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Human central nervous system

An international initiative for neuroscience


ERA-NET NEURON is a trans-national project for 'European Research Projects on External Insults to the Nervous System'.

The purpose:
Maintenance, improvement and restoration of human health are of fundamental importance and worldwide priority. Biomedical and health research provide an important basis for the improvement of healthy living. Disorders of the brain are major causes of morbidity, mortality and impaired quality of life. Around one billion people suffer from disorders of the central nervous system. In Europe, disorders of the brain account for approximately one-third of the burden of all diseases. Therefore, neuroscience research and its translation into diagnostic and therapeutic outcomes are fundamental.

To address this, the 'Network of European Funding for Neuroscience Research' (NEURON) has been established under the ERA-NET scheme of the European Commission. The aim of the ERA-NET NEURON is to co-ordinate research efforts and funding programmes of its partner countries in the field of disease related neuroscience.

Under the umbrella of NEURON, a joint transnational call was launched, together with the European Commission using the ERA-NET Cofund mechanism, in the field of ‘External Insults to the Nervous System’.

Funding organisations

Austrian Science Fund, Austria
Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique, Belgium
Research Foundation Flanders, Belgium
Fonds de Recherche du Québec-Santé, Canada
Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction, Canada
Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation, Canada
French National Research Agency, France
Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany
Ministry of Health, Italy
State Education Development Agency, Latvia
Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, The Netherlands
The Research Council of Norway, Norway
National Centre for Research and Development, Poland
Foundation for Science and Technology, Portugal
Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation Funding, Romania
Slovak Academy of Sciences, Slovakia
National Institute of Health Carlos III, Spain
Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, Spain
Swiss National Science Foundation, Switzerland
The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey, Turkey
Medical Research Council, United Kingdom

The Aim:
To facilitate multinational, collaborative research projects that will address important questions relating to external insults to the central nervous system. These insults often cause permanent disability and constitute a heavy burden for patients and their families. The proposals range from understanding basic mechanisms of disease through proof-of-concept clinical studies in humans to neurorehabilitation. The focus of the call is on primary physical insults to the central nervous system, i.e. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Spinal Cord Injury (SCI). The call covers acute traumatic events over the entire lifespan.

The ERA-NET NEURON funding organisations particularly wish to promote multi-disciplinary work and to encourage translational research proposals that combine basic and clinical approaches, for the benefit of the affected patients.

The spinal cord injury projects 

CERMOD - Professor David Jackson, Newcastle University as lead
Non-invasive electrical stimulation of the cervical spinal cord to facilitate arm and hand functional recovery in incomplete traumatic cervical spinal cord injured patients.

SCI-NET - Professor Liz Bradbury King’s College London as lead
Identification of novel bioactive mediators of tissue scarring, inflammation and extracellular matrix re-modelling after spinal cord injury.

Neuroniche - Dr Catherina Becker, University of Edinburgh as lead
Spinal cord repair from endogenous stem cells in the spinal niche.

AxonRepair (Professor James Fawcett Cambridge as Lead, Dr Lawrence Moon, Kings College London as partner
Spinal cord repair: releasing the neuron-intrinsic brake on axon regeneration.

hMRIofSCI - Dr Martina Callaghan, Institute of Neurology, Queen Square as partner
Understanding the mechanisms of atrophy associated with spinal cord injury: the application of MRI-based in vivo histology and ex vivo histology.