Dutch government invests in existing biobanks
Modern research, aimed at discovering factors that influence health and disease, requires large collections of data and samples. Collaboration between biobanks is therefore essential. The Dutch hub in the network of biobanks, the Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure (BBMRI-NL), is one of the major Dutch biobanking initiatives. It is sponsored by the Dutch government through the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). BBMRI-NL sets up collaboration between approximately 150 existing clinical and population biobanks in the Netherlands, and forms the link with the European BBMRI initiative. BBMRI-NL aims at enrichment and harmonization of existing Dutch biobanks, at data management and analysis, and at laying the legal, social and ethical foundations, in order to improve access and inter-operability, and to render the information and organization up to date. Other major Dutch initiatives are String of Pearls and LifeLines. Together these will create the conditions needed for Dutch researchers to further develop their strong position in the international biobanking field.