‘MicrobiomeSupport: Towards coordinated microbiome R&I activities in the food system to support (EU and) international bioeconomy goals’ is a European Commission funded Coordination and Support Action which will run from 01 November 2018 to 31 October 2022. The consortium consists of 29 global partners (including two associated partners) and is led by Dr. Angela Sessitsch at the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology. The budget is 3.5 million €.


MicrobiomeSupport has the overall objective to

  • establish an international network of experts and stakeholders in the field of microbiome food system research, and
  • advance the applicability and impact of microbiomes from various environments such as terrestrial, plant, aquatic, food and human/animal on the food system.

MicrobiomeSupport will follow the food system approach and integrate actors and experts from all areas in circular economy of food.

The project will

  • be a key driver to implement FOOD 2030 strategies,
  • facilitate multi-actor engagement to align, structure and boost research and innovation in the microbiome field regionally, nationally and internationally,
  • support the European Commission by coordinating the activities, meetings, workshops and results from the International Bioeconomy Forum (IBF) working group ‘Food Systems Microbiome’.

MicrobiomeSupport has integrated international partners form Brazil, Canada, South Africa, China, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, India and USA to improve the international cooperation and coordination of common bioeconomy research programmes and set a basis for common microbiome R&I agendas


  • to map the state of play in the field of microbiome-related research, throughout the food systems and beyond, in the different Member States, associated countries and members of the IBF
  • the provide to policy makers and R&I stakeholders a synthesis on microbiome activities globally
  • to establish and maintain a database containing relevant information on microbiome-related
    • funding programmes
    • research projects
    • expertise centres and their collaborations
    • authorities
    • research infrastructures and facilities
    • know-how (including available data sets and publications)
    • educational programmes
    • applications and companies
  • to setup a definition of the term “microbiome”
  • to define concepts for biobanking and data storage
  • to elaborate standards for microbiome analysis
  • to improve use of existing data and to allow comparability and improved mining of microbiome data
  • to develop concepts for an integrative analysis of different –omics data
  • analyse tools used to create framework stimulating networking and partnerships and disseminate best practices
  • outline a first proposal for harmonized food systems microbiomes R&I strategic agendas for future microbiome activities
  • connecting the outlined R&I strategic agenda with European regulations
  • to set up a platform for collaboration and coordination across various microbiome-related R&I programmes, in Europe and worldwide (specifically with IBF countries), throughout the food systems and beyond to contribute to a sustainable bioeconomy
  • to build common understanding, policy coherence and exploit synergies within the IBF countries in microbiome-related activities to support the global food and non-food systems and beyond
  • to support activities within other IBF working groups in support of food security, a sustainable and circular bioeconomy in Europe and beyond (and thereby delivering to the SDGs)
  • The aim of this WP is to maximise the outreach and impact of MicrobiomeSupport efforts to develop and implement an international platform for collaboration and coordination in the field of microbiome food system research, and to support the IBF working group ‘Food Systems Microbiome’. This will be done through (1) effective and targeted dissemination of project outputs, drawing on the networks and communication channels of the partners represented in the consortium, (2) targeted communication with multi-level stakeholders to support a sustainable mobilisation of a wide diversity of actors important in the microbiome debate.
  • to steer the project and manage any changes that may occur at scientific, technological, environmental, or political level
  • to ensure that the project progresses in line with the work plan, especially with regard to progress (milestones and deliverables), consortium agreement signature, and the planned resources
  • to achieve maximum efficiency of the project progress, with special attention paid to financial, logistic, information and coordination issues, and in terms of quality and conformity to EC rules and procedures
  • This work package sets out the ‘ethics requirements’ that the project must comply with.