IGNITE: Comparative genomics of non-model invertebrates
Invertebrates, i.e., animals without a backbone, represent 95% of animal diversity on earth but are a surprisingly underexplored reservoir of genetic resources. The content and architecture of their genomes remains poorly characterised, but such knowledge is needed to fully appreciate their evolutionary, ecological and socio-economic importance, as well as to leverage the benefits they can provide to human well-being, for example as a source for novel drugs and biomimetic materials.
Europe is home to world-leading expertise in invertebrate genomics and IGNITE will gather together this European excellence to train a new generation of scientists skilled in all aspects of invertebrate genomics. We will considerably enhance our knowledge and understanding of animal genome knowledge by generating and analysing novel data from undersampled invertebrate lineages and by developing innovative new tools for high-quality genome assembly and analysis.
The well-trained genomicists emerging from IGNITE will be in great demand in universities, research institutions, as well as in software, biomedical, agrofood and pharmaceutical companies. Through their excellent interdisciplinary and intersectoral training spanning from biology and geobiology to bioinformatics and computer science, our graduates will be in a prime position to take up leadership roles in both academia and industry in order to drive the complex changes needed to advance sustainability of our knowledge-based society and economy.