Global Collaboration to Advance Brain Research Announced

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BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) Initiative

The scientific journal Nature reports that government officials have announced an upcoming collaboration between two major and distinctive projects to advance what is known about the brain and how to treat its illnesses. Both projects were launched in 2013: the United States’ public-private partnership known as the BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) Initiative and the European Union’s Human Brain Project (HBP).

Noting that the two projects are complementary—the US effort aims to create new tools to image and decipher brain activity and the EU effort seeks to create a working computational model of the entire brain—Nature reports that the specifics of the collaboration remain to be determined but the overarching aim is to improve research efficiency and minimize overlap between the projects.

Kathy Hudson, Deputy Director for Science, Outreach and Policy at the US National Institutes of Health, is quoted as saying that the coordination will begin with a workshop later this year where the two groups will discuss the extent to which they want to collaborate and share data, and their scientific progress. The ultimate goal, she says, is to ensure that the research programs cover as much ground as possible without duplicating each others' efforts.

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