The project had a budget of about EUR 230,000 that was used to establish ‘a knowledge-based platform to consolidate standard and ethical practice guidelines for biobanking’. The participants included Istanbul University, Bogazici University, Aydin University and Istanbul Greater Municipality as well as the Turkish Red Crescent organisation, Izmir 9-Eylul University, Hacettepe University and Acibadem University.
By way of interdisciplinary participation, workshops and meetings were held to discuss standard operational procedures and ELSI issues related to biobanking throughout the whole of 2016. These efforts led to the release of two guidelines in Turkish, the National Ethical Guideline for Biobanks and Technical Standards and Protocols for Biobanking.
In its role as project participant, the Greater Municipality helped conducting a survey on public awareness for biobanks that reached 1,505 people living in different regions of Istanbul. The project was a success, especially with regard to raising awareness for research-based biobanks. Notably, the Istanbul Development Agency declared further support for the creation of a biobank network in Istanbul, starting in the second half of 2017.
The Biyobanka team is has decided to seize this opportunity and is now taking the necessary steps to establish such a biobank network in the Istanbul area. The aim is to establish an integrated, collaborative platform of research biobanks in Istanbul which will further be affiliated to the Turkish and European (BBMRI-ERIC) networks.
Further details can be found on the Biyobanka website and the social media accounts (@GYBiyobanka for Twitter and Biyobanka for Facebook).