I am happy to announce that this year, at the 6th of December, there will be the initiation of a European Mushroom Working Group, in Vilnius, Lithuania. The working group will be established under the umbrella of EUVRIN. EUVRIN is the European Vegetable Research Institutes Network, consisting of voluntary members from research institutes, research departments and R&D divisions that specialize in research, development and extension of vegetable production.
Why this working group, why EUVRIN and who should participate?
A) A working group.
We do know that research on basidiomycetous fungi takes place over a wide range of different and mostly unconnected disciplines. Consequently, we don’t know the extent of research on basidiomycetes in Europe (which institutes, which research, which countries). This makes it hard to estimate the contributions of this research to the public interests, national and international agendas, and the European industries. In other words, few people recognize the cumulative potential of research on basidiomycetes, nobody can clearly show it, and nobody can use it. By starting a European working group that represents all types of research on basidiomycetes, this potential can be identified, demonstrated, mobilized, and fortified.
EUVRIN offers an infrastructure for European working groups of researchers of any kind, on vegetables. Edible mushrooms are quite often viewed as 'vegetables’, and arguably represent the most visible aspect of basidiomycetes to the general public. By using mushrooms as a figurehead for all research on basidiomycetes, we have the unique opportunity to build a European basidiomycete platform within an already existing network.
At this moment, the exact scope of the Mushroom Working Group remains to be defined. We believe that anyone involved in work that touches on basidiomycetes, their derivatives, or their applications, can be a partner of interest. By breaking discipline-barriers and connecting researchers of all kinds with industries and public institutions we hope to enforce and speed up developments in basidiomycete research. Identification of new resources, mutual problems, and overlapping applications, can help to define accurate and broadly supported research targets. This will increase possibilities, the impact, and the implementation of new applications for basidiomycetes at a European level.
As I am certain I did not reach all possible interested people by far, I kindly ask you to forward this message within your networks, to anyone that might be interested. For those who consider to participate in the kick-off meeting, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for registering.
Arend van Peer.