• February 12, 2024

Press Realease: Intermediate meeting of the SUS-MIRRI.IT project: “Strengthening the MIRRI Italian Research Infrastructure for Sustainable Bioscience and Bioeconomy”

Press Realease: Intermediate meeting of the SUS-MIRRI.IT project: “Strengthening the MIRRI Italian Research Infrastructure for Sustainable Bioscience and Bioeconomy”

Press Realease: Intermediate meeting of the SUS-MIRRI.IT project: “Strengthening the MIRRI Italian Research Infrastructure for Sustainable Bioscience and Bioeconomy” 1024 768 SUS-MIRRI.IT

On February 2nd, 2024, fourteen months a6er the beginning of the activities, the intermediate
meeting of the SUS-MIRRI.IT project was held in Rome at the CNR (National Research Council of
Italy) headquarters. Main achieved results were presented. Approximately 120 people from all over
Italy participated in person and more than 100 participants joined the event by remote.

SUS-MIRRI.IT is a research project targeting Italian microbial Culture Collections (CCs), financed by European funds of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) for about 17 million euros. The project is coordinated by the University of Turin and involves 24 Operative Units spread across the whole Italian territory belonging to 15 different Research Institutions.

The project is structured into 6 Work Packages (WPs) and aims to strengthen the Italian network of
microbial CCs MIRRI-IT, to maximize the exploitation of the biotechnological potential of the
microbial biodiversity. SUS-MIRRI.IT objectives include: the harmonization of the procedures for the certification of Italian CCs to meet international quality standards; the establishment of an efficient system for their management; the creation of a unique on-line platform to access Italian microbial resources along with their associated metadata, cutting-edge technologies, services, and expertise offered by the collections to National and International stakeholders.

Instiutional greetings were brought by Prof. Carrozza, President of the CNR who represented the 6
CNR Institutes involved in the project with 7 Opera:ve Units, coordinated by Dr. More] (who also
chairs the General Assembly of the network of Italian microbial CCs); Prof. Geuna, Rector of the
University of Turin, legal representative of the Applicant Implementing Entity of SUS-MIRRI.IT; Dr.
Trincardi, Director of the Department of Earth System Sciences and Environmental Technologies of
the CNR, and Prof. Varese, the Scientific Coordinator of SUS-MIRRI.IT.

The meeting began with the presenta:on of Dr. Lo Iacono (University of Turin), Administrative Officer of the project, who illustrated financial aspects of SUS-MIRRI.IT. Subsequently, the 6 WP leaders presented the progress of the project activities. Prof. Prigione (WP1, University of Turin) introduced the management, governance, and sustainability aspects of the project; Dr. Perrone (WP2, CNR, Bari) presented the advancement in the acquisition of equipment for the strengthening of the microbial CCs; Prof. Beccuti (WP3, University of Turin) explained the digitization ac:vi:es for the crea:on and management of the single-entry National Database of microbial resources, Prof. Cocolin (WP4, University of Turin) illustrated the approach for studying the preservation and biotechnological valorization of microbiomes, Prof. Buzzini (WP5, University of Perugia) presented the implementation of the services and Training Courses offered by the Institutions belonging to the
project; Prof. Gullo (WP6, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia) showed the project’s
communication plan and dissemination activities.

To date, over 40 researchers, PhD students, and technicians have been hired by the different
Operative Units; 70% of the funds allocated for equipment and innovative technologies for the
study and characterization of microorganisms have been spent (several equipment are already
active); the online platform including the catalog of Italian microbial resources was launched
several months ago; 9 advanced Training courses have been delivered so far, with a participation
rate of over 300 afendees, and many others are already in the planning phase; 12 scientific papers
have already been published, including the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for sampling and
analysis of microbial communities (microbiomes) retrieved from different sources (water, soil,
plants, food, animals and humans). All project details and updates are consistently communicated
through the website (www.sus-mirri.it) and social media channels.

During the closing session, Prof. Varese, on behalf of all project partners, expressed the wish that all
recruited young researchers and highly specialized technician staff will continue their activities
within the Research Institutions, even a6er the end of the project. This will provide the acquired
experience to the service of a sustainable bioscience, promoting the development of the Italian
bioeconomy, the technological transfer, the green transition, and, more generally, the benefits that
the civil society can obtain from the valorisation of microbial biodiversity in addressing the major
global challenges.