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BioSHaRE-EU is a consortium of biobanks and international researchers aiming to improve the availability of common research data. The five-year project began in 2011 and brings together 16 leading research organisations from Europe and Canada. The Norwegian Institute of Public Health is one of the project partners.


Harmonising data

Most diseases affecting public health are caused by the joint effect of multiple genetic and environmental influences. In order to understand the role of these influences in disease development researchers have to be able to share and co-analyze data and biological samples from different countries. BioSHaRE-EU (Biobank Standardisation and Harmonisation for Research Excellence in the European Union) aims to facilitate the harmonisation and sharing of data and biological samples from different biobanks in order to study the causes of disease and learn about potential preventions and treatments. It builds upon work already completed in other harmonisation projects including GenomEUTwin, BBMRI, P3G, PHOEBE - Promoting Harmonisation of Epidemiological Biobanks in Europe , GEN2PHEN and ENGAGE


BioShaRE-EU will also conduct several research projects using the harmonisation tools it develops. One of these projects will focus on the healthy obese to understand why some obese individuals do not develop health risks that typically co-occur with obesity.

Work packages

The BioSHaRE-EU project consists of the nine work packages (WP) listed below. The Norwegian Institute of Public Health is leading WP8 and is actively participating in WP3. Senior researcher Jennifer Harris is leading the Norwegian Institute of Public Health’s participation in BioSHaRE-EU.

Work packages
WP1 Coordination and management
WP2 Data repository and epidemiological/ clinical harmonisation
WP3 Epidemiology and biostatistics for biobank harmonisation
WP4 Bioinformatics standardisation/ harmonisation for optimised information management
WP5 Biospecimen harmonisation/standardisation
WP6 Metabolomic and genetic risk factors for clustering of complex diseases
WP7 Societal and environmental risk factors for complex diseases
WP8 Strategic integration and coordination with major biobanking initiatives, partnerships and dissemination
WP9 Implementation & roll-out

In addition an ELSI stream (Ethical, legal and societal aspects) gathers leading experts to address ethical, legal and societal issues associated with research based on international biobank harmonisation as carried out under BioSHaRE-EU.


The BioSHaRE-EU project is funded with 12 million euros from the European Commission.