On 16 June 2022, the Microbial Resource Research Infrastructure (MIRRI), the pan-European distributed Research Infrastructure for the preservation, systematic investigation, provision and valorisation of microbial resources and biodiversity, has been granted the legal status of European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) by the European Commission (EC).
MIRRI thus becomes the 24th ERIC established since the very first one in 2011. Portugal and Spain jointly co-host MIRRI, with the former hosting the statutory seat. The other founding Members are Belgium, France and Latvia. In addition, Greece, Italy, Netherlands and Poland are prospective Members, and Romania a prospective Observer. Other countries are considering their participation.
In 2021, MIRRI had been granted by the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) the “Landmark” status on its Roadmap 2021, which lists leading European research infrastructures in several scientific domains. With this decision by the EC, MIRRI is now provided with a stable legal structure that brings also administrative advantages enjoyed by international organisations, thus contributing to the further
consolidation and long-term sustainability of MIRRI. According to the Chair of MIRRI’s Assembly of Prospective Members, Marleen Bosschaerts, “MIRRI is very pleased for being granted the ERIC status, since this rewards the work of all our partners, for some years now, on setting up MIRRI as a fully-operational, long-term sustainable research infrastructure”. Rosa Aznar, the Chair of MIRRI’s Interim National Coordinators Forum, says that “this represents yet another step forward towards making MIRRI a reference actor in the European Research Area”, and Luís Soares, the Executive Director of MIRRI, adds that “it marks a new phase for MIRRI as a hotspot where microbial biodiversity meets biotechnology and the bioeconomy”.
About the vital role of the project “IS_MIRRI21 – Implementation and Sustainability of Microbial Resource Research Infrastructure for the 21st Century” for MIRRI’s consolidation, its Coordinator, Nelson Lima, says that “having the ERIC status will help to further strengthening MIRRI, including by attracting other countries and even more top-level organisations, from Europe and beyond”.
The Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2022/1204 of 16 June 2022 setting up MIRRI-ERIC, and the essential elements of the statutes of MIRRI-ERIC are published in the Official Journal of the European Union (on 13 July 2022): https://eur-lex.europa.eu/eli/dec_impl/2022/1204/oj.