Research Biobank of the Year Competition - RBYC 2013
Background Information
The Research Biobank of the Year Competition is an initiative of the ESBBtranslate Working Group chaired by Dr Christina Schroeder.

For general information about the RBYC Call and about the ESBBtranslate Working Group, please see the links below.

  trophy   ESBBtranslate  
2013 RBYC Call ESBBtranslate
Working Group
Sponsor of RBYC 2013
MVE Chart
The sponsor for the RBYC 2013 was MVE Chart. At the Society Forum in Verona, the RBYC Challenge Cup was presented to Prof Kristian Hveem by Mr Josep Fernández of MVE Chart, together with a 2,500€ discount certificate towards long term storage products from the Vario or HE ranges.
Shortlisted Biobanks
The 3 biobanks shortlisted from 19 entries were:

(1) HTCR Tissue Bank, Munich, Germany

(2) HUNT Biobank, Norway

(3) Nottingham Health Science Biobank

Abstracts from each of these biobanks are shown below (please scroll down)
Panel of Judges for RBYC 2013
(1) Dominic Allen, IBBL Integrated Biobank of Luxembourg, Luxembourg

(2) Dr. Julie Corfield, Areteva Ltd., Nottingham, UK

(3) Jeanne-Hélène di Donato, PhD, 3C-R, Castelginest, France

(4) Dr. Karen Meir, Hadassah - Hebrew University Medical Center,  Jerusalem, Israel

(5) Dr. Barbara Parodi, IRCCS AOU San Martino - IST Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro,   Genoa, Italy

(6) Dr. Arndt Schmitz, Bayer Pharma AG, Berlin, Germany

(7) Prof. Dr. Andreas Tiran, Campus Science Support Facilities (CSF GmbH), Vienna, Austria

(8) Gunnel Tybring, Associate Prof., Karolinska Institutet and, Stockholm, Sweden
The Winning Entry: Prof Kristian Hveem giving his presentation on the HUNT Biobank in Norway at the Society Forum on Friday 11th October. Dr Julie Corfield (seated) co-chaired of the session with Prof Andreas Tiran, both representatives of the panel of judges.
Press Release, 17th October 2013

HUNT Biobank (Norway) wins ESBB’s first Research Biobank of the Year Competition

Nottingham Health Science Biobank (UK) and Tissue Bank under Administration of HTCR Foundation at University of Munich Medical Centre (Germany) were also shortlisted.

Verona, October 11, 2013

The finals of the Research Biobank of the Year Competition took place for the first time at the 2013 ESBB Annual Conference in Verona. From 19 entries received from 11 countries (all in category Biobanks for Human Samples), an international Expert Panel had shortlisted three biobanks prior to the Conference:

  • The Hunt Biobank, Norway
  • The Nottingham Health Science Biobank, UK
  • The Tissue Bank under Administration of HTCR Foundation at University of Munich Medical Centre, Germany

After presentations of the shortlisted biobanks at the Society Forum of the Conference in Verona, ESBB members present voted for the winner over an electronic voting system, selecting HUNT thereby. Prof. Kristian Hveem, Director of HUNT Biobank, was presented with the award by Josep Fernandez, CryoBio Product Line Manager for EMEA Region with ESBB’s Platinum Sponsor Chart Biomedical Ltd. Europe.

The Research Biobank of the Year Competition had been initiated and organized by ESBB’s Working Group ESBBtranslate to promote outstanding biobank services for research. Applicants had been asked for information on their biobank’s:
(1) Quality (material and operations)
(2) Transparency (outreach activities and donor relations)
(3) Usage (sample turnover)
(4) Connectivity (integration into biobank networks and trans-institutional infrastructure)
(5) Innovation (innovative solutions for any kind of biobank-related problems)
(6) Sustainability (outline of business model)

To assess these criteria, the Expert Panel had devised a sophisticated scoring system which will be published shortly. “It was an exciting and encouraging experience evaluating all the excellent entries. The competition is certainly an excellent format to highlight outstanding biobank services for research which ESBB should continuously offer for the years to come”, said panel members Julie Corfield (Areteva Ltd., UK) and Andreas Tiran (CSF GmbH, Austria), who chaired the Competition session at the Verona Conference.

