The  network connects 20 biobanks that are linked to public institutions such as hospitals, universities and research centers. Find out more about our biobank partners below.

The  network connects 20 biobanks that are linked to public institutions such as hospitals, universities and research centers. Find out more about our biobank partners below.

Meet our biobank partners

Frequently asked questions

How can I request samples at the biobanks?2023-09-13T12:21:44+02:00

Samples can be requested through one of our online catalogues:

  • Directory:
    • catalogue with aggregated information on all available collections in the biobanks
    • possible to send your request to all biobanks of interest  in one click
  • BBMRI-ERIC Directory:
    • catalogue with aggregated information on all available collections in the BBMRI-ERIC biobanks
    • possible to send your request to all biobanks of interest  in one click
  • Catalogue of the Belgian Virtual Tumorbank:
    • catalogue with samples level information on the oncological collections of the biobanks participating in the Belgian Virtual Tumorbank

If you can not find the samples and/or data you are looking for in the online catalogues, then feel free to contact
or get directly in touch with one of our biobanks via our contact page

How can I become a research partner of

The biobank network of is supported by and collaborating with several research partners including the (university)hospitals linked to our biobanks, research infrastructures & organisations, biotech and pharma networks and governmental organisations.  If you are interested in a collaboration with (the biobanks of), then get in touch with us and we will be happy to discuss the possibilities for collaboration.



Should my collections be registered in a biobank?2023-08-28T14:52:50+02:00

All human body material collected for scientific research needs to be stored in a biobank in accordance with the Human Material Body Law and the Royal Decree on Biobanks (2018, update in 2022).

Samples that are excluded from the biobank law and are therefore not collected in a biobank are:

  • Samples collected for treatment of patients (cell therapy, transplantation,…). These samples are stored in the recognized tissue bank of the hospitals.
  • Samples collected in the framework of a clinical study. Human material collected within clinical trials  with medicines (EUDRACT studies) or trials in which medicines are compared to medical devices, is excluded from the scope. This means that there are no additional requirements when the material is collected and used as described in a clinical trial application approved by the FAMHP and an ethics committee.  However, if the human samples collected within clinical trials are used for a purpose other than what was provided in the approved dossier, they fall again within the scope of the Human Material Body Law and must be transferred to a biobank.
  • Samples collected and used for the routine validation of a device or maintenance of at test. If this would concern a new test or diagnostic procedure, the legislation on biobanks applies.

A less severe regime exists for “transformed material”. More details about this can be found in the updated Royal Decree on biobanks from 2022

More detailed information about the which samples should (not) be registered can be found in the Compendium, a document developed by the Federal Agency for Medicines & Health Products (FAMHP) with the most frequently asked questions about the Biobank Law. The compendium is currently being updated to account for the updated Royal Decree that was published in 2022.

In case of any doubt, we advise you to contact the biobank linked to your institution or to get in touch with the coordination office of 

How can we get in contact with biobanks for participation in research projects /collaborations?2023-09-13T19:04:46+02:00

If you are looking for a collaboration with our biobanks to:

  • participate as a project partner in a research project
  • provide samples and/or data
  • set up a prospective collection

Then please get in touch with the coordination office of and explain which kind of collaboration you have in mind.
We will be happy to distribute your request to our biobanks and bring you into contacted with the interested biobanks .


Where can I find information on the Belgian Biobank Law?2023-08-28T14:49:09+02:00

The Royal Decree of 9 January 2018 on biobanks, published in the Belgian Official Gazette on 05.02.2018 in implementation of Article 22 of the Law of 19 December 2008 regarding the procurement and use of human substances destined for human medical applications or for scientific research purposes, enters into force on 01.11.2018. The full text can be found here in Dutch & French: Belgian Biobank Law 2018

The Royal Decree on biobanks provides for:

  • the procedure whereby the biobank should declare itself to the Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products, as well as the content of the declaration file;
  • rules relating to the harvesting of human substances intended for a biobank;
  • the provisions relating to changes to and cessation of the biobank’s activities;
  • the manner and frequency with which the biobank reports to the ethics committee and under what conditions the ethics committee can amend or withdraw its opinion;
  • the data that the register held by the biobank should contain;
  • the content of the agreement between the biobank and the recipient of the human substances;
  • the procedures relating to donor encoding, traceability and identification.

In 2022, an update has been published, which can be found here: Belgian Biobank Law update- February 2022

In order to shed clarity as to how to interpret and implement the complex system of legal requirements, the Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products (FAMHP) developed the Compendium.  During the preparation of the Compendium, the input of relevant stakeholders was sought, namely representatives of academic and industrial biobanks, ethical committees and juridical experts. By providing answers to 47 consolidated questions, the document covers a broad range of topics such as, inter alia, the scope of the biobank legislation, consent, notification procedure, transformation of HBM, traceability and anonymization, ethics committees. The full document is available (in NL/FR/ENG) here:  Compendium 2018  The Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products (FAMHP) is currently working on an update of the Compendium in response to the updated Royal Decree published in 2022.

An Overview of Belgian Legislation Applicable to Biobank Research and Its Interplay with Data Protection Rules can also be found in this book chapter: Lalova et al, GDPR and biobanking, Law, Governance and Technology Series (ISBN 978-3-030-49388-2 (eBook)). also organized, in the framework of the B3-ISO project, a webinar  that covers all ethical/legal aspects you need to take into account when setting up your biobank.
The slides of this meeting can be found here: ELSI Webinar.  A recording of this meeting is availalble upon request (contact us via

Where can I find the collections of

The available collections from all biobanks of can be found in the BBMRI-BE Directory
The Directory is a collection level catalog which gives you a glance of the material that is available at our biobanks and is freely available for all researchers.

In the Directory, you can filter the biobanks with your criteria. After the search,  you can contact all biobanks of interest at once through the communication platform of BBMRI-ERIC (the Negotiator). The Negotiator 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.

If you do not find the samples you are looking for in the Directory, then go have look at the BBMRI-ERIC Directory, the biggest biobanking catalogue on the globe,w hich harbours all collections of BBMRI-ERIC.


How can biobanks join welcomes all Belgian biobanks with translational research potential, , approved by the FAMPH,  to join the network.
If you are interested to join our network, then complete the registration form and we will get in touch with you soon!
If you have any questions about (the possibility to join) our network, then please send an email to


Find out more about the activities of & BBMRI-ERIC below!

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