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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues
Research
Jan 10, 2017

Mapping the Human Brain: Comparing the US and EU Grand Challenges

Abstract

The US Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies Grand Challenge and the EU Human Brain Project Future and Emerging Technologies Flagship, though seemingly similar in many dimensions, have distinct features that have been shaped by politics and institutional systems. This article documents the history of the two projects and compares their organization and funding mechanisms. While there is a call for Grand Challenges to motivate science, organizational factors and the mechanisms for allocating funding will have a great influence on the ultimate project outcomes. These two divergent examples suggest alternative strategies to consider when organizing future Grand Challenges, and provide context that should be considered when evaluating the outcomes of large public investments in science.

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