According to recent Nature magazine news two large brain mapping programs – the US BRAIN Initiative and the EU Human Brain Project will start to collaborate and coordinate research activities later this year.
The US $1-billion brain mapping program, the BRAIN Initiative stands for Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies. The program major goal is to advance our understanding of the human brain and to accelerate the development and application of innovative technologies.
The European €1-billion Human Brain Project is co-funded by the European Union (EU) and is using cutting-edge research infrastructure, aimed to advance our knowledge in the field of neuroscience.
The Human Brain Project (HBP) is the European Commission Future and Emerging Technologies Flagship. The HBP’s research infrastructure is focused on brain research, cognitive neuroscience and brain-inspired computing. The Project includes 116 Partners in 19 countries in Europe and around the world. All these partners drive and manage the Project’s research in neuroscience, computing, and medicine.
As per the Nature magazine news article, in the US – Europe’s collaboration all of the US BRAIN Initiative‘s government partners will be involved. This includes the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
According to Sean Hill, the neuroscientist who co-directs the HBP’s neuroinformatics team, the US and EU initiatives complement each other – the BRAIN Initiative’s goal is to “create tools for imaging and controlling brain activity”, whereas the HBP is aimed to “create a working computational model of the entire brain”.
Furthermore, and as stated by Donald Stein, a psychologist at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, this international collaboration is “a chance for the US and European efforts to get the most out of their budgets and workforce”. Importantly, he believes that the collaboration will encourage funding agencies to support high-risk research projects.