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Brain Capital Alliance launches to accelerate agenda for change

The Brain Capital Alliance, a public-private-people partnership, was launched via a series of events in Europe.

Brain Capital is a powerful platform for change. It is a holistic approach to understanding and promoting the role of the brain, brain skills and brain health. ”
— Marion Leboyer MD PhD
PARIS, FRANCE, July 17, 2022 / -- Brain Capital is a framework incorporating brain health and brain skills in the knowledge economy. This framework is based on the assumption that our brains are our greatest asset and provides an approach to define brain issues, quantify them, and track them. Brain Capital can be driven into policies and investments.

Brain Capital has been advancing quickly given the many brain challenges humanity faces - from rising rates of depression and anxiety, to the effects of long COVID, to concerns over fake news susceptibility and educational losses during COVID. “We were delighted to complete our developmental phase with the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)’s New Approaches to Economic Challenges group. This was completed in collaboration with the PRODEO Institute and seed funded by the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute. During this developmental phase, we launched the Neuroscience-inspired Policy Initiative (NIPI) where we examined the application of ideas originating in neuroscience to economic and social policy, including productivity, gender equality, mental health, education and others,” noted Dr Harris Eyre, co-lead of NIPI and lead of the Brain Capital Alliance. “The Brain Capital Alliance now enters a controlled launch phase and integrates additional public and private organizations to advance this movement”.

The Brain Capital Alliance was launched in a series of successful events in Europe. The first event on Brain Capital and mental health was at the Annual Conference of JNPN – Journées Neurosciences Psychiatrie Neurologie on 30 June 2022 in Paris. Clement Beaune, the French Minister for European Affairs was a keynote speaker. The second event on Brain Capital and patient-centered brain health care was held at the Center for European Policy Studies on 4 July 2022 in Brussels with speakers from the World Health Organization, the European Commission, EBRAINS and the European Federation for Neurological Associations. The third event on Brain Capital and creativity was held at the Euro-Mediterranean Economist Association in collaboration with Colorado University at Denver on 6 July 2022 in Barcelona. The final event on youth Brain Capital was held at the Federation for European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) Forum on 12 July 2022 in Paris. This event was held in collaboration with the European Brain Council and involved representatives from Kings College London and the UNESCO.

Prof Marion Leboyer, CEO of FondaMental Fondation and winner of the 2021 INSERM Grand Prize noted “Brain Capital is a powerful platform for change. It is a holistic approach to understanding and promoting the role of the brain, brain skills and brain health. It aims to translate scientific insights into policy. It makes the case for substantial stepping up of investment in brain science, brain medicine and brain-inspired technology”. Leboyer and FondaMental are collaborating with Newfund Capital to develop a world-first Brain Capital-themed investment fund, as well as establishing a new Chair of Excellence in Brain Capital as part of the recently funded PEPR ProPsy, a project to develop precision psychiatry in France.

“Recognizing the importance of new public policy leadership for this complex world, we have established a Brain Capital Summer Course with the Latin American Brain Health Institute (BrianLat), supported by the Inter-American Development Bank. We need improved leadership in this world. The Brain Capital framework is fresh and compelling, and constitutes an innovative, public-private compatible approach to tackle the large inequalities around brain health in the region”, noted Prof Agustin Ibanez, Director of BrainLat, Associate Professor at Trinity College Dublin, and Senior Fellow with the Global Brain Health Institute.

Prof Rym Ayadi, President of the Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association, is Co-Chair of the Brain Capital Dashboard Working Group for the Brain Capital Alliance. Ayadi noted “The Dashboard is a complex piece of work which quantifies and tracks brain health and brain skill metrics globally. It sets the foundation for us to empirically test policy and investment innovations. It is a key driver for the Brain Capital Alliance”.

Hon Jay Weatherill AO is CEO of Thrive by Five, former Premier of South Australia and on the Brain Capital Alliance Steering Committee. He noted, “Brain Capital is a powerful new economic and policy instrument. I look forward to supporting this group to develop new economic arguments to scale up investment in early childhood brain development - we could unlock previously unforeseen funding sources. Additionally, this work could help to address major global issues such as early childhood brain development, female empowerment, the negative effects of plastics and social media on the brain, and possibly the brain science roots of democratic instability which plagues many countries”.

Admiral Bill McRaven, retired four-star Admiral and former head of US Special Operations Command who led the Bin Laden raid, noted “Since I co-launched this work in 2021 with the OECD, I am pleased to see this group moving from theory to action. There is a brighter future for humanity as this group looks to meld public policy, leadership and investment innovations in the pursuit of better brain health”. McRaven is a National Spokesperson for The BrainHealth Project of the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas.

In the coming year, the Alliance will be advancing projects in three core areas – measurement, investing and policy. Integrating Brain Capital into policy agendas including productivity, climate change, political volatility, gender equality and neurotechnology. The Alliance will raise awareness among public and private leaders for neuroscience-related issues across the lifecycle, from early childhood development to youth resilience and cognitive decline in older adults. The Brain Capital Dashboard will be refined and leveraged in policy discussions. Specific research labs will be developed to experiment at different scales applied to real world problems such as micro-plastic pollution, the youth mental health crisis, caregiver distress and disinformation. These platforms will improve the statistical bases and analytical foundation to guide decisions and assess progress. Novel financial instruments will also be explored to unlock additional funding for building Brain Capital such as bonds, venture capital and exchange traded funds. The Alliance is seeking interested supporters, collaborators and partners to accelerate this work.

Harris Eyre
Brain Capital Alliance
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Center for European Policy Studies launch event of the Brain Capital Alliance: Towards Person-Centred Approach to Brain Health