Precision Neurotechnologies

Backed by £69m, this programme will unlock new methods to understand, identify, and treat neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders

Why this programme

Neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders have an enormous social and economic impact – in 2019, brain disorders accounted for 500m years of healthy life lost.

Despite advances in brain-computer interfacing technologies, there have been very few serious attempts at engaging with the central nervous system at the circuit level, where disorders ranging from epilepsy to depression occur.

What we’re shooting for

We see a critical opportunity to develop next-generation tools that interface with the human brain at the circuit level.

Operating across distributed brain regions and with cell type specificity, these new platform technologies could yield breakthroughs in disease understanding and diagnosis, alleviate bottlenecks in existing therapies, and move us closer to a world in which personalised brain health care is available to everyone.

Our goal: to unite the frontiers of engineered biology and hardware to treat many of the complex and devastating brain disorders affecting individuals and communities worldwide.

This programme is split into three technical areas (TAs), each with its own distinct objectives.

Apply for funding

We're now looking for the people who can make the goals of this programme a reality.

This solicitation seeks R&D Creators, which are individuals and teams that ARIA will fund to: 

  • Develop a suite of next-generation precision neurotechnologies to enable circuit-level access to the central nervous system, with cell type specificity and across distributed macro- and micro-brain circuits.
  • Demonstrate that precision neurotechnologies, when combined with advances in computation simulations, will unlock entirely new therapeutic capabilities that are not possible with existing approaches.
  • Understand the factors that will be critical for the adoption of future neurotechnologies, with the goal of developing concrete and actionable recommendations to the wider neurotechnology community.

Concept paper deadline: 29 July 2024 (12:00 BST)

We’re currently looking for concept papers for this call – please read the full call for proposals [PDF] before submitting.

Concept papers are designed to make the solicitation process as efficient as possible for applicants. By soliciting short concept papers (no more than three pages), ARIA reviewers are able to gauge the feasibility and relevance of the proposed project and give an initial indication of whether we think a full proposal would be competitive.

You will be able to submit a full proposal from 9 August to 9 September.

Meet Jacques

Precision Neurotechnologies has been designed and overseen by Programme Director Jacques Carolan with feedback from the R&D community, as part of the opportunity space Scalable Neural Interfaces. 

Jacques is an applied physicist and neuroscientist. He spent a decade building quantum computing technologies before pivoting into systems neuroscience where he developed optical technologies to understand living brains. Prior to ARIA, Jacques was a BBSRC Discovery Fellow at the University College London.

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