Past EU-funded projects supported by ECNP

EBRA EU project supported by ECNP


European Brain Research Area

The highly diversified nature of European public research represents a considerable obstacle in the European Research Area, especially in the field of brain research. The EU and its Member States have already made considerable investments in brain research, leading to a significant increase of initiatives in this area, particularly under Horizon 2020. Although these initiatives have generated considerable amounts of knowledge and innovative approaches, more co-ordinated efforts to identify gaps and highlight priorities are needed, to combat the complexity of the challenge.

To respond to this call, the EBRA (European Brain Research Area) project was created as a catalysing platform for brain research stakeholders (researchers, clinicians, patients, governments, funders and public institutions) to streamline and better co-ordinate brain research across Europe while fostering global initiatives. EBRA aims at reducing the fragmentation and duplication of research efforts and at fostering synergies through enhanced co-ordination of brain research efforts at the EU and global level.

The EBRA Consortium will work to align and better co-ordinate research strategies across European and global brain initiatives; facilitate the emergence of research projects in specific areas in active clusters and provide support for effective collaboration. This includes enabling the sharing of data and access to research infrastructures, increasing the visibility of the brain research portfolio as a whole, and promoting the uptake of EBRA results to key stakeholders. EBRA is based on a conceptual approach that focuses on two related but distinct levels:

  • At the strategic level, EBRA will create the Shared European Brain Research Agenda and establish a dialogue to lay down the foundations for a Global Brain Research Agenda
  • At the operational level, EBRA will create the condition for effective collaboration among projects in a range of thematic area and crosscutting issue

Download the EBRA brochure
EBRA Mapping Report


-The European Brain Research Area
EBRA workshop: everything you always wanted to know about data sharing
EBRA clusters have the potential to consolidate the research community

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Scientific Clusters
An EBRA scientific cluster is understood as a research community that can be directed towards basic research, clinical research and/or methodological approaches under a common topic and disease area within brain research. EBRA currently has approved the following clusters:

Coordinator: European Brain Council
Funding scheme: Horizon2020
Duration: 3 years
Start: 01.11.2018


European Quality In Preclinical Data

The pharmaceutical industry and basic research depend on robust data and scientific rigour as key drivers for decision making. They determine the pace of knowledge gain and ultimately the time needed to make new drug treatments available to patients. Recent publications report challenges with regard to the robustness, rigour and validity of research data, which often impact the transition from preclinical to clinical testing. As a result, the development of new medicines has slowed dramatically in the last 10 years. The EQIPD project seeks to provide simple and sustainable solutions that facilitate data quality without impacting innovation and freedom of research. The EQIPD consortium will:

  • Define those variables in study design and data analysis that influence outcome in pre-clinical neuroscience (focus on Alzheimer’s disease and psychosis) and (neuro-)safety studies conducted in industry
  • Establish whether these are the same variables which influence outcome in academia
  • Define the components which will make up the EQIPD quality management system
  • Define consensus quality management recommendations for non-regulated research and development
  • Validate the feasibility of the quality management system in prospective studies
  • Deliver an online educational platform providing certified education and training in the principles and application of quality and rigour

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EQIPD video series

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Coordinator: Prof. Malcolm Macleod, The University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Project leader: Dr. Thomas Steckler, Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, Belgium
Funding scheme: IMI 2; EFPIA
Duration: 3 years
Start: 01.10.2017



Effects of Nutrition and Lifestyle on Impulsive, Compulsive and Externalising Behaviours

Eat2BeNICE is an EU-funded medical consortium that studies the connections between gut microbiota, diet, and exercise to formulate nutrition and lifestyle recommendations for brain health.

Early research has shown evidence of a sizeable impact of nutrition on behaviours such as impulsivity and compulsivity. The consortium is therefore interested in studying how dietary components (including sugar, fat and protein content, vitamin and mineral supplements, food additives and probiotics) and lifestyle factors (including exercise) influence people’s overall health, brain function and behaviour. Specifically, they aim to identify nutritional drivers and lifestyle variations that could prevent harmful effects on impulsivity and compulsivity across the lifespan. This will enable them to better understand the paths leading to impulsivity and compulsivity in the brain via the gut (microbiota and their metabolic effects). They aim to promote societal changes that will counteract maladaptive impulsivity and compulsivity by bringing evidence-based information about health-related behaviours to families, clinicians, policymakers and the general public.

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The Gut Brain Connection and Your Mental Health

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Coordinator: Dr. Alejandro Arias Vasquez, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Funding scheme: Horizon2020
Duration: 5 years and 6 months
Start: 01.09.2017


Psychiatric Ratings using Intermediate Stratified Markers

The current nosology of neuropsychiatric disorders allows for a pragmatic approach to treatment choice, regulation and clinical research that is not based on the biological causes for these disorders. Unfortunately, neuropsychiatric drug development has stalled in the past decades at least in part through the weakness of the link between clinical classification and biological causation.

The PRISM project aims to develop a quantitative biological approach to the understanding of neuropsychiatric diseases that aims to revitalise the discovery and development of more effective treatments for patients. The project will focus on schizophrenia (SZ), Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and major depression (MD), disorders that share in part common symptomatologies, including social withdrawal and certain cognitive deficits, such as attention, working memory and sensory processing.

Innovative technologies will be used to deep phenotype a clinical cohort of SZ and AD patients. The aim will be to derive a set of quantifiable biological parameters from these data that allow to cluster and differentiate SZ, AD and MD patients who are, or are not, socially withdrawn. This set of parameters will:

  • Provide new classification and assessment tools for social withdrawal and cognitive deficits across three neuropsychiatric disorders.
  • Identify clinically relevant biological substrates for treatment development.
  • Provide predictive model systems for future neurobiological and pharmacological studies.

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PRISM video series

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Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Martien Kas, University of Groningen, The Netherlands
Industry Project Leader: Dr. Hugh Marston, Eli Lilly and Company Ltd
Funding scheme: IMI 2; EFPIA
Duration: 3 years
Start: 1.4.2016