About this Research Topic
With this research topic the Belgian Biobank network (BBMRI.be) and its activities will be presented as an example in the European Research era on how biobanking drives translational biomedical research forward.
BBMRI.be is one of the national nodes within the Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure (BBMRI-ERIC). This European network aims at establishing, operating and developing a pan-European distributed research infrastructure of biobanks and biomolecular resources in order to facilitate the access to resources as well as facilities and to support high quality biomolecular and medical research.
BBMRI.be, the Belgian National node officialised at the Inaugural meeting of the BBMRI ERIC in Graz on 16 September 2013 and the scientific participation of Belgium in BBMRI-ERIC is a collaborative effort involving the three Belgian network biobank initiatives i.e. Belgian Virtual Tumourbank project assigned to the Belgian Cancer Registry (BVT-BCR), Biothèque Wallonie-Bruxelles (BWB) and the Flemish Biobank Network (CMI - Centre for Medical Innovation). Together, this network connects 13 biobanks that are linked to public institutions such as hospitals, universities and research centers. While the BVT-BCR collects data of tumour biospecimens, the BWB and CMI are not restricted to oncological samples.
The mission of the Belgian network is aligned with BBMRI-Eric, namely it strives at improving accessibility and interoperability of population-based and clinically-oriented collections of biological samples in Europe and allows pulling together biobanks and biomolecular resources into a pan-European facility and providing access to collections of partner biobanks and biomolecular resources, their expertise and services on a non-economic basis guided by the following values: pan-European in scope, combined with scientific excellence, transparency, openness, responsiveness, ethical awareness, legal compliance and human values.
Keywords: biorepository, biobank network, biobank quality management, ELSI, biobank information management system, biospecimen
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