40 years BCCM

The consortium of the Belgian Coordinated Collections of Microorganisms (BCCM) has been serving researchers and industry worldwide for 40 years, both for the preservation and distribution of microbial material as for specialised services, research and training.

This milestone will be festively highlighted on 19 September 2023 with a symposium on "The role of culture collections in science and society" and the opening of the exhibition "Micro heroes with mega powers" by the Federal State Secretary in charge of Science Policy, Mr Thomas Dermine.



Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
29 Rue Vautier
1000 Brussels




13:00 – 14:00

Welcome coffee - networking

Welcoming words

14:00 – 14:15

Arnaud Vajda, Chairman of the board of Directors of BELSPO

Marleen Bosschaerts, BCCM programme manager of BELSPO


14:15 – 14:30

Micro-organisms and new applications in the biobased industries


Dirk Carrez, Executive Director of Biobased Industries Consortium

14:30 – 14:45

The limits of our food system and the boundaries of microorganisms


Kris Heirbaut, Heirbaut hoeveproducten

14:45 – 15:00

I-Challenge: microbial shelf-life testing in food


Katrien Begyn, Ugent

15:00 – 15:15

Vital role of culture collections in assuring high-quality tuberculosis care


Bouke de Jong, Institute for Tropical Medecine 

15:15 – 15:30

The CCMM: A Successful Story of the BCCM Collaborations Worldwide


El Mostafa El Fahime, Moroccan Coordinated Collections of Micro-organisms CCMM

15:30 – 15:45

Short testimonials



15:45 – 16:00

Micro-organism and stained glass. An unvisible enemy! 


Aletta Rambaut, Aletta Rambaut bvba

16:00 -16:15

The usage of quality management system in order to ensure the satisfaction of the collections' stakeholders


Jean-Charles de Viron, LRQA

Opening exhibition

16:30 – 17:00

Micro heroes with mega powers

Thomas Dermine, State Secretary in charge of Science Policy


17:30 – 18:30


19:00 – 22:00

Buffet / musical entertainment