Neuroscientists across Europe have been busy finding or consolidating partnerships, and sharpening their e-pencils, as they prepare for the next tranche of research and technology development (RTD) funding to be coordinated by the European Union. Entitled the Sixth Framework Programme, this € 16 billion programme is the most ambitious that the European Commission has ever mounted. It covers a broad range of RTD activities, from the very small (nanotechnology and nanosciences) to the very grand (sustainable development, global change and ecosystems). Brain research finds its place at several points in the proposals of the Commission, notably under the heading of 'Life Sciences, Genomics and Biotechnology for Health'. This includes sub-sections entitled 'Studying the brain and combating diseases of the nervous system' and 'Studying development and ageing processes'. The focus is likely to be on exploiting molecular genetics with respect to neuroscience. Our aim in this short article is to outline some of the novel features of this ambitious program and to touch on certain issues that have been raised about it.
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