you're reading...
BLOG, Events

Understanding the Human Brain: A New Era of Big Neuroscience

Written by Gianluca Quaglio with James Tarlton,

Decoding the human brain remains one of the greatest scientific challenges of our time. On 29 November 2016, the STOA (Science and Technology Assessment) Panel will host a workshop entitled ‘Understanding the Human Brain: A New Era of Big Neuroscience’, at which representatives from some of the world’s leading brain initiatives will present their work and discuss the future of neuroscience projects across the globe.

Brain concept

Shutterstock / Anita Ponne

The workshop is organised jointly with the European Commission, and will highlight the following initiatives:

  • the EU FET flagship human brain project (HBP), launched by the European Commission in 2013 with predicted funding of €1 billion over its ten-year lifespan, which focuses on developing a European research infrastructure for advancing brain research, medicine and brain-inspired information technology;
  • the US brain research through advancing innovative neurotechnologies initiative (BRAIN), launched in 2013 with a budget of €4.5 billion over 12 years, which focuses on the development of new technologies for recording brain circuit activity and mapping the brain in unprecedented detail;
  • the Japan Brain/MINDS project, launched at the end of 2014, and due to receive €300 million over ten years, which aims at understanding the cellular and circuit basis of behaviour, using models of human brain diseases.

Representatives from each initiative will give an overview of their project, its status, achievements, opportunities for cooperation, and future plans. The event will be chaired by MEP and STOA Vice-Chair Evžen Tošenovský, and moderated by Maurizio Corbetta from the University of Padova, Italy. Roberto Viola, Director General of the European Commission’s DG CONNECT will introduce the event, which will include presentations by leading representatives of HBP (Katrin Amunts), the US BRAIN initiative (Walter Koroshetz), and Japan’s Brain/MINDS project (Tetsuo Yamamori).

Twitter hashtag: #HBPSTOA
See also:

These presentations will be followed by a panel discussion between representatives of the three initiatives and the European Commission, as well as Members of the European Parliament and leading experts in neuroscience. The panellists will discuss international opportunities for cooperation in neuroscience research and the benefits that such research will bring to individual citizens and society as a whole.

This STOA workshop will add momentum and ideas to the ongoing discussions about strengthening collaboration among the international brain initiatives. A first proposal for European HBP and US brain initiative cooperation will be announced, which will serve as a starting point for future joint international activities in this field.

Throughout 29 and 30 November, the Human Brain Project will run an exhibition showcasing the project’s work and its unique contributions to European neuroscience, computing and research ethics (Balcony ASP 5G). Some of the HBP’s leading researchers will be available to provide tours of the exhibition and answer questions about the project.

About Scientific Foresight (STOA)

The Scientific Foresight Unit (STOA) carries out interdisciplinary research and provides strategic advice in the field of science and technology options assessment and scientific foresight. It undertakes in-depth studies and organises workshops on developments in these fields, and it hosts the European Science-Media Hub (ESMH), a platform to promote networking, training and knowledge sharing between the EP, the scientific community and the media. All this work is carried out under the guidance of the Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA), composed of 27 MEPs nominated by 11 EP Committees. The STOA Panel forms an integral part of the structure of the EP.



  1. Pingback: 12 Graphs: Seven eminent scientists | European Parliamentary Research Service Blog - December 31, 2016

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Download the EPRS App

EPRS App on Google Play
EPRS App on App Store
What Europe Does For You
EU Legislation in Progress
Topical Digests
EPRS Podcasts

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3,508 other followers

RSS Link to Scientific Foresight (STOA)

Disclaimer and Copyright statement

The content of all documents (and articles) contained in this blog is the sole responsibility of the author and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily represent the official position of the European Parliament. It is addressed to the Members and staff of the EP for their parliamentary work. Reproduction and translation for non-commercial purposes are authorised, provided the source is acknowledged and the European Parliament is given prior notice and sent a copy.

For a comprehensive description of our cookie and data protection policies, please visit Terms and Conditions page.

Copyright © European Union, 2014-2019. All rights reserved.

%d bloggers like this: