Tasked with the forging of global partnerships in brain research during the now completed EBC-coordinated European Brain Research Area (EBRA) project and currently leading global outreach within the Coordination and Support Action (CSA) BrainHealth, EBC has served as a convener over the last years for experts in the brain community to share best practices, exchange ongoing work and align priorities to forge a joint path forward to understand and address the brain rather than in silos across continents.

Brain disorders – encompassing neurological diseases and disorders and mental illnesses – are widespread, disabling, and difficult to treat. It is estimated that up to one billion people worldwide live with a neurological condition and 970 million people around the world were living with a mental health disorder as of 2019, with anxiety and depressive disorders the most common. These conditions represent a high individual, social and economic burden and contribute to the global disease burden and disability. Furthermore, we need to build past the burden and work towards recognizing the potentials of brain health. At its best, it allows people to thrive: to live in health and in happiness, to power our labor markets and economies, and to build for future generations.

To work towards explicit and tangible next steps in solidifying global efforts in brain health, EBC has held a series of meetings/events over the last few years to bring together key stakeholders from across the wider brain community – scientific, clinical, economic, industry – and other relevant actors to exchange best practices, report on the state of brain health and research in their respective countries, present on their work and co-create towards further action to place brain health at the top of global policy agendas, all with the aim to showcase the importance and urgency of prioritising brain health across all policies at the global level.

This action is becoming increasingly timely, particularly as we enter 2024, where 64 countries worldwide will host major elections and we are witnessing times of major political, economic, and overall societal shifts and instability. Furthermore, at the global level, the United Nations enters a period of preparation for the future, with the Summit of the Future kicking off during UNGA79 to plan for the post-2030 agenda and a High-Level Conference on NCDs planned in 2025. Coordinating brain health and overall brain wealth advances across the Global North and Global South is more important than ever before.

Below you will find information on all upcoming and previous meetings held within this initiative:

2024 – Upcoming Events:

Networking Event at the FENS Forum 2024: Enhancing Global Partnerships in Brain Research

This event will bring the global brain research community together on the occasion of the FENS Forum to network and build synergies in an informal setting, featuring a panel discussion with key stakeholders representing Europe, North and South America and Africa, working across continents to unite the brain research community globally.

Brain Health at the Science Summit of the 79th United Nations General Assembly:
A Brain Strategy to Rethink the World

EBC will hold a two day event on 19-20 September 2024 within this year’s Science Summit at the 79th United Nations General Assembly in New York City, which will showcase the importance and urgency of prioritising brain health across all policies at the global level and build on the Call to Action launched during last year’s event.

In line with the Science Summit’s core focus of examining policy, regulatory and financial environments needed to implement and sustain the science mechanisms required to support global scientific collaborations, the two-day event will highlight existing partnerships and demonstrate the potentials of extended global collaboration and investments in neuroscience to better address the global burden of brain disorders to power our understanding of the brain, stay ahead in the quest to find treatment and cures and work to prevent any further increase in the prevalence of these conditions. Furthermore, at the socio-economic level, policies and investments to boost brain power can increase productivity, stimulate greater creativity and economic dynamism, afford social cohesion, and create a more resilient, adaptable, and sustainability-engaged populace.


Global Partnerships in Brain Research – Brain Awareness Week 2023

On 16 March 2023, the European Brain Council (EBC) held its annual Brain Awareness Week event, this time with a full-day programme focused around Global Partnerships in Brain Research, showcasing ongoing work to enable dialogue and foster further collaboration within the community. The event was a perfect opportunity for participants to learn from their peers located all over the world through panel discussions, presentations and networking opportunities throughout the day.

IBRO World Congress 2023: Fostering Global Dialogue and Partnerships in Brain Research

EBC hosted a Special Event on 11 September 2023 at the IBRO World Congress in Granada, Spain, focused on Fostering Global Dialogue and Partnerships in Brain Research.

In line with its ongoing Global Partnerships in Brain Research work, the session focused on funding, which is often identified as a much-needed area for action in research and faces major discrepancies at the global level. A panel of global experts representing private funding, public funding and research from high-income countries/regions (HIC) and low-middle income countries/regions (LMIC) spoke on existing funding opportunities, addressed the current challenges, and explored how funding streams that exist nationally, regionally and internationally can be maximised for researchers.

Brain Health at the Science Summit of the 79th United Nations General Assembly:
A Brain Strategy to Rethink the World

On the occasion of the 78th United Nations General Assembly, the European Brain Council in collaboration with the Baker Institute for Public Policy, Brain Capital Alliance and supporting partners hosted a Brain Health & Research Day on 18 September 2023 at the Harvard Club of New York City as part of the Science Summit, bringing together over 150 key stakeholder organisations all committed to the same goal: fostering and enhancing global collaboration in the brain area, with the ultimate goal of improving the lives of people living with brain conditions, neurological and mental alike.


Global Partnerships in Brain Research at the Science Summit @ UNGA77

On 26 September 2022, in the framework of the Science Summit at the 77th United Nations General Assembly, the European Brain Council and Cohen Veterans Bioscience, in partnership with the Brain Capital Alliance and OECD Neuroscience-inspired Policy Initiative convened a meeting on Global Partnerships in Brain Research in New York, USA.

Bringing leaders in neuroscience around the table, the meeting highlighted existing global partnerships and aimed to explore collaboration and alignment in the brain research space for the future.


FENS Forum 2020 – Special Interest Event: Global Research Collaboration

The bi-annual Federation of European Neuroscience Society (FENS) Forum, the largest international neuroscience meeting in Europe, was held on 11-15 July 2020. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the FENS Forum was held entirely virtually, making it accessible from all over the world and giving access to all sessions, lectures, events and the exhibition hall up to three months afterwards.

In this context, EBC organized a series of activities within the Forum, particularly on the topic of Global Brain Research Collaboration on 13 July, highlighting the importance of creating partnerships within research, with a focus on brain research. The event brought together leading healthcare stakeholders and policymakers from the European Union, the United States, China and international organisations, showing the urgency of international cooperation in the world of brain research.

EBC Sessions at Sciencedigital@UNGA75 within the 75th United Nations General Assembly

The sciencedigital@UNGA75 series of virtual side events organised within the context of the 75th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA75) was held from 24 September to 2 October 2020. The central theme of these activities was to advance awareness of the role and contribution of science and digital technologies to the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In this context, EBC hosted two side sessions, on the topic of “The Potentials of Increased Collaboration in Science: examples from the brain community” exploring how global research collaboration can support brain research in a meaningful way, to the benefit of patients across the globe. The second session that EBC coorganised with the European Federation of the Neurological Associations (EFNA) and the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) was entitled “Do the SDGs address the global burden of disease? A focus on regional health and research policies”. This session highlighted the importance of an integrated and all-encompassing approach to brain health.