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Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn awards ERIC nameplate to BBMRI

Vienna, 22 January 2014: Mrs Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science participated in a conference organised by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Science and Research (BMWF) in cooperation with the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) in Vienna on 21 January 2014 dedicated to the launch of Horizon 2020.

In the framework of the launch of Horizon 2020, the Commissioner officially handed over the European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) nameplate to the Austrian Federal Minister for Research, Dr Reinhold Mitterlehner and the designated Director General of BBMRI-ERIC, Prof Jan-Eric Litton. As Prof Litton emphasised, “The handover of the nameplate by the Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn of BBMRI-ERIC demonstrates an important milestone for medical research and health in Europe. BBMRI-ERIC is supported by 16 countries being the largest ERIC at present. This will start a new wave of collaborations between researchers and EU members promoting a unique infrastructure globally.” The Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure (BBMRI-ERIC) is a pan-European research infrastructure which provides access to quality controlled human biological samples, such as blood, tissues, cells or DNA, plus associated clinical and research data. These resources are essential for unraveling genetic and environmental factors underlying diseases and influencing their outcome. Consequently BBMRI-ERIC will be instrumental in increasing competitiveness of health-related research and industry and provides a basis for the advancement of human health. According to the latest evaluation of research infrastructures of the ESFRI roadmap BBMRI-ERIC is one of the leading European infrastructures. The strong Member State engagement already achieved in its preparatory phase makes BBMRI-ERIC an important infrastructure to further develop the European Research Area and to achieve the strategic R&D goals of Europe. In addition to its strong scientific case, BBMRI-ERIC developed new models of public-private-partnerships to enhance impact on industry and to better integrate research and innovation. BBMRI-ERIC has obtained strong global recognition and will become a model for how research infrastructures contribute to building a knowledge-based economy. In this context Africa expressed great interest in BBMRI-ERIC, and BBMRI-ERIC could become a door opener for building EU-Africa partnerships in research and development as well as a broad field of industries. Following the reception of the ERIC nameplate, BBMRI-ERIC had its launch meeting on January 22 where Prof Jan-Eric Litton was officially appointed Director of BBMRI-ERIC. For further information on the programme of the Horizon 2020 launch conference please visit: Media Enquiries Jessica Hadjis ISC Intelligence in Science Email: Phone: +32 2 88 88 110 Mob: +32 487 163 107 Or Vera Hörmann ISC Intelligence in Science Email: Tel: +32 2 8888 104 Editor’s Note BBMRI-ERIC BBMRI-ERIC will comprise existing and newly established collections of all types of human biological samples (tissue, blood, DNA), biomolecular resources (such as antibodies, model organisms), biobanking and analytical technologies, data management solutions as well as ethical and legal support/services. Most of our current knowledge on diseases as well as available diagnostic assays and drugs are based on systematic investigation of human biological samples and medical data, which are defined by the OECD as key resources for the advancement of biotechnology and medicine. Their sustainable utilization will be henceforth ensured by the pan-European research infrastructure BBMRI, which is now being implemented by EU Member States under the international ERIC legal entity and should start its operation in 2014. BBMRI-ERIC is a research infrastructure for the whole of Europe. It will be owned by European Member states.


Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czechia, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Spain, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovenia, United Kingdom