The National Committee for Microbiology (NaCoMi[1]) is one of several similar ones that were installed simultaneously by royal decree in 1979 under the umbrella of the ‘Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie van België voor Wetenschappen en Kunsten’ and the ‘Académie Royale des Sciences, Lettres et Beaux-Arts de Belgique’, which are now grouped in Royal Academies for Science and the Arts of Belgium (RASAB, vzw/sprl). RASAB provides financial and logistic support to the committees for their operation, including the organization of scientific events that they organize in the Palace of the Academies. Each committee consists of 10 to 16 members of academic stature and is supposed to ensure due representation of the corresponding Belgian scientific community in international federations of national scientific societies. For instance, through the NaCoMi, Belgian microbiologists are represented in the International Union of Microbiological Societies (IUMS), which is itself member of ICSU (International Science Council). Until 1990, the NaCoMi met once or twice a year, each time visiting one of the members’ home institute and discussing ongoing research projects in their laboratories. But some of the members felt that more could be done and they decided to create a NFWO/FNRS contact group to organize microbiology symposia.

The NaCoMi was chaired by Alfons Billiau (until 2002) and Jozef Anné (20XX – present); secretaries are Paul De Vos (University of Gent) and Max Mergeay (Center for the Study of Nuclear Energy – SCK/CEN).