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Microbiome Workshop, Brussels: A Summary & Presentations


The next generation of functional foods and animal feed will be directed towards the microbiome to improve health, drive food production and support a more sustainable agriculture.

These were the starting points of discussions at the workshop on Microbiome-Based Foods for Health and Sustainability, held on 23 February 2016, at the Thon Hotel EU in Brussels. The event which was sponsored by Science Foundation Ireland, brought together the research community, industry and policy-makers, and was very timely since our increasing understanding of the role of the microbiome is creating a paradigm shift in health and food research and development. The relevance of the microbiome, and its associated transformative technologies, to the food value chain and their potential to boost innovation for societal and economic impact in Europe were discussed.

Phil Hogan, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, told participants that “there is no one-size fits all solution when it comes to designing an agriculture policy, or a research policy, to address massive societal challenges. Intensive farming will have a role to play, as will small-scale organic production. Local co-operatives will have a role to play, as will academic institutions, and private investors. What we can all agree on, however, is that the improved use of science and innovation will make a vital difference in every sector – in every field and in every lab.” He stated that he was glad to see that more and more countries are developing research systems with a clear transdisciplinary approach. “The APC Microbiome Institute is a perfect example in this respect; linking Irish science with industry and society while working across boundaries of traditional research sectors”.

The Microbiome Workshop is one of several important EU initiatives focused on the microbiome in the context of the future scientific research agenda for Europe.

The final agenda and speakers’ bios are available on the event web page.

Speakers’ presentations are available as pdf files below.

Ciaran Mangan

Colette Shortt

Guus Roeselers

Joan Vermeiren

Johan van Hylckama Vlieg

Karl Fraser

Keith Baker

Meta Čandek Potokar

Pamela Byrne

Paulo Arruda

Ralf Udo Ehlers

Stephan Declerck

Yolanda Sanz

Kathleen D’Hondt

Paul O’Toole