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Mediation Process Working Groups Submit Recommendations

16 January 2015 – Following the launch of the mediation process for the Human Brain Project (HBP) in September 2014, two working groups comprising internal and external experts from the HBP, science, and industry have compiled their recommendations regarding the scientific focus and the structure of the project. The mediation process is headed by Prof. Wolfgang Marquardt.

The "science" working group is made up of 16 experts from France, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, the UK, Israel, Japan, and the USA. It has investigated issues such as collaboration between the HBP and the neuroscience community and the extent to which cognitive and systems neuroscience should be taken into account within the project as well as how these topics could be integrated into the project structure.

The second working group on "governance" has 13 members from Belgium, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and the USA. It has recently drafted recommendations for restructuring the project, its governance, and its project management. These recommendations concern management structures, responsibilities, and functions as well as the question of how HBP can closely cooperate with relevant neuroscience projects funded by the Member States.

Both working groups met twice during the month of December for day-long deliberations in order to refine their recommendations. This month, Prof. Marquardt will discuss the recommendations with the HBP Board of Directors, Executive Committee, and the External and Internal Advisory Boards. The recommendations will then be finalized by the working group experts in a final meeting in February, after which they will be presented to the Board of Directors for approval, and published.

The mediation process was launched last September by the board of directors of HBP in response to discussions in the neuroscience community, within the project and beyond.