Neuropolis: new super-centre for brain research

A new super-centre for brain research called Neuropolis is to be set-up in Geneva and Lausanne.

The project will be undertaken jointly by the ETH Lausanne and the universities and university hospitals of Lausanne and Geneva, and is set to open either late in 2015 or early in 2016, newspaper Tages Anzeiger reported.

The aim of the project is to bring together some 1,000 scientists from across the field of neuroscience, as well as to provide a state-of-the-art research facility to develop treatments for cancer and other neurodegenerative diseases.

One of the projects is to continue the development of a super-computer simulation of the workings of the brain, newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung reported. The hope is that one day, scientists will be able to rely on the model rather than to carry out experiments on live subjects

The Vaud cantonal finance director has set aside 35 million francs ($36,410,000) for capital investment into the project, which is estimated to cost approximately 110 million francs ($114,434,000). The Swiss government is also contributing, as are private investors and the Rolex watch company.

About 100 million francs are to be concentrated on a new building in Lausanne which, pending EU approval, could form the flagship centre for the European Union’s Human Brain Project.

A competition for architectural ideas for the new building will be launched in autumn, with construction expected to start in 2014.

This project, together with the new environmental education centre to be built in Geneva as well as the CERN physics centre already located there, could make Geneva a centre of excellence for science in the coming years.

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