Collaboration with China on brain and intelligence science

University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence and President of Fudan Un

University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence and President of Fudan University Prof Xu Ningsheng signing the MOU agreement.

In a strategic partnership that will marry research into cognitive neuroscience and brain disorders with the ethical implications of artificial intelligence, Fudan University and the University of Sydney signed an agreement this week to further research in these fields.

During this year’s Shanghai Forum, University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence and President of Fudan University Professor Xu Ningsheng signed the memorandum of understanding (MOU) to form the Brain and Intelligence Science Alliance (BISA).

"We need to work across disciplines and across oceans if our research is going to improve lives. The challenges of brain disorders, computational neuroscience and the ethics of artificial intelligence can only be addressed if we get the sharpest minds working on solutions. That’s why we are working with Fudan University on this important research," Dr Michael Spence said.

China has the world’s highest population of patients with brain disorders. More than 20 percent of the world’s patients with dementia live in China. Stroke is the leading cause of death in China, with the country accounting for roughly one third of worldwide stroke mortality.

"When it comes to brain disorders the challenges China faces over the next few decades as its population ages further are immense. Therefore research on the prevention, early diagnosis and early intervention for brain disorders is particularly urgent," said Professor Sharon Naismith , University of Sydney’s lead academic on the partnership on Brain and Intelligence Science Alliance.

Fudan University hosts a global interdisciplinary research platform in brain intelligence science and technology which leverages the University’s strengths in applied mathematics, computer science, neurobiology, clinical medicine amongst others.

The establishment of BISA will facilitate deeper cooperation between the two universities in the fields of data science, neuroscience and artificial intelligence. It is part of a major partnership agreement signed by the two universities where they have also agreed to make funding available on a competitive basis for joint research and education projects, to be judged by academic panels from Sydney and Fudan.

"We have lots of strong engagement across the board with Fudan and we are keen to encourage collaboration across the basic sciences, medicine, and humanities and social sciences too," Professor Kathy Belov , Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement) at the University of Sydney.

The Federal government has awarded $2.36m to Sydney Neuroimaging Analysis Centre to partner with the Brain and Mind Centre to improve diagnostic neuroimaging of brain ailments such as multiple sclerosis and dementia.