The Board of Directors is chaired by the President of BBMRI.be and consists of the National Node Director, the Working Group Chairs, the Scientific representatives and representatives of the Coordination Office. Policies, strategies and financial issues related to BBMRI.be are discussed and approved by the Board of Directors. The Working Group Chairs report to the Board of Directors and ask approval for new proposals.
The members are:
The General Assembly is chaired by the President of BBMRI.be and consists of the members of the Board of Directors, BBMRI.be Workgroup Members, representatives of
all BBMRI.be biobank partners and biobank users partners. The Belgian Government is represented by a BELSPO representative. This committee aims at enhancing links and interactions within Working Groups. During the General Assembly meetings, the General Assembly is informed of the decisions made by the Board of Directors.
Optimal harmonization of BBMRI.be procedures within BBMRI-ERIC is executed by means of five working groups.
Working Group 1:Minimal Dataset & Information and Technologies (MD & IT). Lead by Ms. Katia Emmerechts (Belgian Cancer Registry, BVT) and Joachim Geeraert ( (Bimetra Gent- Flemish Biobank Network). This working group aims at establishing a national IT platform with hub and spoke structure in agreement with the BBMRI-ERIC IT-requirements.
Working Group 2:Quality & Procedures. Lead by Prof. Nadine Ectors (UZLeuven – Flemish Biobank Network) and prof. Etienne Marbaix (UCL-BWB). This group aims at elaborating consensus guidelines on quality, based on existing international, European Union, Belgian and regional documents.
Working Group 3:Ethical, Legal & Governance. Lead by prof. Myriam Remmelink (ULB Erasme, BWB), Prof. Isabelle Salmon (ULB Erasme, BWB) and Isabelle Huys (KULeuven). This group aims at defining ethical and legal best practices in accordance with the European partners and the industry in order to provide advice to the government and regulatory bodies. Important topics include: informed consent, governance of the biospecimens and associated data, sample access requirements, return of research data to biobanks and to patients, and public-private partnership in theory and practice.
Working Group 4: Stakeholder Involvement. Lead by Laurent Dollé (BWB) and prof. Sofie Bekaert (Bimetra Gent- Flemish Biobank Network). This groups aims at involving all stakeholders of the biobanking community. The stakeholders include amongst others patients, citizens, biobanks, researchers, industry, governmental bodies, …
Working Group 5: Networking and Valorization. Lead by Annelies Debucquoy (BBMRI.be) and Prof. Sofie Bekaert (Bimetra Gent- Flemish Biobank Network). This working group aims at broadening the network of BBMRI.be, initiating collaboration with other research infrastructures and setting up research projects for valorisation of the samples and data in the biobanks.
BELGIAN REPRESENTATION AT BBMRI-ERIC
Finance Committee Delegate: Mr. Philippe Desmeth (BELSPO)
General Assembly of Members Delegates: Mr. Didier Flagothier (DG06) and Ms. Michele Oleo (EWI)
Advisor: Mr. Philippe Desmeth (BELSPO)
Management Committee National Node Coordinator: Ms. Annelies Debucquoy
Belgian National Node
BELSPO contributes with the annual BBMRI-ERIC membership fee.
The Belgian Cancer Registry (BCR) is financed by the Belgian Ministry of Public Health for the setup of the BBMRI.be information and technology platform (yearly maintenance fee foreseen).
Belgian Network Biobank Initiatives
BVT-BCR & 11 local partner biobanks receive funding by action 27 of the Cancer Plan by the Belgian Ministry of Public Health from 2009 on, for an indefinite period.
BWB is supported by DG06 (Walloon region) & Innoviris (Brussels capital region).
The Flemish Biobank Initiative is financed by IWT & by the Flemish Government.