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PRESENCE / Paris-Saclay MRI & Neuroscience at extreme field

NeuroSpin's 11.7 Tesla clinical MRI platform has received support from the French government's "Future Investment" program as part of the "Structuring Equipment for Research" (ESR/ EquipEx+) call for expressions of interest. 

Published on 24 March 2023


Cyril Poupon (

The financial support (9.4M€ over 8 years) of the French government to the EquipEx+ PRESENCE will allow finalizing the installation of this unique platform, organizing its opening to the scientific community by structuring a service offer in extreme field magnetic resonance neuroimaging and welcoming scientific projects allowing to better understand the structure, the metabolism and the functioning of the healthy or pathological human brain.

As a structuring research infrastructure dedicated to neuroscience, NeuroSpin has been working with IRFU institute for more than a decade on the construction of a very large magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) instrument with an extreme field of 11.7 Tesla that should meet the expectations of neuroscientists. Installed since 2017 in the arch designed to host it, the newly designed superconducting magnet was successfully raised at its nominal magnetic field in 2019, enabling the final phase of construction of the infrastructure for the world's most powerful clinical MRI to begin. The PRESENCE project aims at achieving this final stage which relies on the integration of new electronic equipment in order to make this very large instrument benefit from the latest technological innovations offered by key medical imaging manufacturers.

The ambition of the PRESENCE project is to provide the various communities involved in neuroscience research with a very large instrument for their methodological, clinical and fundamental research. The organisation of the infrastructure will be close to that of a very large infrastructure (IR*) following a twofold strategy:

  • Enabling top-level physicists to carry out their methodological developments and thus meet the many technological challenges of extreme field MRI.
  • Offering users of the infrastructure innovative extreme field neuroimaging methods allowing them to map brain structures, metabolims and functions at unprecedented resolutions.

The PRESENCE equipment of excellence will be opened to national and international teams involved in clinical and fundamental neuroscience. It will make it possible to explore the physiopathological mechanisms at play in brain pathologies (neurological, neurodegenerative, psychiatric and neurodevelopmental) as well as fundamental research in cognitive neurosciences to map the human connectome and brain functions at resolutions never achieved before in vivo. Aiming to become a funded research instrument (IR*), the scientific committee of the NeuroSpin research infrastructure will organize on an annual basis thematic calls for projects to attract the best national and international neuroscientific and neuroimaging teams.