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Belgium (Member)




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The scientific participation of Belgium in BBMRI-ERIC involves the three Belgian network biobank initiatives, i.e. the Belgian Virtual Tumourbank project assigned to the Belgian Cancer Registry (BVT-BCR), Biothèque de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles (BWB) and the Flemish Biobank Network (CMI). Together, this network connects 13 biobanks that are linked to public institutions such as hospitals, universities and research centres. All these biobanks and networks are also included in the BBMRI-ERIC Directory. was set up in order to support the ever-increasing need of research with regard to quality control, access, transparency and interconnectedness of biobanks. The Belgian involvement in the pan-European biobanking project BBMRI-ERIC is guaranteed thanks to the annual membership contribution, on Mr. Philippe Courard’s initiative, by BELSPO and the appointment of the Belgian National Node Coordinator by the Belgian Minister for Social Affairs and Public Health.

The scientific participation of Belgium in BBMRI-ERIC is exerted by a National Node, hosted at the Belgian Cancer Registry,  which collaborates closely with the BBMRI-ERIC Central Executive Management Office in Graz, Austria. The Board of Directors, chaired by the President (Prof. S. Bekaert) is responsible for the development and implementation of the strategic vision for The scientific and administrative management of the National Node of is coordinated by the National Node Director (A. Debucquoy).

The main goals are:

  • To create and maintain a Belgian Biobanking infrastructure that is an integral part of BBMRI-ERIC and conform to international quality and connectivity standards;
  • To stimulate the valorisation of the Biobanking collections and to foster translational research in biomedicine;
  • To achieve optimal synergy with existing regional, national and international initiatives;
  • To support communication, education and training on the importance of biobanking;
  • To advise government and regulatory bodies.

Annelies Debucquoy


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