Dr. Robert E. Hewitt,
Dr. Christina Schröder,

Abstracts & Posters of the 3 Shortlisted Entries for RBYC 2013
(1) HTCR Tissue Bank

Patients’ trust and scientific usability – 10 Years of experience in surgical biobanking under administration of HTCR Foundation

Reinhard Thasler, Celine Schelcher, Wolfgang Thasler

Clinic of General, Visceral, Transplantation, Vascular and Thoracic Surgery - Tissue Bank under the authority of Human Tissue and Cell Research Foundation (HTCR); Marchioninistr. 15; 81377 Munich, Germany

Under administration of the non-profit foundation “Human Tissue and Cell Research” (HTCR), the biobank of the clinic for General, Visceral, Transplantation, Vascular and Thoracic Surgery at Grosshadern Hospital has now over 10 years of experience with collection and scientific usage of human tissues. During this period, utilisation of human tissues has proven to be critical, not only for basic academic research but also for commercial research and development as well as approval of drugs and diagnostics. Therefore this biobank is collecting remnant tissues from consented patients together with blood samples from a broad range of surgical interventions. HTCR, acting as the patient’s trustee, provides external governance within a strong legal and ethical framework. Besides its role as Munich hub within the HTCR-network, the biobank is also part of the “m4 biobank alliance” funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Science (BMBF).

This biobank focuses on the provision of unpreserved tissues for further processing towards i.e. in-vitro-modelling of organs or tumours. However, it is in parallel also building up a tissue archive from cryopreserved tumour and corresponding normal tissues, as well as Formalin Fixed Paraffin Embedded (FFPE) blocks also from normal tissues. All biobank operations are subject to ISO-certified total quality management. Asservation of tissue and blood/serum is performed only after serologic testing, data annotation includes clinical as well as diagnostic and process data. Further processing of tissues i.e. cell isolation/cultivation is done in a joint core facility together with Hepacult GmbH, which is successfully commercialising tissue services to the pharmaceutical industry, Biotech small and medium enterprises and Contract Research Organisations (CROs).

munich biobank

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(2) HUNT Biobank

HUNT Biobank

Kristian Hveem, Kirsti Kvaloy

HUNT Biobank, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Forskningsvegen 2, 7600 Levanger, Norway

HUNT biobank (HB) is a population biobank, localized at HUNT Research Center, Mid-Norway, and organized under the Faculty of Medicine/NTNU. HB stores mainly samples from the HUNT studies (1984-2008, 220 000 persons screened). HUNT4 is planned for 2017.

The biobank facility (2000 m2) offers automated solutions for sample fractionation/aliqoting at -4 oC, high-throughput DNA-extraction/QC, automated storage at  -20 oC and -80 oC (14 mill samples) and “manual” storage at –80 oC and  -196 oC (L2N).

HUNT Research Center, Databank and Biobank are all ISO-certified. Participation is based on a broad, specific, informed consent, and all studies are approved by REC and by HUNT Data Access Committee.

Updated summaries of study results are published on the HUNT webpage and through information to study participants. 106 PhDs have been completed and ~ 600 peer-reviewed articles published based on HUNT data. HB has been successfully used in a large number of studies (~ 50 projects from 50-90 000 donors annually).

The HB hosts the national CONOR biobank (250 000 donors), leads the national biobank infrastructure (, is part of BBMRI-ERIC,, BBMRI-LPC and BBMRI-Nordic.

HUNT Biosciences is a publicly owned biotech company, acting as the commercial arm of HB, offering a professional interface with industry without compromising the interests of the donor population.

The HUNT Study and Biobank are publicly funded. There is a user fee for access both to the HUNT Biobank and Databank. New data is transferred back to the HUNT Databank serving as a resource for new research projects. 

(3) Nottingham Health Science Biobank

Nottingham Health Science Biobank

Balwir Matharoo-Ball, Caroline Woolston, NHSB Team, ORCHID team, Brian Thomson

Nottingham Health Science Biobank
Nottingham University Hospital NHS Trust, City Campus, The David Evans Medical Research Centre, Hucknall Road, Nottingham, NG5 1PB, UK.

The NHSB is constructed on principles of partnership, outreach and sustainability and has developed innovative models to underpin these concepts. A particular focus of the NHSB is a transferable informatics strategy for linkage of biosamples to clinical data and the e-health record. Key achievements are:

• generic and enduring consent to gather and store biosamples in a highly quality assured and HTA approved environment, founded on processes which are now national models

• pioneering of an innovative model of patient led-consent for biobanking, and progress in constructing a web site which will render all aspects of our business transparent to donors and stakeholders

• prospective collection of 27,854 samples since 2011 and annotation of 10,901 samples from legacy collections. 6,500 samples have been released for studies approved by our Access Committee and we have supported 616 researchers with ethically approved studies by providing technical services and a further 14,500 samples

• development of a novel system to render our resources, including patient data, accessible to researchers via an external web server. Further, researchers will be able to manage their projects in our system and the NHSB will be accessible worldwide. We also have developed an entirely novel open-source and transferable informatics system that captures and organised data generated in the NHS for linkage to biosamples and export to knowledge management platforms.

• while primarily a research bank, the NHSB has from the outset worked to a business plan developed with external consultancy. Within less than three years of operation, the NHSB is now self sustaining.

nottingham biobank

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