Going beyond borders
to achieve scientific excellence
Today’s global challenges require science-based answers that adhere to
common standards. As part of facing large-scale societal challenges, it is
necessary to look beyond borders for scientific excellence; to form new means
and models of international collaboration.
The pan-European Biobanking and
Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure (BBMRI) is now looking
further afield, including the UAE, to establish collboarative projects. The
pan-European Biobanking and
Biomolecular Resources Research
Infrastructure (BBMRI) is broadly accessible
network of existing and new biobanks
and biomolecular resources. The infrastructure
will enable access to samples
from patients and healthy persons (with
links to epidemiological and health care
information), molecular genomic
resources and bio-computational tools to
optimally exploit this resource for global
biomedical research. This will increase
scientific excellence and efficacy of
European research in the biomedical
sciences and discovery, and expand and
secure competitiveness of European
research and industry in a global context.
Access to high quality human biological
samples and medical data is essential for Pharma-, Biotech- and Diagnostics industries.
To improve access for industry,
BBMRI is developing the concept of
expert centres (public-private partnerships).
The chief process of expert centres
is the implementation of common quality
standards and management systems as the
basis for data sharing and integration. A
network of expert centres that implement
common quality assurance schemes will
create a new framework for international
academic research collaboration that foresees
analysis of biological materials under
internationally standardised conditions
thereby avoiding the problems of export of
biological resources and, at the same time,
exerting a positive stimulus on regional development and the know-how
This process of global harmonisation
will have enormous impact on many
research fields as well as on innovation in
biotech and the Pharma- industry, and
BBMRI goes global
The BBMRI project has initiated a range
of global contacts with stakeholder groups,
policymakers and industry leaders). The
key meetings are the following:
United Arab Emirates: At the beginning
of February 2012, BBMRI presented
its operations to the National Research
Foundation (NRF) in the UAE. Both the
NRF and university representatives (UAE,
UAEU) present expressed a firm intent to
participate in BBMRI. In addition, the
NRF committed to hosting a conference
symposium in biomedical science in
October 2012, with focus on BBMRI.
Washington: In June 2012, BBMRI
will present its project to leading international
researchers and industry figures.
The goal of the presentation is to raise
awareness of the necessity of the interactions
between three levels of coordination
at the international level: scientific,
regulatory and political. To optimise
synergies in research activities, it will be
noted that all levels must collaborate.
The presentation will highlight the challenges
faced by researchers all over the
world, for which a common approach is
the only possible solution.
African Union: BBMRI was presented to
AU Commissioner Jean-Pierre Ezin in
February 2012. A further meeting was due
to be convened for March 2012 in Brussels.
United Nations: In Manila in
December 2011, BBMRI was presented to
the UN Committee on Science and
Technology Development (UNSTD).
BBMRI will be included in the UNCSTD
submission to UNESCO in May 2012.
China: BBMRI met a Chinese delegation
in Brussels in November 2011. As
follow up to this event, a European
Parliament (EP) hearing is planned for
June 2012, to be hosted by the
Environment, Public Health and Food
Safety (ENVI) committee in June 2012.
The hearing will look at EU-China cooperation
in biobanking: this will likely focus
on the expert-centre model.
of upload: 24th Mar 2012