Biobanks in Europe


BBMRI-ERIC ( is an European research infrastructure for biobanking that currently includes 20 countries and one international organisation, making it one of the largest European research infrastructures. BBMRI-ERIC covers all EIT Health countries, except Ireland, Denmark, Spain and Portugal.

Besides offering to biobanks quality management services, support with ethical, legal and societal issues, they offer a number of online tools and software solutions for describing the landscape of biobanks and sample repositories in Europe and facilitating access to these.

Access to European Biobanks which are a part of BBMRI-ERIC

The rules of access to biobank resources are determined separately by each country or biobanking unit. Quick and effective search of biobank resources and negotiation of access to samples is carried out using tools developed by the BBMRI-ERIC community, such as the Directory, Negotiator and Sample/Data Locator.


The Directory is BBMRI-ERIC IT tool for finding suitable biobanks based on general criteria (diagnosis available, type of materials, countries, quality marks, collection types, data types). The database includes currently information from more than 600 biobanks with over 1500 collections, which together provide access to hundreds of millions of samples.


Is a brand-new service that substantially simplifies the communication steps necessary to obtain information on the availability of relevant samples/data. It substantially simplifies the communication steps that are necessary to obtain information on the availability of relevant samples/data, particularly if the researchers need to communicate with multiple candidate biobanks.

Sample/Data Locator

The Sample/Data Locator will be a service to locate samples and data sets hosted by the biobanks that are of interest for the requesters. The Locator will allow for detailed privacy-preserving, multi-criteria search of samples and data sets. This will also include the development of connectors to interface to the information systems of biobanks.


Access to samples of rare diseases – RD-Connect Sample Catalogue

RD-Connect is a community, that stared as EU project in 2012, connecting databases, registries, biobanks and clinical bioinformatics for rare disease research.

The Registry & Biobank Finder is a global directory that allows finding biobanks and patient registries that store information and samples from patients with the rare disease of interest.

The Sample Catalogue allows researchers browse individual biosamples.