Altogether, how do we continue from here to work together for brain health?
Turning towards the future, the final session within the programme focused on Shaping the Future Brain Research and Brain Health Landscape in Europe and Globally, kicking off with a Keynote from Prof Wolfgang Oertel, President, European Brain Council, who reiterated the importance of continued support and investment in brain research, as brain disorders continue to impose a large economic and societal burden in Europe and beyond. He spoke on the planned EU “Brain Health Partnership” as a way to merge all existing large-scale initiatives dedicated to brain research and address it in a holistic and inclusive manner, where it is obviously key that a smooth transition and implementation of this new mechanism is ensured. With the development of a shared agenda within the EBRA project (European Brain Research Area), the first steps are being taken but need to be continued in collaboration with the whole community.
This continued into the final panel discussion of the conference surrounding the future of brain research in Europe and globally, bringing together key stakeholders working at the European and global levels: Barbara Kerstiens, Head of Unit – ‘Combatting Diseases’, People Directorate of the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, European Commission; Elisabetta Vaudano, Principal scientific manager, Innovative Health Initiative; and Magali Haas, CEO and President of Cohen Veterans Bioscience and Brain Health Nexus. Two additional panelists who were unable to attend on the day — Katrin Seeher, Technical Officer, World Health Organisation (WHO) and Francesca Colombo, Head of Health Division, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) — provided their input via pre-recorded messages.