Purpose: Research projects and clinical trials strongly rely on high-quality biospecimens which are provided by biobanks. Since differences in sample processing and storage can strongly affect the outcome of such studies, standardization between biobanks is necessary to guarantee reliable results of large, multicenter studies. The German Cancer Aid Foundation (Deutsche Krebshilfe e.V.) has therefore initiated the priority program "tumor tissue banks" in 2010 by funding four biobank networks focusing on central nervous system tumors, melanomas, breast carcinomas, and colorectal carcinomas. The latter one, the North German Tumor Bank of Colorectal Cancer (ColoNet) is managed by surgeons, pathologists, gastroenterologists, oncologists, scientists, and medical computer scientists. Methods and results: The ColoNet consortium has developed and harmonized standard operating procedures concerning all biobanking aspects. Crucial steps for quality assurance have been implemented and resulted in certification according to DIN EN ISO 9001. A further achievement is the construction of a web-based database for exploring available samples. In addition, common scientific projects have been initiated. Thus, ColoNet's repository will be used for research projects in order to improve early diagnosis, therapy, follow-up, and prognosis of colorectal cancer patients. Apart from the routine sample storage at -170 C, the tumor banks' unique characteristic is the participation of outpatient clinics and private practices to further expand the sample and clinical data collection. Conclusion: The first 2 years of funding by the German Cancer Aid Foundation have already led to a closer scientific connection between the participating institutions and to a substantial collection of biospecimens obtained under highly standardized conditions.