News and events


Europe Biobank Week 2019 will be held in Lübeck, Germany

Europe Biobank Week 2019 is co-organised by BBMRI-ERIC and ESBB. The event will take place in Lübeck, Germany in 8-11 October 2019. The theme for this year’s congress is ‘Biobanking for Healthier World’.

More information on the event:


COURSE: Finnish Biobanks Aiding Fundamental Biomedical & Clinical Research

Organizer: Health and Biosciences Doctoral Programme, University of Oulu Biocenter Oulu and Borealis
Biobank of Northern Finland (BB) & FinBB
Time: 19-20.11.2018, Oulu University Medical School, Aapistie 5A
Lecture hall: P107, pathology
Workshop day: 3.12. presentation and feedback of the biobank project applications

Program: TBC

Bulgaria Joins European Biobanking Research Infrastructure as Full Member

Bulgaria has joined the Biobanking and BioMolecular resources Research Infrastructure – European
Research Infrastructure Consortium (BBMRI-ERIC) at its Assembly of Members, which took place in
Bologna on the 23rd May 2018.

BBMRI-ERIC brings together more than 500 biobanks from 20 European countries and one international organisation.

See the Press Release

Remember to register at the Europe Biobank Week held in September 2018

Europe Biobank Week 2018 is co-organised by BBMRI-ERIC and ESBB. The event will take place in Antwerp, Belgium, from the 4th until the 7th September 2018.


More information:

Biobank Conference in Oslo Norway on the 12-13th of March

Biobank Norway is organizing a biobank conference in Oslo March 12th -13th

Program and registration:

FinnGen taps into a unique gene pool to find the next breakthroughs in disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment

A unique study has been launched in Finland that will deepen our understanding about the origins of diseases and their treatment. The FinnGen study plans to tap into 500 000 unique blood samples collected by a nation-wide network of Finnish biobanks. The study is expected to continue for six years, securing funding of 59M€.

See the Press Release

Europe Biobank Week 2018 will be held in Antwerp, Belgium

Europe Biobank Week 2018 is co-organised by BBMRI-ERIC and ESBB. The event will take place in Antwerp, Belgium, from the 4th until the 7th September 2018.

Online registration will open on the 31st January, with abstract submission opening on the 28th February. Early-bird tickets will be available.
More information:

See the Press Release 

Biobank IT workshop will be arranged on Wed 22th November 2017

22.11.2017 and FinBioBank (Biobank Joint Operator) are organizing IT workshop that gathers together 27 participants. There will be representation from all the Finnish biobanks.

The topics of the workshop include Biobank Joint Operator ICT development, IT services of BBMRI-ERIC and the life cycle management of biobank samples.

For more information: Otto Manninen, otto.manninen (at)

Pirkanmaa Hospital District is transferring old diagnostic sample collections to Finnish Clinical Biobank Tampere

Pirkanmaa Hospital District will transfer old diagnostic sample collections of genetics and pathology to Finnish Clinical Tampere Biobank. The transfer concerns about 400 000 donors’ samples, which have been taken during treatment or as part of research, before the Finnish Biobank Law (688/2012) entered into force on 1st of September 2013.

Read more on Finnish Biobanks website (in Finnish)

Global Biobank Week in Stockholm on 13-15 September 2017 – Early-bird deadline ends on Sunday 30 July

The Global Biobank Week will be held this year in 13-15 September 2017, in Sweden Stockholm.

The early-bird deadline for the registration ends on Sunday 30 July.

The official Global Biobank Week website

See the programme

BBMRI-ERIC Assembly of Members Appoints Erik Steinfelder as New Director General

The BBMRI-ERIC Assembly of Members recently appointed Erik Steinfelder as the new Director General of BBMRI-ERIC. He will begin this position on 1st August 2017, succeeding Professor Jan-Eric Litton, who has been BBMRI-ERIC’s first Director General since 22nd January 2014.

See the Release

Global Biobank Week in Stockholm, Sweden – September 13-15, 2017

Global Biobank Week – Towards Harmony in Biobanking 2017 provides access to a unique group of stakeholders reaching from biobankers to renowned experts, from policy makers to patient advocacy groups.

Join the conversation in Stockholm, Sweden and be part of the journey to strive for harmony in biobanking.

