Global Neuroscience Initiatives
All across the world, scientists are working towards greater understandings of the brain’s function and responses to injury or disease. Their work entails the invention of neurotechnologies for continuing their innovative research, in order to help treat brain injury, disease, and disorders.
Here are organizations, projects, and initiatives dedicated to advancing the science of the brain and its application to improving human health.
Australian Brain Alliance
The Australian Brain Alliance aims to establish an Australian Brain Initiative that will create advanced industries in neurotechnology, develop treatments for debilitating brain disorders, and produce high-impact transdisciplinary collaborations that will increase our understanding of the brain.
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) launched a pan-Canadian initiative in brain and mental health deemed the Canadian Brain Research Strategy (CBRS) that aims to significantly elevate fundamental scientific discovery along with health care, training, evidence-based policy making, and economic advancements for Canadians.
Additionally, the organization Brain Canada has raised $250 million for 281 projects that have included over 1,000 researchers across 115 hospitals, universities, and research institutions across Canada.
China is in the process of launching the China Brain Project — a 15 year project, proposed by the Chinese National People’s Congress in 2016. The aim of the original project is targeted at research into the neural basis of cognitive function with additional goals of improving diagnosis and prevention of brain diseases. Additionally, the project aims to drive information technology and artificial intelligence projects that are inspired by the brain. There are currently two new institutions devoted brain science in China: the Chinese Institute for Brain Research, Beijing and the Shanghai Research Center for Brain Science & Brain-Inspired Intelligence.
European Commission’s Human Brain Project
The goal of the 10-year Human Brain Project is to build a new information computing technology infrastructure for neuroscience and for brain-related research in medicine and computing. The project began in 2013 and includes six platforms: neuroinformatics, brain stimulation, performance computing, medical informatics, neuromorphic computing, and neurorobotics. It is one of the two largest scientific projects ever funded by the European Union. Read more.
Two Japanese research organizations, the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) and the RIKEN Brain Science Institute, joined forces with a large European consortium on the Human Brain Project. OIST contributes to the development of the Brain Simulation Platform, a major software infrastructure effort. RIKEN contributes to the identification of the brain structures’ underlying mental capabilities.
Japan has launched a brain-mapping project using marmosets as part of a ten year the Brain Mapping by Integrated Neurotechnologies for Disease Studies (Brain/MINDS) project. The goals of this project are to improve understanding of human higher brain function, to improve diagnosis and treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders, and to develop novel cutting-edge technologies. As part of this project, transgenic marmosets are being created to help map the structure and activity of the entire marmoset brain.
Today, Brain/MINDS is in full swing, coordinated by Keio University, RIKEN Brain Science Institute, and the University of Tokyo.
Korean Brain Initiative
The Korea Brain Initiative focuses on basic studies to decipher the mechanisms underlying decision making, clinical studies on neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson disease (PD), and the development of novel neurotechnologies to apply to basic and clinical studies. Read more.
Latin American Brain Initiative
The Latin American Brain Initiative, or LATBrain, filed a declaration of intent when researchers met in Uruguay to promote investment in the project. The countries represented in the initial declaration include Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, and Uruguay. Read more.
Global Engagement Initiative
The Global Engagement Initiative led by the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO) aims to facilitate the development of culturally relevant educational and motivational programs that garners wider support for neuroscience research. IBRO works with SfN, FENS, the Dana Foundation, the Japan Neuroscience Society, the Australasian Neuroscience Society, and others to create a program in support of its global engagement mission.
Global advocacy initiatives in neuroscience are supported by SfN together with our partners.
International Brain Initiative
Representatives from many of the world’s largest brain projects established the International Brain Initiative, a coalition comprising of Europe, Japan, Korea, Australia and the United States in order to align efforts with one another and with government, academic, industry, and public stakeholders; to devote resources to data sharing and standardization; and to recognize ethical considerations that may arise from advances in neuroscience, neurotechnology, and artificial intelligence.