Leading European neuroscientists call on Commission to end Horizon Europe uncertainty

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The directors of four of Europe’s leading neuroscience research institutes – which together form the CURE-ND alliance (Catalysing a United Response in Europe to Neurodegeneration) – have today called upon the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, to confirm the UK’s full association to Horizon Europe without delay.

In an open letter, Prof Bart De Strooper, (UK Dementia Research Institute), Prof Pierluigi Nicotera (DZNE, Germany), Prof Alexis Brice (Paris Brain Institute, France) and Prof Mathieu Vandenbulcke (Mission Lucidity, Belgium) urged von der Leyen to use her position as President of the European Commission to end the ongoing uncertainty over the UK’s association to Horizon, for the benefit of neuroscientists in both the UK and EU member states. They stressed that cross-border collaboration is essential in our joint race to find cures for dementia and the neurodegenerative diseases that cause it, writing:

Close collaboration between neuroscientists in the UK and EU states is critical if we are to make the breakthroughs so desperately needed to beat dementia and neurodegeneration. Our collective progress in this fight is reliant upon open, inclusive collaboration. CURE-ND alliance

The UK has been an active participant in Horizon Europe, the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation, which has a budget of €95.5 billion. However, the UK’s ongoing association to the programme has been in doubt due to Brexit and especially a political impasse related to the Northern Ireland Protocol. The UK Government has pledged that successful applicants for Horizon Europe grant awards will be guaranteed funding, but the science community has campaigned for full association to Horizon to safeguard future collaboration.

CURE-ND is a new alliance between the German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), the Paris Brain Institute (ICM), Mission Lucidity (ML) and the UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI). Its mission is to accelerate the pace of scientific discoveries and nurture breakthroughs in the field of neurodegeneration. Besides bringing together excellent science to accelerate research and improve clinical care, CURE-ND aims to raise global awareness of the urgent need to address the challenge of dementia and neurodegeneration.

Read the full letter from the CURE-ND alliance to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen here.

Article published: 16 July 2022

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