Biobanks contain biological samples and associated information that are essential raw materials for advancement of biotechnology, human health, and research and development in life sciences. Population-based and disease-oriented biobanks are major biobank formats to establish the disease relevance of human genes and provide opportunities to elucidate their interaction with environment and lifestyle. The developments in personalized medicine require molecular definition of new disease subentities and biomarkers for identification of relevant patient subgroups for drug development. These emerging demands can only be met if biobanks cooperate at the transnational or even global scale. Establishment of common standards and strategies to cope with the heterogeneous legal and ethical landscape in different countries are seen as major challenges for biobank networks. The Central Research Infrastructure for Molecular Pathology (CRIP), the concept for a pan-European Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure (BBMRI), and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) global Biological Resources Centres network are examples for transnational, European and global biobank networks that are described in this article.