This website has been developed and is being maintained on behalf of ESFRI by the StR-ESFRI project which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement n° 654213
A gateway for access to biobanks and biomolecular resources for health research
The Biobanking and BioMolecular Resources Research Infrastructure (BBMRI) is one of the largest Research Infrastructures for health research in Europe by providing a gateway for access to biobanks and biomolecular resources coordinated by the National Nodes. BBMRI aims at improving the accessibility and interoperability of the existing comprehensive collections, either population-based or clinical-oriented, of biological samples from different (sub-)populations of Europe or rare diseases. These collections include the associated data on factors such as health status, nutrition, lifestyle, and environmental exposure of the study subjects.
BBMRI became a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) in December 2013. The agreement of ultimately 19 countries – 17 Members and 3 Observers, and one International Organisation (WHO/IARC) – enabled to set up a pan-European distributed Research Infrastructure that shall develop into one of the most important tools in biomedical and clinical discovery.
BBMRI ERIC facilitates the access to quality-defined human disease relevant biological resources in an efficient as well as ethically and legally compliant manner. It aims at reducing the fragmentation of the biomedical research landscape through harmonisation of procedures and by implementing common standards and fostering high-level collaboration.
BBMRI ERIC provides tools and expertise, as well as knowledge and experience sharing on ethical, legal and societal issues (ELSI), Information Technologies (IT) as well as Quality Management (QM) for biobanks and research on biomolecular resources. Key ELSI services include: providing an Ethics Check for projects; providing a custom-based Helpdesk and Knowledge Base; sharing of knowledge, experiences and best practices; monitoring of relevant ethical and legal frameworks in development and coordinating joint replies to relevant public consultations. Key IT services include: Directory 4.0 provides aggregate information about biobanks and their sample/data collections to ensure their findability; Negotiator 1.0 facilitates access to biobanks allowing communication between researchers requesting samples/data from biobanks, allowing refinement of their queries; BIBBoX is an integrated toolbox for biobanks based on open-source software to support biobanks in implementing missing IT components; MIABIS 2.0 represents the minimum information required to initiate collaborations between biobanks and to enable the exchange of biological samples and data with the aim to facilitate the reuse of bio-resources and associated data. Key QM services include: recommended standards and best practices; sharing QM expertise on a European scale; Quality Expert Working Groups; and Self-Assessment Surveys. All services are intended for researchers searching for high-quality samples and data, for biobankers promoting their biobanks and looking for fellow biobanks, for funding organisations to provide overview of infrastructure, as well as other users for the benefit of European citizens.
BBMRI ERIC will provide a one-stop access to the collections of the European biobanking community, expertise and services to foster access to other parties, including the private sector for the benefit of mankind. New medical applications, new therapies, new preventives, new diagnostics, personalised or stratified medicine and new biomedical industries shall evolve to improve socio-economic competitiveness and increasing possibilities for equitable healthcare in Europe. Expectantly, BBMRI ERIC will impact on partnerships with patients/donors, who will be informed that their own tissues, samples and personal data can yield discoveries and advances in medicine, diagnostics, and therapies. In return, BBMRI ERIC is taking up the responsibility to use the samples and data made available to the research in the best way for the advancement of knowledge, ultimately contributing to improve EU’s healthcare systems.