Metagenomics: the technology leap on microbiota study and its impact on One Heath applications

Start Date 04/04/2017 End Date 06/04/2017
Lyon, France

On 5 April 2017, IMI and Lyonbiopole co-organised a workshop within the programme of BIOVISION, a life science annual event taking place in Lyon, France.


This workshop brought together over 40 experts in this multidisciplinary field, including professionals from medical, food and environmental organisations and companies.

This session was set to identify the key factors and challenges in microbiome research for a better understanding of the environmental and agri-food impact on human health, ultimately leading to a better approach to One Health.

In the past decade metagenomics, research on the genetic material directly recovered from environmental samples had a major impact on the study of the microbiome of different habitats, e.g. human, animal and environmental. Combined with the relevant environmental data, these are key tools to understand and intervene on microbiota functionality. This relatively new scientific discipline could be the thread of ‘One Health’ across the efforts deployed by all health-related stakeholders, both in the public and private sectors.  

Some of the most studied niches of microbiomes today are located in humans and animals (e.g. gut, lung and skin). This new scientific focus has led to the development of a specific biotech sector that currently counts 200 small and medium-sized enterprises in Europe, as well as IT companies specialised in making sense of the enormous amounts of data being produced. Among the innovative technologies developed by these companies, some are opening new medical applications – for instance modulating gut microbiota activity either as preventive or therapeutic medicineaddressing human and animal health; and bringing a transformation of the agro-food industry and perception of nutrition, environmental conditions and their impacts.

On 6 April IMI also participated in a debate organised by the European Commission on 'Innovative funding for SMEs in Europe', which gathered an audience of over 60 people. 

Throughout BIOVISION, IMI was also represented at the European Commission exhibition stand to provide information about its funding opportunities to potential applicants and partners attending the event.


BIOVISION provides a valuable opportunity for interfaces to be created and nurtured between different sectors and disciplines from both the public and private players. Biovision perspective’s theme ONE HEALTH focuses on ‘the collaborative effort of multiple disciplines - working locally, nationally, and globally - to attain optimal health for people, animals and the environment’. This event takes place annually in Lyon, France. For more information about Biovision, please visit the event website.