Project Overview

About the SIMBA Project

SIMBA (Sustainable Innovation of Microbiome Applications in the Food System) is a European innovation project, funded under the EU’s Horizon 2020 Funding Programme, which provides a holistic and innovative approach to the development of microbial solutions to increase food and nutrition security. SIMBA focuses in particular on the identification of viable land and aquatic microbiomes that can assist in the sustainability of European agro- and aquaculture.

Project at a glance

PROGRAMME: Horizon2020
TYPE OF ACTION: Innovation Action (IA)
DURATION: Nov 2018 - Oct 2023
CONSORTIUM: 23 partners in 11 European countries
COORDINATOR: Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)

The Challenge

The threat of food insecurity is a critical global challenge, compounded by climate change and population growth. Forward-thinking solutions are needed to meet this challenge and one potential area for exploration is microbiomes, which are communities of microbes (bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc) in a certain environment. Microbiomes are known to regulate the productivity and health of major food sources across land and sea. Therefore, they can play a positive role in food production, and food and nutrition security, ultimately influencing human health. However, we lack a deep understanding of the microbiomes associated with our food systems.

Project Objectives

Focusing on crop production and aquaculture the SIMBA project intends to:

  • Get a better understanding of microbiome structures and functions, related to land and sea related food chains;
  • Verify the sustainability of microbial innovations of the food systems as a whole;
  • Create a better EU Agro-Aqua-Food system that is resource efficient, climate resilient, sustainable and consumer centred;
  • Improve the overall knowledge of microbiomes from land and sea towards the market needs in areas where applicability and readiness is not yet visible;
  • Bring new and cost-effective commercial applications to the market that assist different stages and processes throughout the food chain by 2025

Expected Results

  • An open access central database containing microbiome data useful for EU food production;
  • Up-scaled crop production: delivery of selected microbial consortia on crop yield, food quality and plant health;
  • Deepen understanding of the effect of microbiome composition on high quality algal biomass, fish health and saline agriculture
  • Delivery of 1-2 designed starter cultures originating from characterized microbiomes to be applied in food and feed products
  • Understand the inter-individual differences in the function of the gut microbiota, its interaction with diet/foods and how all this affects health outcomes
  • Solutions to perform better environmentally, as well as economically and socially