Press Release: Medical Research Infrastructures - BBMRI, EATRIS, ECRIN - sign long-term collaboration agreement

The Biobanking and BioMolecular resources Research Infrastructure (BBMRI), the European Research Infrastructure for Translational Medicine (EATRIS) and the European Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (ECRIN) signed an agreement last week in Brussels to build a long-term sustainable collaboration strategy. The agreement lays the ground for facilitating user access to pan-European medical research infrastructures and supporting the development of tools, joint services and common approaches on quality, standards and advocacy. As a result, the agreement will empower BBMRI, EATRIS and ECRIN to provide even better services to the biomedical community and to support a more cost-effective research and development process.

The agreement brings together the three research infrastructures working closer to patients within the personalised medicine research continuum: sample and data collections (biobanking, BBMRI), clinical trials (ECRIN) and translational medicine (EATRIS).

“It is very exciting to work more closely with these other infrastructures to jointly tackle pressing issues in medicines development for the benefit of patients, particularly in the field of personalised medicine”, said Toni Andreu, scientific director of EATRIS. “Increasing our collaboration will also decrease isolation and fragmentation of efforts. Most importantly, such an alliance will significantly increase the impact of activities and minimise waste of precious resources”, added Erik Steinfelder, director general of BBMRI-ERIC.

By signing a long-term collaboration agreement, BBMRI, EATRIS and ECRIN aim to facilitate the use of scientific services, expertise and tools by academia and industry for the seamless translation of their scientific discoveries into new treatments and solutions for patients. In addition, the three infrastructures share the same commitment to increasing knowledge and awareness about good research practice and ensuring greater access to common resources (e.g. quality guidelines, training courses). The end goal is to make it easier for the broader research community to achieve the highest possible standards and to deliver high-quality and reproducible science.

“The digital revolution and the new regulatory framework of patient-centred research results in complex and multidisciplinary research programmes, requiring tight cooperation between infrastructures supporting translational research, biobanking and clinical research to provide joint services for cross-border transfer of data and biosamples, cohort integration, multimodal data management, machine learning, and multinational trials”, said Jacques Demotes, director general of ECRIN.

BBMRI, EATRIS and ECRIN will lay out an implementation plan for the agreement in 2019.

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