ISBER is a global biobanking organisation, whose mission is to create opportunities for sharing ideas internationally and harmonising approaches to evolving challenges in biobanking, biological and environmental repository operation (www.isber.org). The conference, entitled “ISBER European Biospecimen Research Symposium: Quality matters” was the first in a series of annual symposia focused on biospecimen research that ISBER plans to organise in Europe. The Symposium was designed in three plenary sessions, covering all the major types of specimens. Throughout the conference, international biospecimen research experts from America and Europe, such as Prof Ioannidis renowned for his studies on the reproducibility in research, presented and discussed recent findings and developments in the field. In addition, a poster session, award ceremony and exhibition enlivened the agenda and triggered the discussion. The Symposium was a great opportunity for the participants to network and discuss a topic that no other conference in the world covers.