The European Dana Alliance for the Brain (EDAB) was founded in 1997 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. It was modelled on the US-based Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, which, like EDAB, is supported by the Dana Foundation.

On 31 January 1997, 70 leading European neuroscientists signed a Declaration of achievable research goals for the next decade. The research outlined in these goals was to study the normal, healthy brain as well as the causes, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of brain diseases. To achieve EDAB's mission of raising the public profile of brain research by bringing accomplishments in scientific laboratories to the general public and policy makers, the scientists also made a commitment to increase awareness of brain disorders and the importance of neuroscience.

Since then, many other members have been elected to EDAB, which now has 260 members representing 31 countries.