In a nutshell: The proposed Australian Brain Initiative plans to catalyse Australian brain science and spur practical innovation

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This paper lays out the foundations of an Australian proposal to launch a national brain project. Called the Australian Brain Initiative (ABI), its “overarching goal …is to ‘crack the brain’s code’” through a coordinated program of interdisciplinary brain research.

ABI would feed a pipeline of developments in education, health, and computing, as well as devices to record and control brain activity. To encourage the translation of discoveries into practical outcomes, the ABI would set up “multidisciplinary science incubators” to connect researchers with industry.

Leading the initiative is the Australian Brain Alliance, an Australian Academy of Science–led steering committee with 28 members, including the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for Integrative Brain Function.

Developing the proposal will involve further defining the ABI’s goals, engaging industry partners, and establishing a research strategy that will deliver practical outcomes for the Australian community.

Next steps:
The Australian Brain Alliance is planning a conference and series of workshops in 2017, to gather input from scientists, government and the public to help design the initiative.

Australian Brain Alliance Steering Committee (2016). Australian Brain Alliance. Neuron, 92(3), 597-600

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