Microbial resources have been recognized as essential raw materials for the advancement of health and later for biotechnology, agriculture, food technology and for research in the life sciences, as their enormous abundance and diversity offer an unparalleled source of unexplored solutions. Microbial domain biological resource centres (mBRC) provide live cultures and associated data to foster and support the development of basic and applied science in countries worldwide and especially in Europe, where the density of highly advanced mBRCs is high. The not-for-profit and distributed project MIRRI (Microbial Resource Research Infrastructure) aims to coordinate access to hitherto individually managed resources by developing a pan-European platform which takes the interoperability and accessibility of resources and data to a higher level. Providing a wealth of additional information and linking to datasets such as literature, environmental data, sequences and chemistry will enable researchers to select organisms suitable for their research and enable innovative solutions to be developed. The current independent policies and managed processes will be adapted by partner mBRCs to harmonize holdings, services, training, and accession policy and to share expertise. The infrastructure will improve access to enhanced quality microorganisms in an appropriate legal framework and to resource-associated data in a more interoperable way.
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