Partnerships are a central component of the Canada Brain Research Fund (CBRF) and Brain Canada is committed to working with funding partners with interests across the entire range of neurological diseases and injuries, mental illnesses and addictions. We are proud to count more than 90 research institutions, provincial agencies and voluntary health organization as strategic, intellectual and financial partners—resulting in a more coordinated, collaborative brain community. Together we will have an impact on the lives of all Canadians by enabling our researchers and clinicians to make paradigm shifts that will benefit millions of people around the world.
Partnerships with Canadian health charities are ensuring that our efforts include the voices of patients, families, and caregivers, and that we are advancing our understanding of specific diseases — while also contributing more broadly to understanding common underlying mechanisms shared by multiple conditions.
Here are some stories on some of our current partnerships:
ALS Society of Canada
We partnered with the ALS Society of Canada to match the $10 million in funds raised through the Ice Bucket Challenge directed to research. The $20 million in combined funding will be invested to stimulate research relevant to both ALS and other neurodegenerative disorders which share common underlying mechanisms—such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, MS and Huntington’s disease. This will serve to broaden the scope: bringing new thinking and new approaches to understanding ALS, while potentially benefitting other conditions.
Canadian Cancer Society
We partnered with the Canadian Cancer Society to bring the cancer and neuroscience communities together to advance research on brain cancer. Our partnership and the leverage provided through the Canada Brain Research Fund has resulted in increased funding for brain cancer research and more grants awarded in this area. Thus far, we have awarded four grants totaling $5 million.
CQDM and OBI
We partnered with CQDM in Quebec and the Ontario Brain Institute, and together committed $12.5 million, and combined intellectual resources and our respective networks, to fund pre-competitive research to accelerate the development of innovative technologies, platforms or tools that can facilitate the discovery or the development of new drugs for disorders of the brain and nervous system. To better align academic research with industry priorities, the review process for this program included both an assessment of the scientific merit by a panel of independent scientific experts of international stature, AND an appraisal of the potential impact on the drug discovery process by a committee of experts with pharmaceutical and commercialization experience. All selected teams will be mentored by senior scientists from global pharma, who will provide guidance and industry-specific expertise, offer valuable resources and sponsor the developed technologies in their respective organizations.