EU support for research and innovation in the area of the brain

Brain disorders are one of the greatest health challenges. Around 165 million Europeans are living with a brain disorder. It is estimated that 1 in 3 people will suffer from a neurological and/or psychiatric disorder at some point in their lives.

The global cost to European healthcare budgets is estimated to be €800 billion per year, and this is expected to increase further as Europe’s population ages and becomes more susceptible to brain disorders.

Brain disorders include neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, and other disorders like epilepsy, depression, stroke, migraine, sleep disorders, traumatic brain injury, pain syndromes and addiction.

Many of these disorders are highly debilitating and have no cure. Others can be managed but still have wide-ranging effects on the quality of life of patients and their carers.

Tackling brain health challenges is beyond the scope and resources of any single country and must be addressed collectively. There is a need for considerable effort in terms of funding and better coordination of research among European countries and beyond, as well as between academia and industry.

The European Commission supports brain research through its research and innovation framework programmes. The investments made have been directed at better understanding brain function and dysfunction, developing methods for diagnosis and monitoring, prevention, treatment as well as care and support.

Funding opportunities

  • Horizon 2020

    Funding for health under the research and innovation framework programme, Horizon 2020. 

Collaboration and jobs

  • Find project partners

    Look for project partners and view profiles of all organisations that have received funding via the funding and tender opportunities portal.

  • Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND)

    EU Joint Programme which is the largest global research initiative aimed at tackling the challenge of neurodegenerative diseases. JPND involves 30 countries that strive to align their national priorities in brain research.

  • European Brain Research Area (EBRA)

    Initiative that aims to coordinate European brain research and to develop a global strategy.

  • Traumatic Brain Injury Research (InTBIR)

    The Commission cooperates with the US and Canada in InTBIR allowing researchers in Europe and North America to work together for better treatment of traumatic brain injury.

  • ERA-NET NEURON

    The Commission supports the ERA-NET NEURON partnership, which supports basic, clinical and translational research in diverse fields of disease-related neuroscience

  • Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI)

    Public-private partnership supported by the European Commission that also invests in research in neurodegenerative diseases.

  • Human Brain Project

    EU-funded project that aims to  put in place a cutting-edge research infrastructure that will allow our knowledge to advance in the fields of neuroscience, computing, and brain-related medicine.

  • Global Alliance on Chronic Diseases (GACD)

    Alliance supported by the EU with a focus on implementation research and a call in 2017 on mental disorders targeting low and middle income countries and vulnerable populations in high income countries.

  • Jobs (EURAXESS)

    Researcher jobs in related fields

Projects and results

  • EU-funded projects

    Projects in the field of brain research

  • Project success stories

    Stories of particularly successful EU-funded research projects.

  • Health programmes database

    Database that provides information on the nature of health projects and their results. Managed by the Commission's Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency.

Scientific publications, tools and databases

  • Horizon 2020 dashboard

    Interactive reporting platform, composed of a set of sheets that allows series of views to discover and filter Horizon 2020 data.

  • Scientific publications

    Scientific publications produced by the European Commission (JRC)

  • Health programmes database

    Database that provides information on the nature of health projects and their results. Managed by the Commission's Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency.

  • EU Open Data Portal

    Single point of access to open data produced by the EU institutions. All data free to use for commercial and non-commercial purposes.

  • OpenAIRE

    You can access all scientific publications from Horizon 2020 via OpenAIRE.

Contact

  • Research enquiry service

    You can contact the research enquiry service to find out more about research in Europe, the EU's research and innovation funding programmes as well as calls for proposals and project funding.  

  • National contact points

    The national contact points (NCP) network gives guidance and information on participating in Horizon 2020. NCPs are established in all EU countries and many non-EU countries.

  • European IP Helpdesk

    Service that offers an intellectual property rights helpline, training and online library.

  • Enterprise Europe Network

    The Enterprise Europe Network is the world’s largest support network for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with international ambitions. 

Related Commission departments