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10 years Bernstein Centers - a reason to celebrate

Berlin, Freiburg, Göttingen and Munich—at these locations, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF) laid the foundation for the Bernstein Network Computational Neuroscience.

The first four Bernstein Centers now celebrated their 10th anniversary. Another two—in Heidelberg-Mannheim and Tübingen —followed in 2010. Today, the Bernstein Network consists of more than 200 research groups at about 30 locations and industry partners. Furthermore, the Bernstein Association for Computational Neuroscience arose from the network.

The BCCN Berlin celebrated its 10th anniversary with a photographic retrospect, a lecture and a subsequent party. Guests and friends of the BCCN Berlin were cordially invited to participate. “The BCCN Berlin has developed into a unique and inspiring institute for research and training in Computational Neuroscience. This is a tremendous asset that we want to retain and extend,” says Michael Brecht, coordinator of the BCCN Berlin.

BCCN Berlin Party.
Copyright: Margret Franke, BCCN Berlin

After its foundation in 2004, the Bernstein Center Freiburg (BCF) became a Research Center of the University of Freiburg in 2010. Thus, a new platform was created to consolidate Computational Neuroscience and Neurotechnology in Freiburg. “Together, experimenters and theorists investigate here the dynamic and plastic networks of the brain. In the future, they will also put a specific focus on brain diseases and dysfunctions”, says Stefan Rotter, director of the BCF.

BCF building.
Copyright: BCF

In Göttingen, Lower Saxony’s Minister for Science and Culture, Dr. Gabriele Heinen-Kljajic ́, visited the BCCN on the occassion of its 10th anniversary. At the ceremony, the Minister as well as Prof. Dr. Ulf Diederichsen (Vice-President of Göttingen University) and Prof. Dr. Stephan Herminghaus (Managing Director, MPI for Dynamics and Self-Organization) welcomed the guests. Furthermore, the BCCN presented its results, developments as well as neuroprothetic applications and invited the participants to a reception. “Research of the BCCN Göttingen paves the way for applications in the medical field, for example in the development of prostheses with adaptive interfaces and
normal, flexible type of robotics,” explains Fred Wolf, coordinator of the BCCN Göttingen.

F.l.t.r.: Meike Schweisfurth, University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG); Dr. Gabriele Heinen-Kljajic ́, Lower Saxony’s Minister for Science and Culture; Xiaofeng Xiong, UMG; Theo Geisel, MPI for Dynamics and Self-Organization, University of Göttingen; Proband with neuroprosthesis.
Copyright: MPI for Dynamics and Self-Organization

Opening statements and overviews by the five Munich Bernstein Professors over their current research and future plans—followed by a reception with snacks and drinks. The relaxed atmosphere of the celebration of the BCCN Munich’s 10th anniversary triggered many informal discussions. “Most importantly, I would like to thank the BMBF for substantial start-up funding, as well as Profs. Huber and Herrmann, the presidents of LMU and TUM, for their strong support to permanently establish the Center. This is an excellent basis for the next decade of Computational Neuroscience in Munich”, says Andreas Herz, coordinator of the BCCN Munich.

F. l. t. r.: Werner Hemmert, Technical University of Munich (TUM); Christian Leibold, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU); Harald Luksch, TUM; Bernhard Wolfrum, TUM; Ingeborg Hochmair-Desoyer, MED-EL; Wolfgang A. Herrmann, TUM; Bernd Huber, LMU; Andrea Huber Brösamle, Bernstein Koordinationsstelle; Bernhard Seeber, TUM; Anton Sirota, LMU; Andreas Herz, LMU.
Copyright: Bernstein Coordination Site