Minister of Research promises continued funding

Tora Aasland unveiling the foundation stone for the Norwegian Brain Centre(10.01.2011) NTNU has pledged NOK 42 million to further research on understanding how the brain works. The Minister of Research and Higher Education, Tora Aasland, today laid the foundation stone for the Norwegian Brain Centre (NorBC).

The new centre for brain research may become the world's largest laboratory for the measurement of electrical activity in large groups of brain cells called neural networks. The centre will continue NTNU's long-term commitment to brain research, with the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience (KI) / Centre for the Biology of Memory (CBM) in the forefront.

As well as conducting research, the Norwegian Brain Centre will host PhD candidates and researchers from Norway and abroad who need training in the latest technology focused on the brain. The centre will both accommodate and develop the best technology for studying networks in the brain. One of the newest methods, which is under rapid development, involves using virus-based techniques to switch activity in specific neurons on and off, as well as new technology for measuring microscopic signals in the cells.

"With well over 4000 m², our facilites will be almost ten times large than they are now, and the standard will be upgraded. Now we are creating a centre that will cover a wide range of methodological approaches to understanding how the networks of the brain function: everything from theoretical studies in physics to microscopic studies of connections between neurons and imaging studies of the brain in action. The brain is such a complex puzzle that many approaches are needed to crack the code."

The Ministry will safeguard future development
The Minister, Tora Aasland, praised NTNU for giving priority to its brain research environment.

"I am delighted to inform you that the Ministry has decided to ensure stable and favourable conditions for this outstanding research community in the years ahead. We want to be involved in making sure that this centre is developed further," she added.