What is biobanking?

Typically, a biobank is a place to store all types of human biological samples, such as blood, tissue, cells or DNA. It also stores data related to the samples as well as other biomolecular resources that can be used in health research.

Fair principles

These fundamental principles state that all research objects should be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR) both for machines and for people. The emphasis on making data understandable to machines or ‘machine-actionable’ data helps data management, data sharing and data reuse by third parties.


The data should be uniquely and persistently identifiable and other researchers should be able to find your data.


The conditions under which the data can be used should be clear to machines and humans.


Interoperability is the ability of data or tools from non-cooperating resources to integrate or work together with minimal effort. Data should be machine-readable and use terminologies, vocabularies or ontologies that are commonly used in the field;


Data should be compliant with the above and sufficiently well-described with metadata and provenance information so that the data sources can be linked or integrated with other data sources and enable proper citation.

Services available

Quality management

If we want researchers to be able to produce reliable findings, we need to make sure that they have access to samples and data of appropriate, defined quality. As a European research infrastructure, our ultimate goal is to make samples comparable across different countries and different biobanking systems.

Find and access samples & data online

We are operating the world’s largest biobank catalogue – the BBMRI-ERIC Directory. Anyone can use it to identify candidate biobanks to get access to samples and data sets. Alternately, use our Federated Search Platforms for a more detailed search of selected biobanks. Then, proceed to the Negotiator to communicate directly with the relevant biobanks to gain access to the samples and data you need.

Common service IT

BBMRI-ERIC serves biobanks and biomedical researchers by helping ensure that biomolecular resources are FAIR: Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable.


How does the EU General Data Protection Regulation affect health research? Have I addressed all the relevant topics in the compulsory ethics self-assessment section of my proposal? If you have any questions concerning legislation or any other ethical topics, we have a team of experts from all over Europe that offer guidance on ethical, legal, and societal issues (ELSI) that biobankers and researchers may encounter.

Tools available


The directory serves as a tool of finding relevant samples and data for your research.


The negotiator is a unique platform for communication between biobankers and researchers.