More information on Global Biobank Week website


Masters programme: Executive Masters in Management of Research Infrastructures, in September 2017 – March 2019

RItrain (the Research Infrastructure Training Programme) is an EU-funded Horizon 2020 project aimed at improving and professionalising the training of managerial and leadership staff in research infrastructures (RIs). The vision is to develop a new generation of executives of national and international RIs and equip them with state-of-the-art managerial and leadership skills tailored to scientific services providers.

See the announcement for programme launch

Programme details and the call for applications will be launched in March 2017.

Visit the website:


Job title: Director General

Job Location: The Central Executive Management Office of BBMRI‐ERIC in Graz, Austria

Duration: min 3 years (36 months)

Job Purpose: The BBMRI-ERIC Director General shall be the Chief Executive Officer and legal representative of BBMRI-ERIC.

Please, find the vacancy note, application form and additional information on BBMRI-ERIC website

Invitation to a practical course “From blood to sequence” in Riga, Latvia, from Nov 28th, 2016 to Dec 2nd, 2016

Latvian Biomedical Research and Study centre invites to participate in course “From blood to sequence” supported by Seventh Framework project BBMRI- Large Prospective Cohorts (LPC). The course will be held from November 28th, 2016 to December 2nd, 2016 at Latvian Biomedical Research and Study centre, in Riga, Latvia.

The aim of this course is to give practical skills in biobank sample handling, DNA preparation for Next Generation Sequencing and introduction in data analysis.

Invitation “From blood to sequence” (pdf)
Preliminary course program (pdf)

COURSE: The Triple Helix in Biobanking: Intertwining Stakeholders, in Lund, Sweden in November 2016

PhD course: 14th -18th November 2016
Symposium: 15rd- 16th November 2016

The object of this 5-day PhD course is to introduce students to the different stakeholders involved in biobanking. Offered as a cooperative PhD course by the University of Copenhagen and Lund University, and coordinated by, the course aims to provide students with a core set of tools to better understand the multifaceted nature of global biobanking within the context of the Triple Helix.

See the course description (pdf)


AstraZeneca to sequence 2 million genomes – partnering with the University of Helsinki

International pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has announced to invest widely in genome research in the near future. As a part of the initiative, AstraZeneca is partnering with University of Helsinki, Institute for Molecular Medicine for utilizing Finnish genome and health data in drug development.

Research project is based on theTHL Biobank and the University of Helsinki sample collections and the collaboration with Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

Read more (Nature News) 

HS: Biobanks are attracting – Pharma industry to invest in Finland over 200 million euros

According to a pharma industry survey, over half of the pharma companies operating in Finland are going to increase the amount of register studies, especially the studies clarifying the effectiveness of medical treatment.

Pharma industry is interested in Finnish biobanks. International companies Roche, Pfizer and Novartis have already signed the cooperation agreements with Finnish biobanks.

Read more (in Finnish)

Europe Biobank Week: on 13-16 September 2016, in Vienna, Austria

HandsOn Biobanks “transformed” to Europe Biobank Week

On 30 September 2015, BBMRI-ERIC and ESBB (European, Middle Eastern and African Society for Biopreservation & Biobanking) have formed a strategic alliance for the benefit of European biobanking efforts. Starting in 2016, the two organisations will jointly organise the most important annual biobanking conference in Europe and facilitate collaboration on activities related to biobanking and biopreservation of samples for research and development. This agreement emphasises that biobanks are a European strength.

Read more

YLE: The Academy of Finland granted 7,5 million funding for the University of Turku – Includes biobank related research

The Academy of Finland has granted large funding for the University of Turku. The University of Turku received together over 7,5 million euros for three research themes. These themes include Biofuture, Digital futures, and Pharmaceutical development and diagnostics.

– Especially, the funding for the Digital future theme, brings together legal science, economics, biobanking and the exploiting of spatial information in a totally new way, states the vive-principal responsible for research Kalle-Antti Suominen from the University of Turku.

Read more (in Finnish)

UTU: Auria Biobank to collaborate with Roche

Roche’s research and development activities are able to use the tissue samples of Auria Biobank in the pharmaceutical development and in the development of diagnostic tests.

– Auria Biobank is giving the access to samples and data for high level medical research, especially for research, where the benefits are forthcoming for the patients. Biobanks can be seen as part of our national wealth, when it is particularly important to allocate the use of the samples, ethically correctly and considering the best of the patients, the Head of Auria Biobank, Heli Salminen-Mankonen states.

