“ The Life in Data, ” designed by the Society's ESBBperanto and Enviro-Bio Working
Groups, was held in 2013 in Verona, Italy. This is the summary of the ESBB conference.
The biobank landscape comprises of a diverse and expanding collection of institutions,
researchers and practitioners who, regardless of their different tasks, share a common need
for best practices to implement data standards, risk management and ethical regulations.
These standards must continuously evolve so biobanks must be kept in step with technical and
scientific advancements. Policies, procedures, and standards, however, have been designed
with somewhat limited consideration, given to the potential advantage of adapting those
created by other thematic biobanks . Keeping on-going cooperation, encouraging and sharing
knowledge around the world about biobanks is challenging.
Conferences provide great opportunities for people from different backgrounds to get
together. Interactive sessions provide opportunity for groups that wouldn’t normally interact
to exchange ideas together. Opinion polls give people opportunities to test consensus about
common topics of relevance to biobanking communities.
Audience demographics were obtained at the start of the session. It involved 160 participants.
The amount of time participants had been working in the biobanking field was 0–2 years
(18%), 2–5 years (33%), 5–10 years (23%), and over 10 years (20%); 5% were not involved
in biobanking . 97% agreed that sample data quality management significantly impacts
research quality and reliability. The interactive session was held for over 2 hours and the
format included 4 stages, each organized around a main theme; each stage lasted about
10 minutes. The session was designed to follow the life cycle of a biobank sample through
the stages of permissions and consent, research, sample collection, sample classification and
The following recommendations have been generated from the ESBB's first interactive
1. Time and resources - Interactive sessions need to be well-planned
2. Presenter coordination - Delivery requires a well planned, coordinated and
consistent approach by the presenters
3. Design and moderation - Questions must be moderated and made sure that they are
4. Technology - Technology selected should be able to display conclusive summary
5. Improving participant interactions - Selected technology should allow questions
and answers to be proposed and presented in real-time as part of follow-up to