Intermediate Meeting SUS-MIRRI.IT Project

Riunione roma

14 months into the project activities, on February 2, 2024, an intermediate meeting of the SUS-MIRRI.IT project was held in Rome, at the CNR headquarters. During this meeting, the main results achieved thus far were presented and disseminated. Approximately 120 participants attended the event in person from across Italy, with over 100 participants connected remotely representing the participating institutions.

SUS-MIRRI.IT is a research project in the field of microbial resources funded for approximately 17 million euros with EU funds from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR). Coordinated by the University of Turin, the project involves 24 Operating Units located throughout the national territory and belonging to 15 different research institutions. Structured into 6 Work Packages (WPs), the project aims to strengthen the Italian network of microbial collections, MIRRI-IT, aimed at the conservation and valorization of the biotechnological potential of the microbial biodiversity preserved within.

Among the objectives of SUS-MIRRI.IT are the pursuit of international quality certification standards, the implementation of a management system, as well as a unique platform for accessing preserved microbial resources (including associated metadata), cutting-edge technologies, services, and expertise provided to national and international stakeholders.

Institutional greetings were conveyed by: Professor Carrozza, President of CNR representing the 6 CNR Institutes involved with 7 Operating Units coordinated by Dr. Moretti, who also chairs the General Assembly of the Italian network of microbial collections, Professor Geuna, Rector of the University of Turin, the Coordinating Subject, Dr. Trincardi, Director of the Department of Earth System Sciences and Technologies for the Environment of CNR, and Professor Varese, Scientific Coordinator of the project. The proceedings commenced with Dr. Lo Iacono (University of Turin), the project's administrative referent, providing an overview of the financial aspects. Subsequently, the 6 WP leaders reported on the progress of the work. Professor Prigione (WP1, University of Turin) illustrated the aspects of management, governance, and sustainability of the project, Dr. Perrone (WP2, CNR, Bari) presented the progress on instrumental strengthening activities of microbial collections; Professor Beccuti (WP3, University of Turin) outlined the digitization activities for the creation and management of the national database of microbial resources, Professor Cocolin (WP4, University of Turin) explained the approach followed for the study of conservation and biotechnological valorization of microbiomes, Professor Buzzini (WP5, University of Perugia) presented the implementation status of services and specialist training offered by the participating institutions; Professor Gullo (WP6, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia) highlighted the key aspects of the project's communication plan.

To date, over 40 researchers, doctoral students, and technical staff have been recruited in various participating institutions, 70% of the funds allocated for the acquisition of scientific equipment and cutting-edge technologies for the study of microorganisms have been committed, and many of the instruments are already operational. The online platform containing the catalog of Italian microbial resources was launched a few months ago, 9 advanced training courses have been delivered so far with a total attendance of over 300 participants, and many others are already in the planning phase.

Some of the results obtained have been published in the form of 12 scientific papers. Of particular relevance is the publication of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the sampling and analysis of microbial communities (microbiomes) from various matrices (water, soil, plants, food, animals, humans).

All project details and news are continuously communicated through the website ( and related social channels. In concluding the proceedings, Professor Varese, on behalf of all project participants, expressed the hope that all young researchers and highly specialized technical staff recruited within SUS-MIRRI.IT could continue their activities within the participating institutions even after the project ends, leveraging the experience gained in the service of sustainable bioscience, thereby fostering the country's bioeconomy, technological transfer, green transition, and, more broadly, the benefits that civil society can derive from the valorization of microbial biodiversity in addressing current major challenges.