THE FORMATION – Interdisciplinary research for new living environments
In Summer 2004, Kristina Edlinger-Ploder, member of the Styrian Government, invited for a first round-table on brain research in Styria. Members of that meeting were, among others, the psychologist and neuro-scientist Christa Neuper (University of Graz), the director of the Federal Pedagogical Academy, Herbert Harb, and the media and communication consultant Bernd Chibici. Ms. Edlinger-Ploder aimed at bundling the neuro-scientific research potential in Styria, improving the local framework for scientists, and raising the public awareness for the importance of this topic. A group of researchers and experts from external disciplines were included into forming an interdisciplinarily networked platform. This working group and later also the Initiative were supported by Birgit Reisenberger from Ms. Edlinger-Ploder’s office with respect to organisational and public relations issues. Im February 2005, Christa Neuper and Herbert Harb founded the Styrian Brain Research Initiative (INGE St.) as an official association. All disciplines and institutions able to scientifically support research on brain functionality were invited to contribute to INGE St. as platform for knowledge exchange and information distribution. This invitation was accepted enthusiastically from various directions.
Meanwhile, the number of members has increased, and the Administrative Board is supported by a Scientifc Advisory Board with well-recognised representatives of various disciplines. It became quickly clear that brain research in Styria was successful in multiple directions.
Internationally, many projects on brain research were realised. For example, Germany announced a “decade of brain research” which was effectively reflected in the media. Also the projects abroad, based on networking strategies, were successful, especially because professional information management prevails as we can now also see in Styria.
One task of INGE St. was now to create a solid research environment for Styrian scientists and, at the same time, to provide for bringing current international research results into Styria as fast as possible.