July 30, 2020

EBRAINS Denmark to become the first regional EBRAINS subcommunity

By Anna Kierkegaard, ak@tekno.dk

An important first step towards creating a strong international EBRAINS Community has now been taken. Leading institutions across Denmark declare support for the establishment of EBRAINS Denmark.

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© Danish Board of Technology / © Copenhagen University Hospital

EBRAINS is the new, state-of-the-art digital Research Infrastructure being developed by the Human Brain Project, that will help advance neuroscience, medicine and computing. The EBRAINS Community is the ‘infrastructure of people’ that will complement EBRAINS’ technical infrastructure and will function as an incubator for new ideas. It will help to establish collaborations within and across research, practice, and industry through participant driven activities such as unconferences without predetermined speakers, project idea markets and hackathons, as well as traditional scientific conferences, seminars, and webinars.

Lars Klüver, director of the Danish Board of Technology and leader of the community building task in HBP, hosted three online meetings in June 2020 with his team on the EBRAINS infrastructure and the options for Danish engagement. Two focused on the possibilities of Danish involvement, and one on the EBRAINS infrastructure presented by HBP infrastructure director Jan Bjaalie and EBRAINS AISBL CEO Pawel Swieboda.

Strong, broad national support

The meetings created strong interest among Danish universities and regions, which are responsible for the health care system in Denmark, and they resulted in an agreement for establishing a Danish partnership for engagement with EBRAINS. Letters of Intent from key faculties/institutes of the five Danish Universities, and from three of the five Danish Regions, have proven the commitment to an EBRAINS Denmark. EBRAINS Denmark will be formally established in autumn 2020 and will ensure that Denmark takes co-responsibility for and benefits from the infrastructure in the best possible way.

From spring 2021, EBRAINS Denmark will develop and begin executing a work programme that will engage Danish scientists, clinicians, and industry in areas such as clinical practice, pharma, robot technology, AI and ITC. The partnership constitutes a new collaboration across regions and universities in relation to brain science.

Universities across Denmark declare their support for EBRAINS Denmark: Copenhagen University, Technical University of Denmark, University of Southern Denmark, Aalborg University and Aarhus University. As do the Region of Southern Denmark, Region Zealand and Region of the Capital (represented by the Danish National Hospital). The partnership is during its establishment coordinated by Gitte Moos Knudsen, Professor, Chief Neurologist, DMSc the national hospital Rigshospitalet.

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European collaboration

The Danish partnership agreement is not only the stepping stone for an EBRAINS Denmark, it also supports European collaboration. Letters of intent have been sent to the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science as an appendix to a request for Danish political support for EBRAINS’ application to obtain ESFRI Project status. ESFRI Project status will grant EBRAINS ten years to reach implementation as a research infrastructure. The goal is to get Denmark onboard with these efforts. In this endeavour the partnership is essential because Danish government participation is conditioned by support from the most important institutions in the field.

For the community building team in HBP, the establishment of the first regional EBRAINS subcommunity is significant. We are prepared to help with the establishment of each EBRAINS subcommunity, whether they will have a regional or thematic focus.

Get involved

If you are interested in becoming a part the new EBRAINS Community or to establish a subcommunity to the EBRAINS Community, please contact the community building team via email.


About EBRAINS

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As a lasting contribution to the global science community the HBP has developed EBRAINS, an open European research infrastructure that allows scientists and technology experts to seamlessly collaborate, accelerating advancements in the fields of neuroscience, computing and brain-related medicine. See https://ebrains.eu/