Over 100 academic and industry stakeholders from 24 countries are meeting on 4-5th March 2019 in Vienna for the 'MicrobiomeSupport Common Ground Workshop' organized by the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology.
The European Union finances the project 'MicrobiomeSupport', led by AIT, to achieve sound scientific results through harmonized research methods and effectively use synergies in different areas of microbiome research. The aim is to secure the sustainable long-term production of food and feed.
Our living environment is shared by micro-organisms that influence our life significantly without even being noticeable most of the times. Nonetheless, they play a large role in our health, in the environment and food production. Micro-organisms influence the production and health of crops, their storage and are a relevant factor in hygiene.
Workshop coordinator Dr Angela Sessitsch (AIT): 'We want to connect different microbiome stakeholders and disciplines with each other, to support the development of a strategic research and innovation agenda. We are working concretely towards food security, sustainable food production and bioeconomy as well as improved human health.'
Food security for a growing population
By 2050 an additional 60% of food is required to feed the growing world population. The microbiome can be used to improve production as well as reduce harvest or storage losses - a topic for which AIT has already some research and application successes.
The sustainability of food production has to be considered from a global view. As a result MicrobiomeSupport works with partners from over 13 European countries alongside Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand, China, India, Argentina and Brazil, most of which are members of the International Bioeconomy Forum (IBF). In November 2018 the partners met for the first time in a kick-off meeting in Ottawa (Canada) and they are now starting the groundwork for the international microbiome research work in Vienna. The project is a Coordination and Support Action running until October 2022.