A Word from the MIBIREM Scientific Coordinator

AIT – Austrian Institute of Technology is Austria’s largest Research and Technology Organisation and an important international player in many research areas, among which are bioresources and the environment. It is also one of leading development partners for the industry and a top employer within the international scientific community.

(c) AIT- Austrian Institute of Technology- activities

As the Scientific Coordinator of the MIBIREM project, AIT is taking care of harmonisation of sample-taking and treatment, site selection and access. In addition, AIT is also in charge of developing the MIBIREM TOOLBOX – the microbiome and bioremediation tools developed and applied in MIBIREM – to ensure it fulfils regulatory requirements and addresses market needs.

 As the MIBIREM Scientific Coordinator of AIT – the Austrian Institute of Technology – Thomas Reichenauer summarizes:

“With MIBIREM, we want to emphasize the importance of microbiomes for the bioremediation of contaminated sites. The resulting MIBIREM toolbox shall help to better exploit remediating microbiomes in the future.”

(c) AIT- on the left Dr. Angela Sessitsch, on the right Dr. Thomas Reichenauer

Thomas Reichenauer, is the Deputy Head of Environmental Resources and Technologies at AIT, not to mention President of the Austrian Association for contaminated site management. Next to T. Reichenauer, the MIBIREM AIT Team also consists of a renowned scientist, Angela Sessitsch AIT- Head of Competence Unit, who recently received the accolade of Highly Cited Researcher for the fifth year in a row”.  She is an internationally recognized expert on beneficial plant-microbe and her know-how encompasses the understanding the ecology and functioning of microbial endophytes, molecular approaches to explore their potential and exploring plant beneficial microorganisms for agricultural applications. We had the honour of asking her about participation in the MIBIREM project in person.

What is your expectation from the MIBIREM project from a scientific point of view?

AIT has a lot of experience both in microbiomes and bioremediation. It’s of key importance to us to better integrate microbiome research into bioremediation, and into this know-how for the development of new approaches and technologies to clean up soils from harmful chemicals. Hence, I expect that within MIBIREM we will make together with the partners an important step to use molecular and microbiome tools to improve current bioremediation practices.

What is unique about the MIBIREM project?

To combine microbiome knowledge and bioremediation expertise is rather unique, and particularly valuable is the toolbox which is going to be developed. Also, we will move forwards in regard to store complex microbial communities instead of having cultures of single strains only. 

What would be a benefit for the society from the research of this project?

If we have better tools in our hands to clean up sites, and to use them for remediating many polluted sites in Europe and worldwide this would be a great value for the society. Clean sites could be used again for farming and we would have less damage due to contaminations in our environment.

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