On 10th June 2010, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen (DZNE) and the Medical Research Council (MRC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that established a collaborative funding initiative focused on research into neurodegenerative disorders, and in particular Alzheimer’s Disease. These founding members have been joined by the Department of Economy, Science and Innovation (EWI Flanders, Belgium), the Health Research Board (Ireland), and the Ministry of Health (Italy) in October 2010.

For the first phase of this initiative, to run for three years, each agency is committing an equal share to provide a total of £3m for collaborative research that will serve to underpin future studies in the neurodegenerative diseases field. This will address the need to adopt common methodologies, share resources, and enhance data sharing, and will focus on three priority areas:

  1. animal models,
  2. bio(cognitive) markers, and
  3. clinical imaging.

The initiative will be implemented through a two step process, involving expert workshops to scope the requirements, followed by a call for proposals to establish collaborative teams between PIs within the respective national centers of excellence.

The overall aim of the initiative is to build collaborative research activity across borders, focusing on critical mass and excellence. The three founder members ‐ CIHR, DZNE and MRC ‐ remain open to other national funding organizations joining this initiative and would be happy to hear from interested parties and see how this might be facilitated.

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