The newly European-funded project MicrobiomeSupport held its kick-off meeting, with the goal of enhancing research regarding microbiomes.
The meeting held on 28 November 2018 in Ottawa, Canada, established the aim of harmonising the methods, approaches and standards used in microbiome research in different types of environment and assess their economic and public health importance. The project, running until October 2022, also has the aim of supporting international efforts to align research funding to prevent unnecessary duplication of research by further engaging researchers from the world of microbiomes.
What does research need in order to be better?
Coordinator Prof. Angela Sessitsch from the Austrian Institute of Technology explains: ‘We aim at connecting different microbiome stakeholders and microbiome disciplines to set the scene and align strategic R&D agendas for a microbiome-based food production.
“By following a food systems approach rather than individual sectors we will be able to work towards food security, sustainable production and bio-economy and improved human health.
“As food production and sustainability have to be considered from a global perspective MicrobiomeSupport operates globally comprising 13 European countries and Canada, US, Australia, New Zealand, China, India, Argentina and Brazil, most of them members of the International Bioeconomy Forum.”
During the kick-off meeting partners across the globe, including New Zealand, Argentina and the US, had the opportunity to meet, consider how to exploit research results in such a way that they become relevant in the respective countries from a policy and research perspective, consider which stakeholders need to be engaged for which parts of the project and essentially align on how to practically work together.
The project partners are now starting to prepare for World Microbiome Day, which is set to be on 27 June 2019.
The aim is to hold a high-level event to engage researchers from academia and industry, policy makers and implementers, as well as regulators, in Brussels. The ultimate goal is to further expand such an event by citizen engagement activities in the future.