Part 3
Projects & Landmarks
Health & Food / Project


Microbial Resource Research Infrastructure

A coordinated platform to manage microbial resources to support research in biotechnology


The Microbial Resource Research Infrastructure (MIRRI) is the pan-European distributed Research Infrastructure for microbial resources. MIRRI serves public and private bioscience users by facilitating access to a broad range of high quality bioresources and data in a legal compliant way. The MIRRI partners strive to alleviate the fragmentation of bioresource holdings and expertise, to deliver fit-for-purpose microbial material, to add value to microbial diversity, and to discover and preserve the yet unknown or uncultivated microorganisms. MIRRI cooperates with its users and other RIs to exploit the microbial diversity to the benefit of the bioeconomy. The materials and services will be provided by partners in MIRRI member countries, coordinated by their national nodes. Users will be able to easily search MIRRI services and make requests on the MIRRI access portal.

In the ESFRI Roadmap since 2010, MIRRI is striving to establish the European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) by 2019.


Microbial resources have been recognised as essential raw materials for the advancement of health and for biotechnology, agriculture, food technology and research in the life sciences. To date, less than 1% of the estimated number of species are described and available to be harnessed by man and less than 0,1% of prokaryote strains published in the scientific literature were deposited in public service collections or mBRCs or simply retained for future study and use. About 0.5 million strains are supplied each year by collections registered with the World Data Centre for Microorganisms (WDCM). It is estimated that 70% of strains used in published research are not coming from collections, thus tens of thousands resource strains are sourced for research often without proper authentication and provenance.

MIRRI will provide a wealth of additional information and linking to datasets such as literature, environmental data, sequences and chemistry that will facilitate scientists to select organisms suitable for their research and enable innovative solutions to be developed. MIRRI will support researchers from academia and bio-industry offering a facilitated access to genetic resources via the envisioned MIRRI portal – a one-stop-shop for material, data and expertise; broader coverage of genetic resources – coordinated approach towards isolation and deposit of microorganisms; improved tailored service offer from mBRCs also coordinating smaller collections, interoperability of data – facilitated mining of trusted data, increase knowledge transfer to users and implementation of best practices for transition to a mBRC.

By offering long-term deposition of raw material of high scientific and economic value for basic research and innovation in biotechnology, MIRRI will contribute to the H2020 societal challenge to improve health, food security, agriculture, forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research and to address aspects of clean and efficient energy.

steps for implementation

MIRRI was included in the ESFRI Roadmap 2010 and the Preparatory Phase was conducted in 2012-2016. Recently it was decided that the statutory seat of MIRRI ERIC will be located in Portugal (University of Minho, Braga) while the Collaborative Working Environment Hub will be operated from Spain (University of Valencia, Paterna) in cooperation with LifeWatch-Spain, a closely related e-Infrastructure. It is envisaged to submit the Step 1 application for the establishment of MIRRI ERIC in Autumn 2018 in order to have the official inauguration of MIRRI ERIC in 2019.

The Assembly of Members shall be the decision-making body of MIRRI ERIC. Those decisions shall be implemented by the Executive Director, assisted by the staff of the Central Coordinating Unit. The National Coordinators Forum will support the Executive Director with the development of annual work programmes and budgets and will ensure efficient interaction between MIRRI ERIC and the national mBRCs.

legal status
political support
lead country
prospective member countries
The full list of research institutions involved must be found in the website of the RI
Roadmap Entry
Preparation Phase
Implementation/Construction Phase
Operation Start
estimated costs
capital value
Not Available
Not Available
3.1 M€
0.8 M€
0.7 M€/year

University of Minho
Braga, Portugal