22. July 2020

University of Bonn honored as a “European University” University of Bonn honored as a “European University”

Major gain for international cooperation as the European Commission forms a European University Alliance with the University of Bonn as member. A consortial alliance devoted broadly to the field of neuroscience entitled “The European University of Brain and Technology (NeurotechEU)” is being formed with initial three-year funding of five million euros.

Successful network
Successful network - This is a photo of the founding meeting of the now successful consortium in January this year. Shown are: Prof. Chas Bountra, Pro-VC for Innovation, University of Oxford; Daniël Wigboldus, President of the Executive Board Radboud University; Prof. Juan José Ruiz Martínez, Rector, Miguel Hernández University; Prof. Dr. László Csernoch, Vice Rector, University of Debrecén; Tansu Celikel, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University; Prof. Anca Buzoianu, Rector UMF Cluj Napoca; Prof. Dr. Mehmed Ozkan, Rector, Bogaziçi University; Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Michael Hoch, Rector, University of Bonn; Prof. Anders Gustafsson, Acting Vice President, Karolinska Institutet, © Foto: International Office/University of Bonn
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Under the leadership of Radboud University Nijmegen, the other partner universities in the eight-member alliance are Oxford University (GB), Karolinska Institutet (SE), Miguel Hernández University Elche (ESP), Bogazici University (TR), UMF Cluj-Napoca (ROM) and the University of Debrecen (HUN). In addition, more than 250 research institutes, primarily based in Europe, will be involved in NeurotechEU as associates, as well as several NGOs and private enterprises.

The European Universities Initiative is designed to enhance European competitiveness in the field of brain science by achieving optimizations in applied neuroscience and producing top specialists capable of developing solutions for the health problems facing society, both now and in future. In line with the mission of NeurotechEU to promote dialogue and interaction regarding study, research and administration in this field, students will be able to take courses at/from any member institution, thus acquiring international experience as well as knowledge from multiple universities.

Many diseases and disabilities stem from conditions of brain dysfunction, and in Europe alone, neurological disorders including dementia, vision loss and depression account for 25% of all health conditions. Such conditions are set to become an increasingly prevalent problem in the years ahead as the aging of society continues to advance, which is why NeurotechEU is designed as a transdisciplinary partnership for broad neuroscientific advancement and the development of relevant technologies.

The joint coordinators of NeurotechEU in Bonn are Dr. Kai Sicks (Director of the International Office) and Dr. Christian Henneberger, Professor at the Bonn Institute of Cellular Neurosciences, who emphasizes the importance of such a broader perspective: “Teaching such a wide-ranging field as neuroscience in the necessary depth, involving such a spectrum of technologies, is a tremendous challenge. And this is precisely what NeurotechEU is designed for, bundling the expert knowledge and experience of numerous European institutions.” Researchers from three faculties of the University of Bonn are involved in the project, as well as central administration staff members.

Rector Dr. Dr. h.c. Michael Hoch commented: “Our involvement in the European Universities Initiative is a cornerstone of our EU strategy, so we are extremely pleased at this development, which will enable us to step up our already strong European partnerships and make it possible to complete a thoroughly European degree program. And that is now more important than ever given today’s mood of Eurosceptcism.”

41 European University Alliances

The idea that led to the establishment of the now 41 European Universities in existence goes back to a speech given by French President Emmanuel Macron in 2017, in which he outlined a basic concept for making European higher education more competitive and future-oriented. The idea was for universities, research institutes and businesses to partner together in specific scientific fields to deliver top-flight teaching and research.
European Commission press release on the funding decision: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_1264

Prof. Dr. Christian Henneberger
Institute of Cellular Neurosciences
Phone: +49 (0)228 287 16304
Dr. Kai Sicks
International Office
Phone: +49 (0)228 73 5950

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