The Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) is Spain’s largest public research institution and ranks third among Europe’s largest research organisations. CSIC plays a key role in scientific and technological policy in Spain and worldwide through 4 main missions: i) to foster multidisciplinary scientific and technological research, ii) knowledge transfer to industry and society, iii) education and training of scientific and technical staff, iv) creation of Technology Based Companies (spin-offs). The CSIC has more than 10 000 employees, including nearly 4 000 staff researchers. Currently it has 120 institutes spread across the country. The participating Institute (EEZ, www.eez.csic.es), is the largest within the Agricultural Sciences and its main objective is to generate scientific knowledge to respond to the increasing demand for sustainable and environmentally-friendly agriculture and livestock farming, in particular designing animal feeding strategies to modulate the rumen microbial ecosystem to increase animal efficiency and health across a range of production systems in the Mediterranean basin.