ERA-NETs are projects funded by the European Commission in various research fields. Their goal is to create a European Research Area in which research is conducted and funded across countries, allowing research groups to jointly work on specific problems, exchange ideas, and benefit from cross border expertise. The current project NEURON II (Network of European funding for Neuroscience research) builds on the achievements of its predecessors which were funded by the European Commission from 2003 to 2004 and from 2007 to 2011.
Since January 2012, the ERA-NET NEURON continued cooperating in the area of disease-related neuroscience within the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission. Twenty-two funding organisations from 16 European countries, Israel as EU-associated country, and Canada participate in NEURON II:
Austria (FWF), Belgium (Flandern, FWO), Canada (CIHR, Québec, FRQS), Finland (AKA), France (ANR, INSERM, CNRS), Germany (PT-DLR/BMBF), Iceland (Rannis), Israel (CSO-MOH), Italy (MOH), Luxemburg (FNR), Poland (NCBR), Portugal (FCT), Romania (ANCS-MEdR, UEFISCDI), Spain (ISCIII, MINECO), Sweden (SRC), United Kingdom (MRC).
The Latvian Academy of Science (LAS) and the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAS) are associated NEURON-Partners and participate in NEURON Joint Transnational Calls (JTCs).
Research into the human brain and its diseases is one of the key challenges of the 21st century. Among the many diseases affecting health, disorders of the brain are major causes for impaired quality of life and increasing health care costs. Despite some progress in understanding the molecular mechanisms of various neurological and psychiatric disorders, research is still far from being able to offer solutions to conquer them. In addition, the development of curative treatments or prevention strategies has not been, to date, very successful. A concerted effort of funding organisations and of research groups in this area, is thus needed to reach the long term goal of curing patients with disorders of the brain and nervous system, and helping their relatives.
Due to the importance of research in the area of brain diseases, a variety of independent national and regional funding programmes exist in most countries. NEURON II avoids the problems of fragmentation in the national efforts by co-ordinating national and regional programmes for disease-related neuroscience research in 24 participant funding organisations across 18 European Member States, Israel as an Associated Country, and Canada. The extension of the collaboration beyond the European Research Area into North America reflects the global dimension of brain research, and increases NEURON’s effectiveness. The ERA-NET serves as a platform for funding agencies and ministries, to develop joint activities and programmes to coordinate high quality research across national borders. Among the most important activities are annually launched joint transnational calls for proposals for research groups operating in the NEURON partner countries. With each new funding round, different areas of disease-related brain research are addressed.
The new NEURON flyer can be downloaded here (PDF, 918 kb).
The first NEURON flyer can be downloaded here (PDF, 400 kb).
The Coordination Action NEURON started in January 2007 with 12 funding organisations. After five years of project runtime the ERA-Net completed its work in December 2011 integrating 17 funding bodies in the area of disease-related neuroscience from 13 European countries, Israel as EU-associated country, and Canada, participated in NEURON: Austria (FWF), Canada (FRSQ), Finland (AKA), France (ANR, INSERM, CNRS), Germany (PT-DLR/BMBF), Israel (CSO-MOH), Italy (MOH), Luxemburg (FNR), Poland (NCBiR), Romania (ANCS-MEdR, NCPM), Spain (ISCIII, MINECO), Sweden (SRC), United Kingdom (MRC). Another Canadian funding organization, the CIHR, was actively participating as an associated partner in the joint calls for proposals. The report is here (PDF, 264 kb).