Under the leadership of the German Biobank Node (GBN), biobanks from eleven German university hospitals and two IT development centres have joined together to form the German Biobank Alliance (GBA) in 2017. Seven more biobank sites followed in 2019, and two in 2020. Since 2021, partner biobanks at 21 locations, 14 observer biobanks and one IT development centre have been working together within the GBA.
The GBA biobanks are harmonising their quality management and establishing a networked IT structure in order to make their biosamples and the associated data available for biomedical research throughout Europe. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) provides funding for the work of GBN, which is supported by the German Cancer Research Center Heidelberg (DKFZ) for IT as well as by the BioMaterialBank Heidelberg (BMBH) and the Integrated Biobank Jena (IBBJ) for quality management.
Taking into account the interests of all stakeholders involved, GBN also advocates the concerns of biobanks beyond the biobanking scene. Moreover, GBN lobbies for biobanking on the European level by representing German interests in the biobank network BBMRI-ERIC. Thus, GBN creates standards for the further development and quality assurance of biobanking in Germany and Europe.