15 January 2019 – CABI has joined a range of international partners for a ‘kick-off’ meeting of the EU-funded project MicrobiomeSupport which aims to carry out research into the microbiome in the food system and its importance to human and environmental health.

Dr Matt Ryan, a microbiologist and Curator of CABI’s Genetic Resource Collection, was part of a delegation of scientists who met in Ottawa, Canada, for the launch meeting of the project which is based upon Coordination and Support Action and will run until October 2022.

The project has two main aims:

  • Harmonising the methods, approaches and standards used in microbiome research in different types of environment (soil, aquatic environments, animals, humans, etc.) and assess their economic and public health importance.
  • Supporting international efforts to align research funding to avoid unnecessary duplication of research by engaging microbiome researchers, funding agencies and policy makers, specifically through coordinating the working group ‘Food Microbiomes’ of the International Bioeconomy Forum (IBF), a flexible multilateral instrument for international cooperation between different countries.

Coordinator Professor Angela Sessitsch, from the Austrian Institute of Technology, said: “We aim at connecting different microbiome stakeholders and microbiome disciplines to set the scene and align strategic research andĀ development 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 bioeconomy 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 from all over the world, including New Zealand, Argentina and the US, had the opportunity to meet each other, consider how to exploit 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 align on how to practically work together.

The project partners are now starting to prepare for the World Microbiome Day on 27th June 2019 with the aim to hold a high level event to engage researchers from academia and industry, policy makers and implementers, as well as regulators, in Brussels. The aim is to expand such an event by citizen engagement activities in the future.

Additional information

For more information on MicrobiomeSupport visit the website

CABI’s Microbial and Molecular Services

CABI is a leading provider of microbial and molecular services. We specialize in microbial identification and verification, and provide professional microbiology services in support of industry, academia and agriculture.

Our team of scientists includes mycologists, molecular biologists, bacteriologists, ecologists, systematists and biochemists. All our experts have many years of experience and are trained to the highest level.

We are the only UK laboratory accredited by UKAS for on-site mould-contamination testing and the CABI Microbial Identification Service is UKAS accredited to ISO 17025 and provides an international, high quality, confidential service for the identification of filamentous fungi, yeasts and bacteria.

CABI also manages a collection of over 28,000 living strains including the UK National Collection of Fungus CulturesĀ and customers, as part of our Microorganism Deposit and StorageĀ can deposit microorganisms with us confidentially and we will preserve them as freeze-dried samples and in liquid nitrogen to ensure stability of the material.

Finally, the Diagnostic and Advisory Service (DAS), located at the CABI UK Centre, can receive and examine plant material and soil samples in order to provide a diagnosis on plant health problems.

For all our latest news