- INCF update announced by INCF secretatiat 2018.2.2
- New strategic focus on best practices and standards
- Updates to the INCF webpage
- Implications of the new focus for seed funding
- Neuroinformatics meeting series becomes the INCF Assembly
- Coordination of international brain projects
- Future models of participation and membership
INCF update announced by INCF secretatiat 2018.2.2
At their most recent meeting in December, the INCF Governing Board confirmed the recommendation worked out by the Node-led Council for Science Training and Infrastructure: that INCF focuses its mission on standards and best practices (SBP), and that our organization will function as a standards and best practices marketplace where Nodes have an active role in proposing and endorsing new SBPs that are developed by the wider community. This provides a roadmap to guide INCF’s activities going forward, and is being incorporated in all INCF activities from scientific meetings and training to the allocation of seed funding. Read more: Link
The INCF webpages are being reworked to represent this mission more clearly, and to be an information resource for you to refer to in your discussions with local community and funders. The major updates are finished, but final adjustments will continue during February. NB: Check your links! If you have linked to the INCF webpage, your link may have moved. Find your Node page from here: Link
Implications of the new focus for seed funding Community working groups (emerging from INCF Special Interest Groups or INCF’s wider community) may form to develop new SBPs, and be able to apply for seed funding from INCF to support this work. Proposals for endorsement of existing SBPs, or to form a working group to develop a new SBP can now be submitted on the INCF webpage. SBP & working group submission: Link Requirements for SBPs: Link
The INCF Congress on Neuroinformatics will merge with the INCF Nodes Workshop and the joint meeting will in the future be known on as the INCF Assembly, to reflect its status as a community meeting point. The meetings will continue to provide a forum for new and existing participants in the field of neuroinformatics to interact and highlight new and innovative tools and approaches. At the same time, the program will provide opportunities for infrastructure providers and SBP developers to connect as interest and working groups to receive and provide training on Open, FAIR, and Citable neuroinformatics. Neuroinformatics 2018 in Montréal will have lectures by Karel Svoboda, Sharon Crook, Yoshua Bengio, Doina Precup, Moritz Helmstaedter and others. Save the date, August 9-10 - abstract submission will open February 12!
NI2018 webpage: Link
This year INCF’s role in the coordination of international brain projects becomes more concrete as we host a meeting in Stockholm on April 25-26, as well as participating with collaborators including the Kavli Foundation in the International Brain Initiative. Meetings of the CTSI and GB will take place in Stockholm on April 26th and 27th, immediately after the brain projects meetings. Please save the date, more information will be forthcoming soon.
In December, the Governing Board approved the continuation of 10 Nodes as Associate Nodes. In response to requests from the community, during 2018 the Board will review current models of participation and membership. It is likely that at the next Associate Node review (Board meeting November 2018), the Board will require some form of financial assurance in order to approve Associate Node status for 2019. The Secretariat will work with the Associate Nodes during 2018 to help each find strategies and solutions for securing funding and remaining in the network. Please contact Community Engagement Officer Malin Sandström, who is the Secretariat main point of contact for Nodes, or Executive Director Linda Lanyon, if you have queries relating to Node status.
Neuroinformatics attempts to synthesize the diverse and complex information emerging in neuroscience by integrating tools generated in information science.
The three principal aims of neuroinformatics are :
- To optimize the accumulation, storage, and sharing of vast amounts of primary data and of large, structured neuroscience databases. As described above, the data are of an enormous diversity. The most immediate goal is to develop standards and mechanisms for sharing the vast amount of data among researchers.
- To develop tools for manipulating and managing the data. Although many relevant techniques have already been developed in other fields, the neuroscience community must collectively design and develop special-purpose analytical tools and algorithms that are optimal for their needs. It is likely that, in the near future, large databases will play a similar role in neuroscience as they already do in genomics, where the existence of very large bodies of data, and of tools to navigate and manipulate these data, leads to breakthroughs in understanding and important commercial applications linked to human health. It is anticipated that some of these tools will, in turn, be of great benefit to researchers in various branches of the information sciences as they deal with problems (such as machine learning, robotic task planning, etc.) that are related to brain function in humans and other organisms.
- To create computational models of brain structure and function that can be validated using the data. As in all of science, the understanding of the systems and phenomena under study involves the development of models that are not just descriptive but predictive and explanatory as well. In this case, the systems and phenomena are among the most difficult to model: from the molecular--/--cellular up to perception, learning, memory, reasoning, etc. The only way to validate models of these sophisticated phenomena is through confrontation with the data sets of neuroscience, using tools developed via neuroinformatics.
International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility (INCF) was established through the OECD Global Science Forum
The Global Science Forum (GSF) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) organizes working groups in several specialist areas of sciences. These working groups develop recommendations for international coordinated efforts in the OECD member countries and other collaborating nations. With the support of the ministers of research in the OECD area, several activities have been initiated in areas including particle physics and biodiversity information. GSF initiated a new international organization, INCF, to further the development of Neuroinformatics as a global effort.INCF develops collaborative neuroinformatics infrastructure and promotes the sharing of data and computing resources to the international research community.
Japan joins INCF as a goverening national node to cooperate with INCF secretariat and all national nodes.