ELIXIR Innovation and SME forum: Data-Driven Innovation in Food, Nutrition and Microbiome

9-10 October 2017
KVS - Brussels City Theatre, Lakensestraat 146, Brussels

Microbiome, Food and Nutrition datasets have expanded rapidly in recent years, following advances in DNA sequencing and the rise of shotgun metagenomics and metabolomics. To help companies access and take advantage of this wealth of data, ELIXIR and ELIXIR Belgium organised a two-day ELIXIR Innovation and SME Forum on 9-10 October in Brussels, Belgium.

The event attracted 90 participants, working in industry and SMEs, academia and NGOs. The programme featured some of the open bioinformatics resources that are particularly useful in microbiome research and related fields (PRIDEMetaboLightsEuropean Nucleotide Archive), and showcased several SMEs that are already using public data resources in their business, including MyMicroZoo (Netherlands), Ontoforce (Belgium) and MsOmics (Denmark).

Silvia Miret Catalan (Director, Nutrition & Health Discover at Unilever) presented how Unilever integrates public data in their discovery projects and Michiel Akeroyd (Senior Scientist at DSM) demonstrated the added value of applied omics in industry. The programme also included keynote talks from Wim Haentjens (European Commission, DG Research & Innovation – Agri-food unit) and Peer Bork (Group Leader, European Molecular Biology Laboratory), and showcased the Training opportunities within ELIXIR.

Innovative companies had the chance to present their technologies, services and products in a series of flash-talks, prompting collaboration and exchange during the following networking dinner.

Photo's are available via ELIXIR Belgium's Flickr page. Presentations can be downloaded below.




11:00     Registration and lunch 

12:00     Welcome and introduction, Yves Van de Peer, Head of Node, ELIXIR Belgium

12:15     Introduction to ELIXIR Europe, Andrew Smith, Head of External Relations, ELIXIR Hub - Slides

12:45     Overview of ELIXIR Belgium, Frederik Coppens, Deputy Head of Node, ELIXIR Belgium - Slides

13:15     Keynote: Data-driven innovation in Industrial Life Sciences, Michiel Akeroyd, DSM Biotech Center - Slides

14:00     Coffee Break 

14:30     Session I: Data Resources enabling Microbiome Innovation, Chair: Merlijn van Rijswijk, DTL (ELIXIR the Netherlands)

  • ELIXIR Resources: PRIDE (Juan Vizcaino) and ENA (Nima Pakseresht) - Slides
  • SME: MyMicroZoo (Derek Butler) - Slides
  • Unilever (Silvia Miret Catalan - Slides

16:00     Coffee break and group photo 

16:30     Session II: Tools and Services supporting Microbiome Innovation, Chair: Frederik Coppens (ELIXIR Belgium)

  • ELIXIR Resources: SILVA and Ribocon (Jorg Peplies), ELIXIR Metagenomics Use Case (Nils P. Willassen) - Slides
  • SME: MS-Omics (Morten Danielsen) - Slides
  • Academic research: Erasmus University Medical Centre (Andrew Stubbs) - Slides

18:00     Flash Talks session hosted by FlandersBio: five minutes presentations of companies - Slides

19:30     Networking reception 


8:45     Welcome coffee 

9:00     Introduction to the second day, Kim De Ruyck, ELIXIR Belgium Coordinator

9:15     Keynote: Food2030: Research and innovation for tomorrow's nutrition and food systems, Wim Haentjens, DG Research & Innovation, Agri-food unit, European Commission - Slides

9:45     Keynote: The human gut microbiome: Perturbations by marketed drugs, Peer Bork, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) - Slides

10:15     Coffee break 

10:45     Session III: Integration challenges and training, Chair: Abel Ureta-Vidal (Eagle Genomics)

  • MyNewGut & ENPADASI (Jildau Bouwman) - Slides
  • SME: Ontoforce (Filip Pattyn) - Slides
  • ELIXIR Training opportunities (Celia van Gelder) - Slides
  • Academic research: KU Leuven (Jeroen Raes)  

12:15     Closing remarks, Pablo Roman Garcia, ELIXIR Hub - Slides

12:30     Joint lunch with participants of the workshop "Personalised nutrition for better health - targeting the microbiome", organised by OECD and the Flemish government link

Programme in pdf

Organising Committee:

  • Pablo-Roman Garcia, Andrew Smith, Norman Morrison, Dana Cernoskova (ELIXIR Hub) & Kim De Ruyck (ELIXIR Belgium)
  • Dirk Valkenborg (University of Hasselt) & Stefan Weckx (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) & Michel Goldman (Institute for Interdisciplinary Innovation in healthcare, Université Libre de Bruxelles)
  • Kathleen D'Hondt (Flemish government)
  • Merlijn van Rijswijk (Netherlands Metabolomics Centre & Dutch Techcentre for Life Sciences)
  • Derek Butler (MyMicroZoo) & Morten Danielsen (MS-Omics)

The event ran back-to-back with the international workshop organised by OECD and the Department of Economy, Science and Innovation (EWI) of the Flemish government: Personalised nutrition for better health - targeting the microbiome.