Picking brains for the future – KI’s launch of NeurotechEU
With a recent webinar, entitled ‘Can we pick your brain?’, the NeurotechEU project team at KI invited staff and students to spark encourage involvement in this exciting project within the fields of neuroscience and technology and part of the European Universities Intative.
Shape the future
The alliance of eight European universities – NeureotchEU - had a joint launch in November and since then KI has been working intensely to develop an internal organization. Bob Harris, KI’s academic lead in NeurotechEU, welcomed last week about 60 members of staff, students and associated partners to a webinar to mark the local kick-off of NeurotechEU.
Bob stressed that by participating in NeurotechEU KI is part of shaping the future of European society. “It is a fantastic opportunity that will give KI access to infrastructure and skills that will strengthen our education and research, not only within neuroscience as the project covers many disciplines,” he added.
Funding is limited and Bob addressed this but as he described it “we need to speculate to accumulate” and by engaging in and committing to NeurotechEU we will gain advantages in future calls for EU funding.
As a university we also have the responsibility to educate our students to be ‘global players,’ as outlined in KI Strategy 2030, and engaging in this initiative will offer this possibility.
Workpackage 3 - the crystal ball
André Fisahn, KI’s academic coordinator in NeurotechEU and with responsibility for coordinating work package 3 (WP3) ‘Neurotech 2040’ presented the concept of this ‘think tank’ of the project.
WP3 is structured in eight subprojects and the deliverables are so-called ‘white papers’ focusing on future neurochallenges associated with these eight sub-areas. “WP3 is closely connected to the workpackages focusing on education and research, technology, innovation and society with the major difference being that WP3 will ‘look into the crystal ball’ (i.e. in 20 years’ time) and the others will focus on current challenges,” André explained .
All levels are welcome to join NeurotechEU
Participants had questions ranging from the staging of summer and winter schools to career development opportunities for academic staff, and the importance of academic freedom. Possibilities to get involved are great and contributions from all levels are important, not least in the visionary WP3 that KI is responsible for.
Student engagement is important and as Robert Harris put it: “This is an initiative for shaping the future of education and research, so we need the younger generations be involved”.