The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies Initiative is the latest in a long list of 'big science' initiatives (see: Human Genome Project), writes Virginia Hughes at Phenomenon. "The Big Question, of course, is whether the Go-Big strategy is more effective than the typical model of funding individual labs," she says.
While such consortia are high profile and more protected from finicky funding environment, whether they can produce new ideas or are better for exploring established ideas hasn't been studied, Hughes notes.
“Despite the recent collaboration proliferation, little research has been conducted to assess the effectiveness of these alliances or to identify successful characteristics that can be applied to future ones," wrote Magdalini Papadaki and Gigi Hirsch in Science Translational Medicine last week, as Hughes points out.
"I’m all for Big Science and its lofty aims. But with funding in such short supply, perhaps it’s time to take some pointers from Big Business," Hughes adds.