The 5th Academy Meeting of National Brain Councils was held from 9th-10th May in Dubrovnik, Croatia. This year’s meeting, hosted by the Croatian Brain Council, brought together delegates from fifteen European countries for two days of progress reports, discussion and brainstorming on joint initiatives.
Prof. Dinko Mitrečić, President of the Croatian Brain Council, opened the meeting and welcomed the participants to Dubrovnik. EBC Executive Director Frédéric Destrebecq subsequently introduced the agenda of the meeting and delivered an update on EBC’s main projects and advocacy initiatives.
The opening of the meeting was followed by presentations from all Brain Councils on their activities and events of 2018 as well as their forthcoming initiatives scheduled for 2019-2020. What is more, various stakeholders from Austria, Greece and Malta attended the meeting and presented updates on their recent efforts to launch Brain Councils in these countries.
The presentation of the progress reports was followed by a session on “Driving Health & Research in the EU during the Croatian Presidency”. Prof. Zeljka Krsnik (Croatian Institute for Brain Research), Prof. Maja Relja (University of Zagreb) and Prof. Ninoslav Mimica (Alzheimer Croatia) shared their perspectives on priorities that could be part of the agenda of the forthcoming Croatian Presidency of the Council of the EU (Jan – Jun 2020) with the NBCs.
The first day closed with a dinner and short tour through the historic city centre of Dubrovnik.
The second part of the meeting on 10th May kicked-off with a presentation by EBC President Prof. Monica Di Luca on EBC’s Horizon Europe advocacy. Prof. Di Luca highlighted in particular the active role of NBCs in promoting EBC’s Brain Mission, supporting the statement “Counting down to Zero” and reaching out to national decision-makers.
Prof. Philippe Amouyel, representing the EU Joint Programme – Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND), joined as a guest speaker on 10th May and introduced the aims, strategy and initiatives of JPND to the NBCs. This session was followed by an update on EBC’s Value of Treatment project, which highlighted in particular the various national roundtable discussions that will be organized within the context of the MS Policy Narrative.
The Academy Meeting closed with the award ceremony of the “NBC Awards”, launched by EBC in order to recognize the work of NBCs aimed at promoting brain health and raising awareness of the need to support brain research. The awards were awarded to the following NBCs:
- Belgian Brain Council (Prof. Roland Pochet) – Value as a transversal platform (shared first place)
- Portuguese Brain Council (António Freire) – Value as a transversal platform (shared first place)
- Serbian Brain Council (Prof. Pavle Andjus) – Local development
- Spanish Brain Council (Prof. Jose Luis Trejo) – Inclusiveness and impact
The 5th Academy Meeting of NBCs was organized prior to the International Conference on Neurological Disorders and Neurorestoration that was held from 10th-13th May 2019.