The Strategic International Brain Science Research Promotion Program (Brain/MINDS Beyond) was launched in June 2018 as an initiative to contribute to the flight of the brain research globally by enhancing collaboration with the domestic projects of other countries across the world.
Brain science research has the tremendous potential to contribute to reveal the pathogenesis along with prevention, diagnosis and treatment of developmental disorders and aging of brain as well as psychiatric and neurological diseases. This is also one of the fields able to beget utmost progress in the quality of life of the citizens by developing technologies for the restoration of lost bodily functions. On top of that, the society is influenced widely by the application of computational principle of brain to the algorithm of artificial intelligence (AI).
There are large-scale domestic projects of brain science research in overseas. The BRAIN Initiative was announced in the USA in April 2013, and the Human Brain Project was adopted in EU in January of the same year as a flagship project of brain research. Domestic projects for brain research are also being actively implemented and planned in other countries of the world. It is crucial to integrate the approaches from different countries to accomplish the global goals of elucidating the functional principles of brain along with the early detection and intervention of psychiatric and neurologic diseases as well as development of novel brain-type algorithms. From the necessity of international collaboration, the G7 Science Academies’ Statement and the G7 Ise-Shima Leaders’ Declaration Annex, were accepted in February and May of 2016, respectively. The Declaration of Intent to establish the International Brain Initiative was announced on 8 December 2017 at a meeting of representatives from some of the world’s major brain research projects.
From an urge to make strategic international collaboration in order to contribute to the advancement of the brain science research across the world along with keeping up with the global race of the research strength, the Working Group for the Internationally Collaborative Brain Science Research Promotion was established under the Brain Science Committee of the Council for Science and Technology. Then, the discussion took place on the condition of “The brain research for society” planted here along with the global progression and the future direction and challenges of brain science research in Japan. Subsequently, the working group on a project for elucidating primate neural circuit functions adopted the mid-term report on proposals for promoting the project in August 2017. The Brain/MINDS Beyond, based on those contents, will strengthen collaboration with other brain science projects (e.g. Strategic Research Program for Brain Sciences (SRPBS), Brain Mapping by Integrated Neurotechnologies for Disease Studies (Brain/MINDS) promoted by the Japan Agency of Medical Research and Development (AMED) as well as domestic projects across the world. Therefore, we aim at revealing human intelligence, sensitivity and sociality at brain circuit level for the early detection and intervention of psychiatric and neurological disorders by fostering: comprehensive analysis of brain images from healthy to diseased states, developing AI-based brain science technologies, and comparative study of neural circuitry of human and non-human primates.