Read more (in Finnish)

YLE: Biobank is a map for the research of diseases

The Northern Finland Biobank Borealis is promoting the research of diseases. The biobank collects samples in the area of the Northern Ostrobothnia Hospital District. Blood and tissue samples are stored digitally and the health technology from Oulu is being utilized in a new way.

The research of diseases in Oulu is making a big step due to the biobank established in connection with the Oulu University Hospital. Tissue and blood samples of patients that give a consent are being collected to the biobank.

Read more (in Finnish)

HU: Donor’s genotype controls the differentation of iPS cells – Source tissue insignificant

Pluripotent stem cells derived from different cell types are equally susceptible to reprogramming, indicates a recent study by the University of Helsinki and the National Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland. However, the genotype of the donor strongly influences the differentiation of the stem cell.

Published in the Stem Cell Reports journal, the results of the study disprove the assumption that an “epigenetic memory” of cells from different tissue types would significantly impact the differentiation of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells.

Read more

COURSE: Biobanking as a resource for biomedical research, in Stockholm on 18-22 April 2016

One-week course, April 18-22, 2016, at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm.

The course will give you new insights on the value of biobanks and how to use these rich sources of samples and related data. It will include lectures on health registers, large-scale omics analyses and some of the emerging and powerful IT tools to link such data sources.

Target group:
Researchers and professionals from health care, universities and industry with an interest in biobanking.

Course information (pdf)

UEF: The Academy of Finland’s funding for the Biobank of Eastern Finland

The Academy of Finland supports the development of the Biobank of Eastern Finland. The project aims to promote the usage of large tissue sample collections in health research due to digitalisation.

The Biobank of Eastern Finland received 194 350 € funding for the year 2016. The project is part of the National top level digital biobank infrastructure development work. For the development of personalized medicine it is essential that there are large, high-quality sample collections and associated data, and the best tools to analyse them. The funding was applied with the Biobank Borealis Oulu.

Read more (in Finnish)

SAVE THE DATE: Europe Biobank Week, on 13-16 September 2016, in Vienna, Austria

HandsOn Biobanks “transformed” to Europe Biobank Week

On 30 September 2015, BBMRI-ERIC and ESBB (European, Middle Eastern and African Society for Biopreservation & Biobanking) have formed a strategic alliance for the benefit of European biobanking efforts. Starting in 2016, the two organisations will jointly organise the most important annual biobanking conference in Europe and facilitate collaboration on activities related to biobanking and biopreservation of samples for research and development. This agreement emphasises that biobanks are a European strength.

Read more

KSML: Finns gladly donate biobank samples for biobank research – only 1–2 percent refuses to donate

Finns have positive attitudes towards the use of their samples in biobank research. From those patients, who have so far asked to give a biobank consent, only 1-2 percent have refused to donate their samples to biobank.

In Finnish biobanks there are already millions of samples, because biobanks have used the public notification procedure to transfer old sample collections to biobank. New samples have started to flow in biobanks this year.

In Finland nine biobanks have obtained a licence to operate. Last biobanks to obtain the licence were the Biobank of Eastern Finland and the Central Finland Biobank in the end of October 2015.

Read more (in Finnish)

Mediuutiset: The Head of Helsinki Biobank Kimmo Pitkänen was elected as Healthcare Influencer of the Year 2015

The Finnish e-news service Mediuutiset announced 100 Healthcare Influencers of the Year 2015 on Tuesday. The editors selected the top 10 and 90 other influencers were also selected from different topics.

The Helsinki Biobank Head Kimmo Pitkänen was elected in the first place as Healthcare Influencer of the Year 2015.

Read more (in Finnish)

HU: EU funds ovarian cancer research with 6 million euros

An international collaboration project to study drug resistance in ovarian cancer has received 6 million euros from the EU Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program. The project is coordinated from the University of Helsinki.

Network modeling for the project is performed at the Institute of Pasteur in France and identification and sorting of cell populations at the Istituto Superiore di Sanità in Italy. Gene regulation and expression studies are done at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. Validation of the results and predictions will be done mainly in Italy at the University of Trieste and in Finland at the Universities of Helsinki and Turku using biobank samples, cell lines and experimental models. The test for drug response prediction will be developed by AB Analitica, an Italian SME.

Read more (in Finnish)

HS: At least in one case the Finns are the world’s top – Kanta Patient Records System works excellently

The electronic Kanta Patient Data Archive has been such a great success, and people already want more information to the system.

Maritta Korhonen reminds that in an international comparison of social and healthcare IT systems Finland is the world leader. Finnish biobanks and genome strategy are also internationally appreciated.

