International Brain Initiative: The Future of Large-Scale Collaboration

On October 12th, the European Parliament’s Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA) and the International Brain Initiative (IBI) hosted a workshop to discuss the future of international neuroscience collaborations. Incoming Chair of the IBI Strategy Committee and CBRS Chair of the Steering Committee, Yves De Koninck, attended as Canada’s IBI member representative. 

The workshop kicked off with a keynote presentation by the Nobel Laureate and founding director of the Kavli Institute, Edvard Moser. Dr. Moser highlighted the need for global collaboration to effectively tackle the immense complexity of the human brain with a summary of recent major advances, and emphasized neuroscience as a major driver for economic and technology development. 

Representatives of brain initiatives from Europe, the U.S., Japan, China, Australia, Korea and Canada made up an IBI member panel to discuss the opportunities and challenges of international neuroscience collaboration. Noting the support provided by the IBI as a critical forum for networking and collaboration among the brain initiatives, panelists advocated for increased connection between researchers, and pointed to the effectiveness of IBI working groups to initiate global actions in neuroethics, data policies, and the sharing of scientific resources. 

A key consensus takeaway was the need to strengthen relations between science and policy for closer integration of research evidence in decision making, and to bring diverse viewpoints into neuroscience research. As the IBI is growing to be a trusted source of thought leadership in global neuroscience, Canada, in particular, has the opportunity to lead with our efforts to engage non-researchers, people with lived experience, and Indigenous Peoples as we build a collective national vision for the future of neuroscience and mental health research that will benefit all Canadians.  

Read the recent publication in Lancet Neurology highlighting the STOA Panel Workshop and associated Editorial.