Prof. Nelson Lima, Director of the “Micoteca da Universidade do Minho” (MUM), has been elected as President of the European Culture Collections´ Organization (ECCO,www.eccosite.org). This prestigious election took place during the XXXII ECCO Meeting that occurred in Athens, Greece (June 12-14, 2013).
ECCO was established in 1981 and supports the interests of European collections of microorganisms and their users. The improvement of scientific and technical culture collection standards are fundamental parts of ECCO’s remit, in close collaboration with the World Federation for Culture Collections (WFCC, www.wfcc.info). Currently, ECCO covers 67 service collections in 26 European countries, which provides access to more than 500,000 strains of microorganisms. ECCO is also an important think tank where several EU and global projects were incubated and organised, such as the (a) Common Access to Biological Resources and Information (CABRI), (b) European Biological Resources Centres Network (EBCRN), (c) European Consortium of Microbial Resources Centres (EMbaRC, www.embarc.eu), (d) Global Biological Resource Centre Network (GBRCN, www.gbrcn.com) and, currently, (e) the Microbial Resource Research Infrastructure (MIRRI, www.mirri.org).
Micoteca da Universidade do Minho (MUM) was established in 1996 and became a cooperating member of ECCO in 2002. Since 2003, MUM has been represented in the Executive Board of ECCO with the contributions of Nelson Lima and Isabel M. Santos as Collection Officer (2003-2006) and Secretary (2007-2010), respectively. MUM organised the 2003 ECCO XXII Meeting – Biological Resource Centres and Use of Microbes and the 2012 ECCO XXXI Meeting – Closing the Gap Between Science and Society in Braga with great success. Furthermore, since 2011 MUM is a certified ISO 9001:2008 culture collection for deposit, preservation and supply of filamentous fungal strains.
The election of Prof. Nelson Lima as President for 3 years is an important achievement for MUM. It reflects the commitment of MUM to ECCO activities, including the quality control and assurance criteria developed and implemented in culture collections in the last decades and the efforts in networking across Europe and beyond.