Read more (in Finnish)

GeneRISK Study data will be collected to THL Biobank

The risk factors of inherited cardiovascular disease will be surveyed in ongoing GeneRISK Study.

GeneRISK Study data will be collected to a Finnish biobank, where the data is available for researchers also in future.

Read more on HS website (in Finnish)

UEF: Universities of Eastern Finland, Oulu, Tampere and Turku to build strategic collaboration

– It is natural for multidisciplinary universities to work together. Currently we are working, along with the Finnish education export strategy, to create a collective biobank and we concretise these proposals, which have been done for universities structural development, at the other fields too, states Kaija Holli, Head of University of Tampere.

Read more (in Finnish)


HUS: Helsinki Biobank starts to collect samples

The Helsinki Biobank starts to collect patient samples. The biobank will collect laboratory samples and associated patient data for medical research.

Read more (in Finnish)

TE: Healthcare collaboration has to have courage to cross the boundaries

In the beginning of the summer was established a genetic research project which is based on the THL Biobank (National Institute for Health and Welfare, THL) and the University of Helsinki sample collections. This collaborative research project is between FIMM (University of Helsinki), THL, Harvard and MIT universities and four pharmaceutical companies: Pfizer, MSD, Biogen and Eisai.

Bayer and a Finnish Biobank Auria have started to collaborate in cancer research. Pfizer and HUCH Comprehensive Cancer Center made a finding on renal cancer drug effectiveness to severe leukemia and described as a medical breakthrough.
Read more (in Finnish)

UEF: Biobank of Eastern Finland collects gene samples of Eastern Finns

Human genetic information is being collected to different kinds of gene banks world wide. The Biobank of Eastern Finland obtained a licence to operate in October.

– Samples will be collected from individuals that give consent. Research groups are able to get access to these sample collections for research purposes. In the long term this will lead to the development of treatments and diagnostics, stated Mannermaa.

In Finland the goal is to create one collective biobank, where all the Finnish samples would be available from one database. According to Mannermaa the data is interesting to private sector too.

Read more about Café Smart topics (in Finnish)

Mediuutiset: Finnish have positive attitudes towards biobank research

Helsinki Urological Biobank’s (HUB) experience supports the idea that Finnish have positive attitudes towards medical research, states the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM).

Read more (in Finnish)

SPARK: Demand for biobank business growing fast

Minna Hendolin, new Director, Strategy and Business Development at Auria Biobank, develops the biobank’s business, co-operation between Finnish biobanks, and the regional innovation environment.

Ph.D. Minna Hendolin changed jobs from Tekes in Helsinki to Turku at the beginning of September. In addition to biobank operations, the Strategy Director’s work includes development of innovation environment especially for drug development and diagnostics businesses, as well as national collaboration in the communication between biobanks.

Read more

Lääkärilehti: Dogs to help with cancer diagnostics


Can dogs detect cancer? Can dog’s nose be even more reliable than exiting methods? A Finnish research project is looking for answers to these questions.

The samples for the project will be received from the Helsinki Urological Biobank.

Read more (in Finnish)


UH: Biobanks are gold mines to boost clinical research


Brain Diseases Symposium at the University of Helsinki brainstormed how to turn an 800 billion euro burden into an opportunity.

During the symposium minister Rehn also suggested that the country’s advances in biobanks could provide a “gold mine to boost clinical research in Finland.”

Read more


Mediuutiset: Biobank of Eastern Finland and Central Finland Biobank obtained licence to operate


Valvira (The Finnish National Authority for Welfare and Health) has registered two new biobanks: the Biobank of Eastern Finland and the Central Finland Biobank. Now there are biobanks operating in the area of all the five university hospital districts.

Read more (in Finnish)


UO: Northern Finland Biobank Borealis soon available for researchers


The Northern Finland Biobank Borealis is starting its operations at the department of pathology in Kontinkangas campus (in Oulu). The biobank is preparing an announcement for the patients of the Oulu University Hospital and for the hospital staff. First pilots of collecting the patient consents will start after this.

Read more (in Finnish)


Explore the European Biobanks: BBMRI-ERIC Directory 1.0


BBMRI-ERIC Directory 1.0 is a tool to share aggregate information about the biobanks that are willing external collaboration.

For biobankers, BBMRI-ERIC Directory is where to publish information about yourself and your biobank and where you find contact information.

