centres, culture collections and research institutes from 11 countries.
MIRRI serves the bioscience and the bioindustry communities by facilitating the access, through a single point, to the broadest range of high-quality microorganisms, their derivatives, associated data and services.
By serving its users, by collaborating with other research infrastructures and by working with public authorities and policy makers, MIRRI contributes to the advancement of research and innovation in life sciences and biotechnology, as well as for a sustainable, competitive and resilient bioeconomy.
In order to better match its offer and expertise with the global and European strategic agendas, as well as with the demand from its users, MIRRI has established its Strategic Research & Innovation Agenda (SRIA) 2021-2030, placing its focus, for the decade ahead, over a selected group of 7 strategic areas within the domains of Health & Food, Agro-Food, and Environment & Energy (see image below and access the SRIA on MIRRI's website).
MIRRI offers valuable solutions to researchers and to companies
MIRRI assists and collaborates with researchers and companies on bringing more value to their projects, processes and products, mainly by offering them the following solutions:
- Single point of access to 50+ world-class biorepositories, which total 2,800+ combined years of activity, serving 6,000+ users and supplying 20,000+ samples per year.
- Broad and diverse catalogue of 400,000+ high-quality microbial resources and associated data, covering all types of microorganisms, such as bacteria (and their cognate bacteriophages), archaea, fungi (including yeasts), eukaryotic viruses, microalgae and other microbiological material such as microbiomes, cell lines, natural or constructs carrying plasmids, DNA libraries, and genomic DNA.
- State-of-the-art facilities and technological platforms, along with cutting-edge services, techniques and technologies, which translates into a comprehensive and diverse portfolio of 90+ types of general services and 30+ application-specific workflows of services.
- Top-level scientific/technical expertise, provided by a broad and multidisciplinary group of professionals, including scientists with an H-index up to 110+.
- Education, training, and business mentoring opportunities, targeting different users – e.g., scientists, collaborators of mBRCs and CCs, entrepreneurs/industrials, high-school teachers, journalists and science communication professionals, policy makers, etc.
- Tailor-made, flexible and cost-competitive/cost-free solutions.
MIRRI offers significant advantages to its member countries and to its partner organisations
MIRRI is continuously engaged in enlarging its coverage, in Europe and beyond, and is willing to consider applications from countries and intergovernmental organisations wishing to become a Member or an Observer, as well as from organisations (e.g. mBRCs, CCs or research institutes) wishing to become a Partner.
The advantages for countries joining MIRRI include the following:
- Coordinate and mutualise a comprehensive set of resources and services for the benefit of its scientific and entrepreneurial communities.
- Stimulate the scientific and technological development of its regions.
- Boost the competitiveness of product and service development in the different sectors of biotechnology.
- Foster investment and job creation.
- Obtain key insights for strategic planning and policy making.
The advantages for organisations joining MIRRI include the following:
- Become more competitive and provide improved harmonised services as a result of the exchange of knowledge.
- Improve sustainability, enlarge holdings in a coordinated, standardised and coherent manner, in line with their major expertise.
- Improve the standardised data offer associated to the microbial resources, by connection to the MIRRI Information System.
- Increase the accessibility to their capacities, taking advantage of the higher profile conferred by the MIRRI brand.
More information about MIRRI
MIRRI is integrated as a “Landmark” on the Health & Food domain of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) Roadmap. MIRRI is partly supported by the European Union, through the project “Implementation & Sustainability of Microbial Resource Research Infrastructure for 21st Century” (IS_MIRRI21), which has received funding from the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme, under the Grant Agreement no. 871129.
All images by MIRRI