The MICROBE project, funded by the European Union, develops and researches technologies and methods for optimised collection, isolation and long-term preservation of microbiomes. This is necessary to harness the potential of microbiome research to address global challenges such as food security, health, climate change and waste management. The Competence Unit Bioresources of the AIT Center for Health and Bioresources is coordinating the project and can build on years of expertise in this field.
The EU project MICROBE, which emerges from the AIT-coordinated EU project MicrobiomeSupport, which was completed in 2022, aims to develop methods and technologies to isolate, capture and preserve microbiomes in a targeted approach. Microbiomes consist of various microorganisms and play an indispensable role in maintaining ecosystems on Earth. By harnessing their functions, global challenges such as food security, health, climate change and waste management can be better addressed in the future. The project brings together leading research institutions in Europe to develop optimised methods for the conservation and analysis of microbiomes.
The project is coordinated by the Competence Unit Bioresources of the AIT Center for Health and Bioresources and builds on technical solutions for the conservation, propagation and assessment of microbiome functionality, new ecological concepts (such as "Core Microbiome" and "Microbial Keystone Taxa") and data infrastructures. Frameworks such as standardisation, ethical and legal requirements, and new business opportunities will also be considered.
"With close collaboration between the project partners and the users, we ensure that the solutions we develop also meet the current needs in the field and are therefore also used. In the long term, we are making an important contribution to microbiome research, for the conservation of microbial biodiversity and the development of microbiome-based innovations in the future," explains project coordinator Tanja Kostic.
The project will run for four years and is funded by the EU with 5.8 million euros. The long-term goal is to establish a comprehensive operational concept for the use of a microbiome biobanking infrastructure and thus ensure the broad application of microbiomes in research, technology and industry.