Stakeholder engagement

Biobanks need the commitment and involvement of diverse stakeholder groups.

Stakeholder engagement is a critical factor for the success of a biobank. Biobanks must mediate between the interests of scientists, doctors, sponsors, sample donors and the public and consider all viewpoints when making strategic decisions.

Involving scientists

In the past few years, more and more centralised biobanks have been set up at German university hospitals. They are available to doctors and scientists as core service facilities. An analysis based on semi-structured interviews with researchers and biobank managers has revealed that centralised biobanks are still largely unknown among the stakeholders on-site (doctors, scientists, study staff). These stakeholder groups are particularly unaware of their procedures, benefits and governance structures.

Centralised biobanks are confronted with the task of increasing the recognition of the new research infrastructure within the hospitals and highlighting the value of both sample collection and storage as well as scientific utilisation of the samples. To be successful, biobanks need the support of the hospital management, the medical faculty as well as the local ethics commissions. By implementing suitable governance structures, coupled with adequate internal communication measures, biobanks have to evoke trust and build a strong network with the clinics and institutes on-site.  

Furthermore, the analysis of the interviews revealed that biobanks should address the expectations of scientists specifically and communicate their offers and services in a precise manner.

GBN will support biobanks in achieving their goals with various measures in the work package “Stakeholder Engagement” and provide the biobanks with a “Communication Toolkit” (videos, texts and images).


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