The H2020 HoloRuminant project – Understanding microbiomes of the ruminant holobiont – officially started on October 1 for a duration of five years. Host-associated microbiomes play a key role in the health, welfare and environmental efficiency of ruminant production systems. However, despite the information already available, we lack the insights to precisely link the causes and mechanisms of microbial influence on ruminant phenotypes. The goal of the project is to elucidate the role of ruminant-associated microbiomes and their interplay with the host in early life and throughout fundamental life events. HoloRuminant will use a holistic multi-omics approach to characterise the acquisition and evolution of microbiomes from different body sites, their inheritability and their influence on the host’s resistance to disease and environmental efficiency of production. Specifically, we will: determine microbiomes’ functions by combining multi-level information for microbes, host and their interaction; define microbiomes’ roles during challenging life periods such as perinatal, weaning, and after exposure to pathogens; and evaluate the effect of ruminant microbiomes on critical phenotypes for sustainable production, health and welfare. This will allow the identification of novel microbial markers for monitoring, predicting and selecting phenotypes of interest. By engaging actors from the livestock value chain, we will evaluate the socio-economic impact and acceptability of the innovations proposed among stakeholders and the public. HoloRuminant will provide highly innovative, standardized methodologies that will radically advance our understanding of the ruminant holobiont. This knowledge and the tools created will allow the use of microbiome-based diagnostics and solutions for improving ruminant sustainability. The project brings together 25 partners from the European Research Area and research partners from New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the USA. Partners encompass research institutions, universities and organizations associated to the sector from 12 European countries (Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and United-Kingdom), one associated country (Israel) and four other countries (Australia, Canada, New-Zealand, and USA). The partners are European and international leaders in their domains and have a strong experience in collaborative research including partnership with the livestock breeding, health and nutrition industry. The coordinator of the project is INRAE (Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’alimentation et l’Environnement), represented by Dr. Diego Morgavi. The project team held its first consortium meeting online from 20th to 22nd October, to comply with the current restrictions. To find out more, follow our social accounts (Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin).