Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1822/20862

TitleBiological resource centres: closing the gap between science and society
Author(s)Paterson, R. R. M.
Simões, Marta Filipa Jesus Freitas
Pereira, Leonel João Pais
Santos, C.
Lima, Nelson
Issue date14-Jun-2012
PublisherUniversidade do Minho. Micoteca
Abstract(s)We are proud to announce that this meeting is supported by His Excellency the President of the Portuguese Republic. This book of abstracts represents the formal publication of the 31st European Culture Collections’ Organization (ECCO) meeting, devoted to Biological Resource Centres - Closing the Gap Between Science and Society, held on the 14th and 15th of June, 2012, at the University of Minho, Campus de Gualtar, Braga, Portugal. A special issue of selected full papers will follow in the new publication: International Journal of Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology. The book adheres to the precedent set in 2003 when the proceedings of the 22nd ECCO meeting, also held in Braga, were published. The 2003 conference considered the Use of Microbes, whereas the current meeting deals with the wider implications of Biological Resource Centres (BRC) to society at large. This reflects well the development of ECCO as we are now in the position to consider the wider implications of greater collaboration between BRC, which is mirrored in the groundbreaking projects: European Consortium of Microbial Resources Centres (EMbaRC), and Microbial Resources Research Infrastructure (MIRRI). These involve not only European culture collections, but also those from further afield, where such examples of international collaboration are essential in the current economic climate. It is how BRC will contribute to the economies of countries that is the theme of the 2012 conference, which is a crucial factor in deciding the relevance of these organisations. Crucially, we need to know how new generations of stakeholders perceive collections, as discussed in the opening address of the conference. Ever more, collaboration between culture collections, SMEs and large companies are required to ensure that the industry´s needs are met. We need to determine how BRC can be made more profitable which is the “bottom line”. However, how do we reconcile profit with scientific excellence as evidenced by high rates of high-impact scientific publications? One solution may be to hire culture collection representatives to cold-call and visit companies and sell proactively our products. To what extent can culture collections become companies in their own right hence exploiting their own biological resources? How are products from BRC to be considered as successful? Presumably by the monetary reward they bring to the parent organisation. Is it possible to obtain large scale funding from pharmaceutical companies for bioprospecting projects, or will it always be small token amounts plus royalties in the (low) probability of a successful product? Can we position ourselves to help developing countries utilise their often immense biodiversity? Other societal issues include biosecurity and biosafety – increasingly a concern in today´s world. How secure do BRCs need to be to continue the necessary tradition of open scientific research whilst ensuring that society is safe? What is the position of taxonomic research in our cultures when many taxonomists are not being replaced after they retire? How do we value taxonomy? Climate change is perhaps the most important issue facing our well being; how can collections contribute to the understanding of climatic alterations. We have microbes preserved for many decades and will accumulate more strains in the future, which surely can be used to assess change: Climate change needs greater emphasis in future work for BRC projects. In the end, all these will help to make culture collections more relevant. The current meeting commences with a lecture addressing the importance of microbiology to society in general, and in particular how children perceive microbes in their daily lives. The conference itself is organised into 4 symposia: (A) New Horizons in Microbial Taxonomy, (B) Biological Resource Centres: Is the future in our hands?, (C) Biological Resource Centres from the Stakeholders' Vision and (D) Microbial Applications, Lessons Learned from EMbaRC. Two round-table discussions concerning the (A) Biosecurity Code of Conduct for BRCs and (B) Innovation and Bioeconomy: Patent Deposits under the Budapest Treaty. We are delighted at the participation of 17 European and non-European countries (i.e. Algeria, Brazil, China, Japan and the Russian Federation) and the more than 100 excellent abstracts resulting in 17 oral conference communications, 2 round table oral communications and short statements and 83 posters. These figures confirm the ECCO XXXI meeting to be a very significant international conference. To all contributing authors, we would like to convey our sincere thanks for their endeavours in making this meeting an important contribution to consolidating knowledge related to BRC and associated activities. We are confident that you will find the papers and discussions comprehensive and instructive whilst confirming that BRC and their stakeholders can join together usefully to develop Biotechnology and, ultimately, the Bioeconomy. Thanks are due to the many individuals who have been involved at all levels of the planning, coordinating, reviewing, organizing and convening of the symposia. The accommodation and meeting facilities and, last but not the least, the organisation of the social events are all greatly appreciated. Finally, we wish you a very productive meeting and a pleasant stay in Braga. The Editors
TypeBook
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/1822/20862
ISBN978-972-97916-5-9
Peer-Reviewedyes
AccessRestricted access (UMinho)
Appears in Collections:CEB - Livros e Capítulos de Livros / Books and Book Chapters

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