The EU-funded European Brain Research Area project today releases its long-awaited
European Research Inventory and Mapping Report, providing insight into the brain research
activities funded at the European level within the EU framework programmes FP7 and Horizon
2020, as well as the funding initiatives of the EU Joint Programme – Neurodegenerative Disease
Research (JPND), ERA-NET NEURON and the Human Brain Project.
The mapping report provides an overview of the current state of brain research in Europe and which areas within
brain research, if any, are the focus in Europe. It shows that despite steadily increasing
support, funding is still lacking in all areas of brain research in the EU and more focus is
particularly needed on the importance of animal models, increasing public patient engagement
and encouraging and enabling data sharing.
“EBRA’s mapping report highlights that constant support and increased investment in brain
research is still vital,” said EBRA Project Coordinator, Prof. Monica Di Luca. “Despite enormous
efforts of the scientific and clinical community, the challenges in the brain space are tremendous,
spurred by a high prevalence of brain disorders and increasing disease burden.”
The need for efficiency in funding brain research is also clear: budgets should be allocated in
such a way that allows brain researchers to deliver high quality research and support of
initiatives that aim to reduce fragmentation, and collaboration and cooperation should be
prioritised. Stakeholders need to be able to work more effectively together to better leverage
their collective knowledge and succeed in delivering game-changing innovative treatment
From 2007 to 2019, the European Commission and leading European brain research initiatives
allocated €6 billion to around 4,000 brain research projects—an average of €500 million per
year. From 2008 to 2012, an average of €400 million was invested per year, increasing between
2014 to 2018 to €550 million, marking a steady growth. “The EBRA inventory and mapping report
demonstrates that annual funding can reach significant levels to support highly competitive
research projects through sustainable, transnational initiatives,” said Prof. Philippe Amouyel,
Chair of the EU Joint Programme – Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND). However,
continued funding of research consortia across countries is key for a lasting impact on
collaboration and innovation in the European and global brain research area. “It is now time to
accelerate this momentum through an ambitious partnership on brain health in Horizon Europe
under a coordinated approach,” continued Prof Amouyel.
A brain health partnership in Europe should be a common goal to prioritise and ensure brain
research is recognised as an urgent need and that the maximum impact and benefit of research
breakthroughs reaches society.
For more information about EBRA and the European Research Inventory and Mapping Report, visit EBRA.eu.