The Network of Centres of Excellence in Neurodegeneration (CoEN) is an international initiative involving research funders in Canada, France, Flanders, Germany, Italy, Republic of Ireland, Slovak Republic, Spain and the UK.
The overall aim of the initiative is to build collaborative research activity in neurodegeneration research across borders, focusing on adding value to the expertise and critical mass already established within national centres of excellence (CoE), in order to accelerate progress in understanding the mechanisms of disease as well as the identification of new therapeutic approaches.
This Pathfinder call sets out to encourage the community to think “outside the box”, to stimulate new and unconventional approaches and creative solutions to the challenges of neurodegeneration research by undertaking high-risk/high-payoff research.
To maximise the potential for innovation, the scientific remit for Pathfinder awards is broad in scope from basic to clinical to health services and policies as well as to social aspects of neurodegenerative diseases. Projects may include studies to illuminate our understanding of neurodegenerative mechanisms or create technological advances to support novel diagnostic or therapeutic approaches. Projects using existing dataset to test innovative hypothesis are also welcome. Connectivity with research in related areas, such as inflammation and sensory neuroscience, or vascular and mental health is encouraged, as is outreach to experts in the fields of physical and computational science or industrial partners within the consortium or foreseen follow up collaborations.
Within the remit of this call, neurodegeneration applies to: Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease (PD) and PD-related disorders, multiple sclerosis, motor neurone diseases, prion disease, spinocerebellar ataxia and spinal muscular atrophy.
The type of neurodegenerative disease research to be supported include: cutting edge basic, translational and/or clinical studies; novel reductionist systems; innovative disease models; systems biology/medicine; proof of concept for new therapeutic approaches; and supportive technological development.