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Neurological and mental health disorders are a leading cause of mortality and disability putting a great burden on people living with these disorders as well as on healthcare systems and economies. Considering the costs of brain diseases for the European society, the EU and its Member States have made investments in brain research leading to an increase of initiatives. Those initiatives have generated considerable amounts of knowledge but the translation into new health interventions is hindered by the complexity of the challenge and by excessive fragmentation of the efforts.

Effective and efficient collaboration and cooperation among the various initiatives are often identified as a key success factor to achieve brain research full impact. There is a constant need for strengthening the information flow and accelerating the exchange of experience on the on-going and future projects as well as maintaining continuous dialogue between all the stakeholder groups and initiatives to allow that objectives are aligned, and needs are met.

The European Partnership on Brain Health will fully respond to these needs by bringing together the various stakeholders and major brain research initiatives. With the aim to further coordinate and structure the area of brain health research in Europe, the partners in the Coordination and Support Action (CSA) Brain Health developed an ambitious Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda, outlining the strategic priorities, actions, and initiatives, while encouraging maximum engagement of member states and relevant players in the brain field – including psychiatrists and people living with brain disorders.

During this scientific theatre, an introduction to the European Brain Council and the CSA Brain Health will be given and we will focus deeper on the development process and content of the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda.


Kristien Aarts

Kristien has been part of the European Brain Council since 2019 where she currently leads the research team. In the Chief Research & Innovation Officer strategic role, Kristien plays a pivotal role in ensuring that the organization’s work is grounded in scientific evidence, research, and innovation.

Her responsibilities include monitoring research funding, project applications, overseeing EU-funded projects, and developing a rare brain disease ecosystem. She also manages the Brain Innovation Days program and is actively creating an evidence-based brain health toolbox for the team.

Kristien has a PhD in Psychology from Ghent University (Belgium). With diverse experience at Lyon Neuroscience Research Center, the European Health Management Association and the University of Utrecht, Kristien brings expertise in brain research, neuropsychology, emotion, cognition, multisensory processing, mindfulness, clinical research management, and EU-project management.

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