Monthly message from the President, 22nd December 2015

Dear colleagues,

In just a few days the holidays will start and we can look back at an inspiring and exiting 2015. Going forward I would like to share some achievements of the last few weeks that will make an important contribution to our goals for next year where we will continue to build and expand ESBB.

In fulfilling our mission - To advance the field of biobanking in support of research related to healthcare, agriculture and the environment - we achieved a new milestone: members of the ESBB ESBBperanto and Enviro-bio working groups, the ISBER Biospecimen Science working group  and GGBN have worked closely together and received confirmation from the Biopreservation and Biobanking journal that their paper ‘Life in Data’ has been accepted for publication. Congratulations to all involved in this great milestone. ESBB has provided the sponsorship to make this an open access publication for the whole community.

Another way of facilitating connections between biobanks and research was further developed during a kick off meeting with representatives of several research institutes on behalf of the Human Proteome Organization and ESBB. There still is a communications barrier between academic departments and biobanks that prevents the use of collected material that could significantly contribute. Both organisations will work hard to improve this in the months to come.

We made solid progress with BBRMI-ERIC and are pleased to announce our first joint conference:  The Europe Biobank Week. A new platform for a strong debate and collaboration of activities related to biobanking. The conference will be held in Vienna from September 13-16, 2016 and will be organized in association with the International Biobank Summit, BBRMI-LPC and local support of BBRMI.at.  Via www.europebiobankweek.eu updates on program, sponsoring, events will be available. Definitely not the event to skip next year!

ESBB also recognizes the increasing need for education and training and sees this as a focus area for 2016. A proposal to start with an Education and Training Special Interest Group (E&T SIG) was accepted by the ESBB council this month and is ready to start. I would like to encourage all our members to join the E&T SIG or any other ESBB working group, to take part in its coordination or to participate in a specific discussion and bring new ideas and experience to the table. By growing the society, sharing knowledge and best practices we can shape the biobank future together.  

I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.

Best wishes,

Erik Steinfelder


vienna messe

Visit to the Vienna Messe (conference centre) chosen as the venue for our joint 2016 conference with BBMRI-ERIC, entitled 'Europe Biobank Week'. Pictured from left to right: Jens Habermann, Erik Steinfelder, Cornelia Stumptner (BBMRI.at) and Robert Hewitt.


Monthly message from the President, 27th November 2015

Dear colleagues,

In the last few weeks the new council has been working hard on the evaluation of the London conference and has already made good progress in its preparations for the activities of 2016. Via a monthly letter like this one,  I would like to share an update on these activities and encourage you to share feedback and/or join one of our committees to further expand our dialogue and expertise.

The Scientific Program of London was a great success and the involvement of our enviro-bio colleagues has proven to be a great source of new insights and expertise that not every human biobank normally has access to. I would like to thank you for sharing your feedback in our post-conference survey and am pleased to announce that the major improvement suggestions are already addressed: we plan to launch a new website early next year with new functionalities and an easier way to register for our events as suggested. The collaboration with BBRMI-ERIC was formalized only a few weeks ago, and since then both organizations have worked hard and constructively together to prepare for our joint Vienna conference in September 2016. Your suggestions on program setup are already being used here for further improvement. We will make sure that in Vienna the catering is of a high standard and apologize for the difficulties in London.

In the preparations for the 2016 activities and conferences we aim this year to have an additional focus on biomarker development and the link with biobanking. With this in mind I am very pleased that we were able to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Human Proteome Organization (HUPO) at the end of September and will have a kick off meeting on November 23 and 24 in Sweden to further explore the activities we can develop together.

Finally we made good progress with our activities in Africa: we have joined forces with the University of Cape Town and will be part of their 2 day biobank conference on January 28 and 29 in Cape Town next year. The ESBB Africa working group will be hosting a workshop and you are more than welcome to join. Announcements on program and registration process will follow soon on the website and in the ESBB LinkedIn Group.

In closing, I would like to thank you once more for your input and activities during last year. Your commitment is crucial to further expand our society and help provide a strong EMEA voice on biobanking.  I am convinced that together we can achieve our goals as we start building momentum for 2016.

Best wishes,

Erik Steinfelder



HandshakeConcluding the Memorandum of Understanding between ESBB and HUPO. Erik Steinfelder (right) with Mark S. Baker and György Marko-Varga (standing) of HUPO.


























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