BBMRI Expert Centre as the key actor providing a trusted, operational middle ground between the public and private sectors
In order to provide robust and transparent access by academic and industrial parties to the expert knowledge and/or services available in the European biobanking community, BBMRI-ERIC is establishing a system of BBMRI-approved Expert Centres. These can take many shapes, from transnational, national or regional sites for specialistic research services (e.g. NGS sequencing, metabolomics or imaging) to facilitation sites for practical or legal advice (e.g. in establishing biobanks, the choice of resources and technologies, or mediation in establishing public-private interactions).
To guide aspiring Expert Centres in the establishment of their centre, a listing of the type of criteria so far relevant for the nature of the proposed Expert Centre to be fulfilled is given below. Several criteria are generic to all Expert Centres, while some should apply more in case of the technologically-oriented centres.
In order to initiate the process of BBMRI-approval, aspiring Expert Centres should contact the BBMRI-ERIC Central Office: firstname.lastname@example.org
A key criteria check-list for cohorts, resource centres and/or analytical laboratories to be listed as BBMRI Expert Centres:
- Involvement of research leaders in the relevant field(s)
- Application of common quality systems in co-operation with other Expert Centres with similar focus
- Establishment of confidentiality and intellectual property rules
- Compliance with ethical and legal rules
- Commitment for efficient handling of contracts and projects
- Accreditation by BBMRI-ERIC with periodic external audits
- Co-operation agreement in place between BBMRI-ERIC and Expert Centre confirming the criteria above
- Implementation of academic and industry standard technologies
- Track record in development/implementation of cutting-edge technologies
- Use of common standards and reference samples
- Publication of general SOPs for sample pre-analytics, molecular analysis and data processing
- Participation in proficiency testing/ ring trials
- Certification (e.g. ISO)
van Ommen, Gert-Jan B., et al. BBMRI-ERIC as a resource for pharmaceutical and life science industries: the development of biobank-based Expert Centres European Journal of Human Genetics (2014), 1-8.