Understanding how the brain works – cracking its code – is one of the greatest scientific challenges of our time.

Australian researchers are playing a significant role in this international effort, and the Australian Brain Alliance (ABA; established in 2016 under the auspices of the Australian Academy of Science) has been instrumental in establishing the International Brain Initiative that has brought together all of the major international brain science programs.

To capitalise on this momentum and ensure Australian brain science is well positioned to deliver real benefits to Australians, this project proposes to use a consultative process to determine the requirements for a coordinated and internationally-compatible national brain science data framework. The consultation process will involve stakeholders across academic research disciplines, as well as from government, the private sector, and relevant community groups. It will include a focus on FAIR data principles as well as ethical, privacy and confidentiality issues.

Start date 3 June 2019
Expected completion date 31 December 2019
Investment by ARDC $49,999
Lead node
1 Map current brain science data sharing capabilities and activities
Identify current brain science data sharing capabilities and activities (nationally and internationally). Determine hardware and software capabilities, as well as priorities opportunities and barriers.
2 Convene a workshop of experts
Convene a national workshop involving Australian and international experts to identify the value proposition and key requirements for an Australian Brain Data Commons, to facilitate high-level discussion in the community on data sharing issues (e.g. privacy of clinical data) and to identify key success factors.
3 Presentation
Project outcomes will be presented at an ARDC Data and Services Summit in October 2019.

Core features

Requirements for a brain science data framework
Develop requirements for a coordinated and internationally-compatible national brain science data framework

Who is this project for?

  • Clinicians
  • Researchers
  • Hospitals
  • State & Federal Health Departments

What does this project enable?

This project will enable the development of a three-year plan for the establishment and operation of an Australian Brain Data Commons.

Handy resources

Australian Academy of Science - Australian Brain AllianceVisit