During a recent workshop on 4 March 2020 in Brussels, the MicrobiomeSupport team hosted a trans-sectorial workshop with stakeholders from funding agencies, industry and academia. The aim was to discuss research and innovation needs and gaps in current microbiome research programmes, and how to overcome the challenges associated with them for MicrobiomeSupport to meet its vision (Figure 1).
Figure 1: MicrobiomeSupport vision.
Preliminary results from MicrobiomeSupport indicate that, although some countries address microbiomes in their strategic research documents, the microbiome concept is often not clearly mentioned. Microbiome knowledge and applications are still very fragmented by biotopes. This fragmentation is also present in policy documents, where the potential of microbiomes can contribute to Environmental, Food and Agriculture, Health or Bioeconomy national policies.Together with stakeholders, the MicrobiomeSupport team brainstormed on how to overcome these challenges and how to present recommendations to relevant policy makers and implementers.
Figure 2: the workshop participants discussing needs and challenges with current microbiome research programmes.
The data collected by MicrobiomeSupport will be analysed in more detail over the next months to clearly identify limitations in their use, but also opportunities in future microbiome research funding. As part of the refinement process, the wider stakeholder community will have an opportunity to contribute via a Delphi-survey that will be launched during 2020.