Biobanking and BioMolecular resources Research Infrastructure – European Research Infrastructure Consortium (BBMRI-ERIC) is an organisation established under EU legislation operating under a “non-economic basis”. Its headquarters are in Graz, Austria, and it has a liaison office in Brussels. The organisation was formed to establish, operate and develop a pan-European network of research infrastructure including biobanks and biomolecular resources. This is intended to support high quality medical research by providing access to resources and facilities.
BBMRI-ERIC contains more than 500 biobanks from its Nodes and counts IARC/WHO as an observer. Reportedly the largest sample catalogue in the world, the BBMRI-ERIC Directory, allows users to search more than 100 million samples online. BBMRI’s credo is to “Make New Treatments Possible”.
BBMRI-ERIC operates via its National Nodes which are one per country. The Nodes are intended to provide feedback and management guidance from the national level. Services cover ethical, legal and societal issues (ELSI), quality management, and IT solutions that allow users to search collections online and request access.
Bulgaria has joined as the latest Node at its Assembly of Members, which took place in Bologna on the 23rd May 2018. The country will be represented by the Medical University – Sofia and becomes the 21st Member. MUS is the coordinating institution of the National University Complex for Biomedical and Applied Research infrastructure.
“It is with great pleasure I welcome Bulgaria to BBMRI-ERIC. Bulgarian biobanks are now connected to the world like never before. At the same time, Bulgarian researchers and biobankers will have access to knowledge, IT tools, and tailor-made guidance by BBMRI-ERIC that will support the further development”. “This is also a milestone for European research in general”. “While other countries are decreasing investment in research, Bulgaria is showing the way, boosting the development of its biomedical sector”. BBMRI-ERIC’s Director General Erik Steinfelder.
“I would like first to thank BBMRI-ERIC for the warm welcome of the Bulgarian biobanking and biomedical community to their European family … Bulgaria is committed to continuing its efforts to contribute to the European research area main pillars and common goals.” – Bulgarian Minister of Education and Science, Mr Krasimir Valchev.