CORBEL Project
shared services for life-science

CORBEL News | Issue 2

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1st CORBEL Open Call

The CORBEL Open Call for Research Projects was successfully completed on November 30, 2016. Aimed to offer open access to cutting-edge technologies and services available at research infrastructures working in fields such as biobanking, curated databases, systems biology, mouse mutant phenotyping, marine model organisms, advanced imaging technologies, high-throughput screening or structural biology, the call resulted in the submission of 32 project proposals.
Service offers from all 8 involved research infrastructures were requested; in total more than 80 service requests were filed. The strong demand for access to interdisciplinary technologies and services was proved by the fact that project proposals for all four available Access Tracks were submitted. Interestingly, applications requesting access across the Access Tracks were also submitted - a further proof that the services CORBEL offers are of great importance for life science research communities.
Currently, the two-stage review of the eligible project applications is underway: after an independent scientific evaluation conducted by external experts, each project proposal is being reviewed by the requested service providers. For the first step, a panel of 35 reviewers with diverse scientific background and expertise was assembled, and we would like to express our gratitude to the panel. In the crucial second review step, CORBEL Open Call partners will evaluate the technical feasibility of the proposals. Only projects with positive technical evaluation for access to several service providers from at least two different research infrastructures will qualify for CORBEL access. The actual number and nature of projects, which will benefit from CORBEL support, depends eventually on the capacity of the different service providers involved. The review process is moderated by the CORBEL Open Call project managers, and the applications will remain strictly confidential throughout the review process. Applicants will be informed about the decision in early 2017.
Applicants can keep track of their proposal progress on the ARIA Dashboard.  


Innovation Office Helpdesk – new documents available

The CORBEL Innovation Office Helpdesk, intended to assist Research Infrastructures with collaboration with industry and technology transfer, made available a set of new documents:
- Compendium on Elements of Collaboration and Licensing Agreements
- Guidelines for Technology Transfer and Partnering
- Good Negotiating Practice
- Features of Intellectual Property
- Approaches to Life Science Evaluation

Enjoy reading!


RI in the spotlight

This section will focus on one of the eleven research infrastructures participating in CORBEL, providing useful information for current and future users. In this issue, BBMRI-ERIC is introduced to the researcher community.


BBMRI-ERIC aims to improve the accessibility and interoperability of the existing comprehensive collections, either population-based or clinical-oriented, of biological samples from different (sub-) populations of Europe or rare diseases. These collections include the attached data on factors such as health status, nutrition, lifestyle, and environmental exposure of the study subjects. In order to fully realize the enormous potential of European biobanks and biomolecular resources for the benefit of European citizens, clinical, ethical and legal experts, the biotech and pharmaceutical industry, patient advocacy groups are collaborating in a participatory governance model (Stakeholder's Forum). The aim is to achieve standards and guidelines that properly balance individual values, such as protection of privacy and informed consent, with shared values of facilitated access to progress in health care and disease prevention.
BBMRI-ERIC will increase efficacy and excellence of European bio-medical research by facilitating fair access to quality-defined human health/disease-relevant biological resources through the inclusion of associated data in an efficient and ethically and legally compliant manner; by reducing the fragmentation of the bio-medical research landscape through harmonisation of procedures, implementation of common standards and fostering high-level collaboration; and by capacity-building in countries with less developed biobanking communities thereby contributing to Europe's cohesion policy and strengthening the ERA.
The EU’s ageing population is resulting in an increase in many of those diseases and consequently an increased healthcare expenditure for senior citizens that place pressure on the sustainability and viability of the EU’s healthcare systems.
Through BBMRI-ERIC, biobanks and biomolecular resources shall develop into one of the most important tools for biomedical and clinical discovery. New medical applications, new therapies, new preventive techniques, new diagnostics, personalised or stratified medicine, and new biomedical industries shall evolve to improve socio-economic competitiveness and increase possibilities for equitable healthcare in Europe. The anticipated development shall pave the way for a new research culture in Europe. Expectantly, BBMRI-ERIC will have an impact on partnerships with patients/donors, who know that their own tissues, samples and personal data can yield discoveries and advances in medicine, diagnostics, and therapies. In return, BBMRI-ERIC is taking up the responsibility to make sure that the samples and data that have been entrusted for research are used in the best way possible for the advancement of knowledge, ultimately contributing to improved health care.
The key benefits for users of BBMRI-ERIC are fair access to quality-controlled samples and/or data from population-based, disease-oriented or rare disease biobanks including expertise in handling these biological resources for scientific purposes (ethical, legal and societal issues as well as quality handling). BBMRI-ERIC connects a distributed research infrastructure of biobanks and biomolecular resources for the benefit of the users of such resources. It puts pan-European biobanks on the map and promotes their specific strengths. BBMRI increases the accessibility to quality controlled human biological samples and associated biomedical and biomolecular data in making them findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable. Ultimately, this is key for advancing stratified and precision medicine.
More details about BBMRI-ERIC’s services can be obtained here.


Upcoming Events


Instruct-ARIA training for iNEXT and CORBEL facility managers

February 3, 2017 in Amsterdam (The Netherlands)

This training course, organised by Instruct and taking place in collaboration with iNEXT and CORBEL, aims to support managers of the Instruct Access system in handling this management system. For more information click here


Final Meeting on Patient-level Data Sharing

March 27-28, 2017 in Paris (France)

During this final meeting the consensus document on usage of patient-level data as well as the technical solutions for data sharing discussed within this group will be presented.  


