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Sensorimotor researchers from the Perception Action and Control theme (PAC) have obtained a prestigious European research grant of € 3.3M for their IDP project HealthPAC (acronym for: "Perception and Action in Health and Disease").

Coordinator John van Opstal explains: "This is a wonderful opportunity to put systems neuroscience, and PAC in particular, back on the research agenda. With the strong growth of the aging population, sensorimotor loss and neurodegenerative disorders will affect an increasing number of Europeans, which will have huge impact on society. HealthPAC is an integrated, international and interdisciplinary network of renowned perception-action research labs, clinical departments, and industry. Our mission is to understand the neural mechanisms of sensorimotor control and its disorders, and to utilise this knowledge to enhance the quality of life."

The IDP grant, part of the ITN Marie-Curie funding scheme, is unique in that it concentrates all funded research (14 PhD students) within a single Centre of Excellence. Only 1.1% (n=13) of the 1175 submitted ITN projects eventually received such a grant. The HealthPAC project will collaborate with three research institutes in Zürich, London and The Netherlands and 7 companies by organising short international internships for the PhD students and yearly international summer schools. The PhD students will also receive explicit on-site training in topics related to the private sector such as product development and entrepreneurship. The 4-year project will start in January 2014.