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Resource Allocation to Brain Research in Europe

Final Report Summary - RABRE (Resource Allocation to Brain Research in Europe)

The project objectives were: to analyse the resources used for brain research (neuroscience) in Europe and to compare overall research efforts; to compare the size and allocation of funding for neuroscience in Europe with resource used in the United States (US); to assess the potential benefits in relation to costs of further efforts for brain research in Europe through several tests:
a) to relate the total current funding for brain research in Europe with the total economic burden of brain diseases in Europe;
b) to assess the value of brain research to health improvement and life expectancy in Europe;
c) to asses the cost-effectiveness of further funding for brain research in Europe;
to disseminate the above results to clinical and basic scientists, patients, politicians, other decision-makers and to people of Europe.

The RABRE project investigated the funding resources for brain research in Europe and assessed the potential benefits and costs related to neuroscience of further efforts for brain research in Europe in future. The RABRE project analysed both private and public funding of brain research in Europe. Funding sources categorised according to function or disease target. A cross-country comparison of results for Europe has been made, and these has been compared with results for the US and Japan, which are considered leaders in brain research.

RABRE provided, for the first time ever, an analysis of brain research funding in Europe and a plan pointing to highly cost-effective areas for increased research efforts, by comparing the results with the cost of brain disorders resulting from an already existing study as well as extend the analysis to two other assessment methods.

This project was the first pan-European study comparing results on the cost of brain disorders with funding of research in the area; used different analytical assessment methods on the research frontier of economics and health economics in a European setting for the first time ever; analysed not only resource spending but also how resources provides insights into how research funding could be allocated in a more cost-efficient way; explored the potential of voluntary organisations to breach the gap between science and society and between science and decision makers.

For the SME participating (SHE), the project provided an opportunity to further extend the companies experience and competence not only in the field of health economics but also in the field of economics of research funding. The RABRE project brought together economists and doctors, epidemiologists and basic scientists, patients and industry in order to formulate possible future research policies on the basis of state of the art analysed.

The project contributed to breaking down barriers between basic scientists, neurologists, psychiatrists, neurosurgeons, patients and health economists. The present project contributed to increase understanding of the importance of new treatments for brain diseases and, hopefully, via stimulating the interest in brain research and via increased and focused (and efficient) funding for brain research helped to increase European competitiveness in this field.