The 3rd ERA-MBT Call, which was launched in December 2016, has resulted in the submission of 17 applications requesting a total funding of € 18 million and involving a total of 78 research teams, including 7 companies. The call entitled “Metagenomic approaches for valorization from the marine environment” received a lot of attention, mainly from higher education institutions and non-university public research organisations which accounted for respectively 59% and 32% of the total applicants. Commercial companies accounted for 9% of the total applicants.
The call targets research in marine microbes and their metagenomes, identifying new enzymes, metabolites, and metabolic pathways with biotechnological potential.
The call is an initiative of 11 funding organisations from 8 countries and the number of submissions from the countries involved reflects the committed budget of these countries. Partnering between at least 3 different countries resulted in teams from Germany, Norway and Spain being most prominently included. Belgium, Portugal, Romania and Slovenia are also well represented, and eight research teams applied to funding from Canada (FRQNT and Genome BC), who joined the call from outside the ERA-MBT consortium.
By the end of July, the ERA-MBT consortium will announce the names of the granted projects. These projects are expected to start late 2017.