For researchers, BBMRI-ERIC Directory will help to you to spot relevant biobanks and get their contact information, and will help you to identify such facilities and get their contact information.

For patients, donors and their organizations it is possible to find information about samples stored in biobanks.

Read more


SK: Auria Biobank starts to operate in the city of Pori


During the next month Auria Biobank starts to operate in the city of Pori. The biobank was established by the University of Turku and the hospital districts of Southwest Finland, Satakunta and Vaasa for storing samples and data. Auria Biobank has operated in the city of Turku already for two years.

The biobank collects, processes and stores samples and data of participants whom has given a consent. Additionally, the biobank gives access to samples and data for medical and health research project purposes.

Read more (in Finnish)


Tampereen Biopankki sai toimiluvan


Tampereen Biopankki on saanut Valviralta toimiluvan 8.9.2015.

Tampereen Biopankki aloittaa toimintaprosessien testaamisen vuoden 2015 syksyllä. Tavoitteena on aloittaa suostumusten systemaattinen kerääminen vaiheittain vuoden 2016 aikana. Biopankkitiedote ja suostumuslomake postitetaan tulevaisuudessa kaikille potilaille sairaalaan kutsun yhteydessä. Suostumuksen antaminen on täysin vapaaehtoista.

Suurin osa Tampereen Biopankin näytteistä kerätään Pirkanmaan, Etelä-Pohjanmaan ja Kanta-Hämeen sairaanhoitopiirien sairaaloissa hoidettavilta potilailta tutkimuksen ja hoidon yhteydessä. Biopankkiin voidaan siirtää harkiten myös vanhoja näytteitä terveydenhuollon yksiköistä ja eri tutkimusprojekteista.


The Northern Finland Biobank Borealis has been registered to the national biobank register on 10th July 2015


The Finnish National Supervisory Authority for Health and Welfare (Valvira) has registered the Northern Finland Biobank Borealis to its national biobank register.

Read more (in Finnish)


Lausuntopyyntö biopankkisuostumusten hallinnasta ja suostumusasiakirjasta


THL:n Operatiivisen toiminnan ohjaus -yksikkö on tuottanut biopankkisuostumusten hallinnan toiminnallisen määrittelyn. Lausuntoa pyydetään seuraaville:

1) Biopankkisuostumusten hallinta Kanta-palveluiden avulla -määrittelydokumentin toiminnallinen määrittely

2) Tiedote biopankkitoiminnasta ja suostumus näytteiden käsittelyyn biopankeissa -asiakirja


Auria Biopankki aloitti verinäytteiden keräämisen


Biopankki Auria Turussa on aloittanut verinäytteiden keräämisen. Tätä ennen biopankkiin pakastetut näytteet olivat pääosin kudosnäytteitä.

Verinäyte talletetaan tavallista verinäytettä otettaessa Turun yliopistollisessa keskussairaalassa niiltä, jotka ovat antaneet siihen luvan.

Lue lisää


Genomitutkimus tulevaisuuden arkea -video


SalWen Yksilöllistetty diagnostiikka ja hoito -ohjelmassa tutkitaan, miten genomitutkimus saadaan osaksi ihmisten arkea.

Ohjelman GeneRISK -tutkimuksen näytteet kerätään THL Biopankkiin.


Video: Tussitaikurit Oy / Marker Wizards Ltd.


Viides biopankki Suomeen: AMCH:n biopankki


Valvira on 21.4.2015 tehnyt päätöksen Helsingin ja Uudenmaan sairaanhoitopiirin (HUS) omistaman biopankin merkitsemisestä valtakunnalliseen biopankkirekisteriin. Academic Medical Center Helsinki (AMCH) -nimellä toimiva biopankki on viides biopankki, joka aloittaa Suomessa toimintansa biopankkilain tultua voimaan syyskuussa 2013.

Lue lisää


THL obtained permission to transfer old sample collections to THL Biobank


THL will transfer existing population- and disease-specific sample collections to THL Biobank. This will enhance the security of sample donor’s data and will give the donor better opportunities to get information about the use of his/her samples in different research projects. Biobanking will also increase sample usability for research.

Medical research that utilizes biobanked samples aims to identify the causes of common diseases, to promote personalized medicine and to develop disease preventive measures.

Study participants may prohibit the transfer of their samples and data by notifying THL Biobank. Accoding to the Biobank Act, samples and data may be transferred to the biobank if the transfer is not specifically prohibited. The announcement about the transfer of sample collections to the biobank is published in daily newspapers.

Read more