The Board of Directors is chaired by the President of BBMRI.be (Prof. Elke Smits) and consists of the National Node Director (Annelies Debucquoy), 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 six working groups.
IT Working Group: Chaired by Katia Emmerechts (Belgian Cancer Registry, BVT) and Kimberly Vanhees (UBILIM). This working group aims at establishing a national IT platform with hub and spoke structure in agreement with the BBMRI-ERIC IT-requirements.
Quality Working Group: Chaired by Johan Guns (UZBrussel), Ahmad Merhi (IPG Biobank) and Loes Linsen UZLeuven). This group aims at elaborating consensus guidelines on quality, based on existing international, European Union, Belgian and regional documents. The main focus for the next year is to support the biobanks toward ISO 20387 accreditation within the framework of the B3-ISO project.
Ethical, Legal & Governance Working Group: Chaired by Isabelle Huys (KULeuven) and Pieter Moons (Biobank Antwerpen). 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.
Stakeholder Involvement Working Group: Chaired by Elke Smits (UZA, Biobank Antwerpen) and Patrick Miqueu (Bordet Institute) . This groups aims at involving all stakeholders of the biobanking community. The stakeholders include amongst others patients, citizens, biobanks, researchers, industry, governmental bodies, …
Networking and Valorization Working Group: Chaired by Annelies Debucquoy (BBMRI.be) and Elke Berneel (HirUZ Gent). 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.
Sustainability Working Group: Chaired by Manon Huizing (UZA, Biobank Antwerpen) and Maartje Van Frankenhuijsen (ITG Biobank). In this working group, we revisit different features needed to make our biobanks survive for the long-term and provide templates to support the biobanks in this endeavor.
BELGIAN REPRESENTATION AT BBMRI-ERIC
Finance Committee Delegate: Mr. Philippe Desmeth (BELSPO)
General Assembly of Members Delegate: Mr. Philippe Desmeth (BELSPO) – chair of the Assembly of Members 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.