3rd MIUF Meeting

April 19, 2017 in Paris

The Medical Infrastructure/Users Forum (MIUF) combines the European research infrastructures with scientific expertise in different medical research areas, bringing together medical research communities corresponding to European priorities, including pan-European users communities as well as patients associations. The MIUF is a key instrument for efficient development and use of Biological and Medical Sciences Research Infrastructures (BMS RI), by promoting a culture of collaboration across the ESFRI BMS RIs and capturing needs and expectations of scientific communities and funders, to drive the development of tools and services and to promote a consistent development strategy, avoiding gaps and overlaps. 


Meet us @

  • BIOVISION, April 4-6, 2017 in Lyon (France): exhibition


Group picture at the CORBEL booth. From left to right:
Christine Kubiak (ECRIN), Michael Raess (INFRAFRONTIER),
Antje Keppler (Euro-BioImaging), Manuela Schüngel (MIRRI),
Friederike Schmidt-Tremmel (ELIXIR), Susan Daenke (Instruct),
Gabriela Pastori (booth visitor from BBSRC)


The International Conferences on Research Infrastructures (ICRI) are a well-established international forum encouraging global cooperation and providing a unique opportunity to share views on matters of international relevance in the Research Infrastructures' domain. In October 2016 CORBEL participated as exhibitor in the ICRI conference, hosted in Cape Town (South Africa). Members of the CORBEL consortium did not only benefit from the excellent series of lectures, but also enjoyed fruitful discussions with colleagues from around the world. CORBEL is looking forward to ICRI2018, to be hosted in Vienna (Austria).



On 1 December 2016, Kees de Ruig (EATRIS and CORBEL’s Innovation Office) was part of a panel discussion at the BioFIT conference in Lille with the title “How can deal-making process be accelerated by standardised contracts and conditions?”. Other panelists were Lorraine Sautter (Inserm) and Paul Hermant (Bird & Bird) and the session was chaired by Nicolas Carboni (Conectus). From the session it was clear that many Technology Transfer Offices (TTO’s)struggle with contracting with external parties. It is not always easy to negotiate terms and conditions, and in order to ensure consistency as well as to improve quality and reduce timelines, the use of templates is highly recommended. Especially in case multiple projects are conducted with different partners in consortia, the use of a Master Research Collaboration Agreement is very instrumental. The good news is that TTO’s don’t need to reinvent the wheel; many resources are available including the Lambert template agreements. Additionally, the Innovation Office of CORBEL provides templates and guidance, as well as ad hoc consultancy. The innovation office can be reached at; more information can be found on the website of CORBEL


Updates from partners

Update in the CORBEL Grant Agreement: EATRIS: New linked 3rd parties
CTMM’s staff was transferred to TIPharma who became as of January 1st 2016 a new organisation called Lygature. Lygature will take over CTMM's role and status as linked 3rd party in CORBEL. Some domain expert and software development originally to be performed by CTMM will be transferred to either UMC Utrecht (UMCU) or to the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI), to be added as an additional linked 3rd party to EATRIS-ERIC.

Latvia and Poland joined BBMRI-ERIC as full members, increasing the number of member states to 16.
Reflecting the quality of their work as well as valuing its achievements, BBMRI-ERIC was awarded as Best European Health Research Organisation in 2016.
Currently, BBMRI-ERIC has two job vacancies: 1) ELSI Helpdesk Coordinator and 2) BBMRI-ERIC Director General 

In addition to its portfolio of multinational clinical trials, ECRIN contributes to various capacity building projects. New on this list are the Clinical Research Initiative for Global Health (CRIGH), the European Research Infrastructures in the International Landscape (RISCAPE) and European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) pilot project. In addition, ECRIN received a positive funding decision for the Paediatric Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (PedCRIN) project.

Hungary has become the 21st Member to join ELIXIR, following the signature of the ELIXIR Consortium Agreement by Dr József Pálinkás, President of the National Research, Development and Innovation Office in Hungary.
As a major milestone for the provision of ELIXIR Services, the adoption of an overarching policy for ethical and legal aspects of accessing and re-using sensitive life-science data (ELIXIR ELSI Policy) was announced in November 2016.
The process for ELIXIR Nodes to propose databases as ELIXIR Core Data Resources - resources of fundamental importance to the wide life-science community and the long-term preservation of biological data - will be completed in February 2017, followed by the review of submitted nominations.
The registration for the upcoming ELIXIR SME and Innovation forum entitled "Genomics and Health - Global resources for local Innovation" (February 27-28, 2017 in Helsinki, Finland) is open.

INFRAFRONTIER launched its open call “Model development and systemic phenotyping” that aims to facilitate access for the wider biomedical research community to the unique infrastructure and scientific expertise of the participating mouse clinics. Deadline for the submission of proposals is February 15, 2017.

Instruct has submitted the ERIC Step 2 application to the European Commission end of November 2016, initiating the next step towards the legal structure of an European Research Infrastructure Consortium.
In December 2016, a new Instruct node – the Czech Infrastructure for Integrative Structural Biology (CIISB) – held its official kick off meeting, introducing the offered services and technologies.
Instruct coordinates the new Instruct-ULTRA project and will participate in the H2020 project OPEN SESAME. The funding for training activities and internship programmes for 2017 has been approved.

This project receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 654248.

This publication reflects the view only of the author(s), and the European Union cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.