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About Biobank Sweden

Biobank Sweden is not a biobank but a national infrastructure for biobanking where healthcare, academia, industry, and patient organisations collaborate to attain good healthcare and research. 

Biobank Sweden is like a bridge between healthcare and research, supported by the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR or SKR in Swedish) and the Swedish Research Council with the goal of creating the best conditions possible for biobanking within healthcare and research – nationally and internationally.

Biobank Sweden is based on an agreement between all Swedish regions and universities with medical faculties. This agreement has since been complemented by the addition of the Swedish life science industry (LIF, Swedish Medtech, SwedenBio och Swedish Labtech), enabling a broad collaboration among academia, healthcare, and industry regarding biobanks in Sweden.

Harmonization through collaboration

Local self-government is enshrined in the Swedish Constitution and means that municipalities and regions have the right of independent and free self-determination. Because of this, a major part of Biobank Sweden’s work focuses on establishing a common understanding and application of the Swedish Biobanks in Medical Care Act (SFS 2002:297). Examples of this work can be found in the development of national principles regarding biobanking, joint national documents and harmonized instructions regarding how to manage biobank applications.

Another important part of Biobank Sweden’s work is the network between Swedish biobanks, which enables personnel within the different regions to learn from each other and manage common challenges together. Through education and information Biobank Sweden also works to increase knowledge of biobanking and samples, including how to get access to samples in Sweden.

”A sustainable national biobank infrastructure for the utilization of biobanks, for good health and new knowledge, in a collaboration between healthcare, academia and industry. “

Our vision

Biobank Sweden’s vision is a sustainable national biobank infrastructure for the utilization of biobanks, for good health and new knowledge, in a collaboration between healthcare, academia and industry.

General goals

  • Maintaining and developing a national infrastructure for healthcare, academia and industry in collaboration with patient organisations to strengthen Swedish life science and international collaborations.
  • Enabling a nationally accessible, cost-efficient and competitive collection of biobanking expertise which includes enabling the delivery of high-quality samples.
  • Ensuring that biobank samples are used along with health data and analysis data in an efficient, well-organised and sustainable way. The use of biobanks shall be the basis for international leading research and samples shall be analysed with state-of-the-art analysation methods.
  • Ensuring that biobank samples and data are handled in a safe way for patients and donors based on their given consent. This will be done through transparency and the participation as well as self-determination of patients and donors – for the benefit of the patient and with consideration and utility of public interest.

Organisation

Biobank Sweden consists of a National Steering Committee with representatives from the healthcare regions, from universities with medical faculties, and from the industry, as well as a National Advisory Board and several Working Groups plus a national network for the regions’ Biobank Coordinators.

Biobank Sweden has a close collaboration, and a joint steering group, with Genomic Medicine Sweden (GMS).

All work within Biobank Sweden is done in close collaboration and dialogue with Swedish authorities such as The National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen), Swedish Ethical Review Authority (Etikprövningsmyndigheten), Swedish Medical Products Agency (Läkemedelsverket) and the Health and Social Care Inspectorate (IVO).

International collaboration

Biobank Sweden is the Swedish node of BBMRI-ERIC, a European research infrastructure for biobanking.

ISBER and ESBB are international interest groups in biobanking where Biobank Sweden and BBMRI-ERIC frequently participate in events which the groups arrange.

Regional Biobank Centres

Biobank Sweden is responsible for having a Regional Biobank Centre (RBC) in every healthcare region – six in total.

The RBC functions as a regional competence-centre for all organisations affected by the Swedish biobank act and is responsible for:

  • Acting as a national council within Biobank Sweden regarding regulatory questions
  • On a regional level managing SBR – the Swedish national biobank register
  • Acting as a point of contact towards the National Board of Health and Welfare and IVO
  • Each respective healthcare region’s quality management and other biobanking routines
  • Managing knowledge sharing and education of staff, biobank custodians and researchers
  • Information given to patients and the general public
  • Reviewing and managing biobank applications according to the multicentre principle
Latest update: 2024-01-29