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Brain Research

The brain is the most mysterious and advanced machine humans know. The European Commission funds research to better understand and improve our knowledge of the brain; in this page you will find information about these projects.

The brain is much more than an organ. It is a system whose secrets can help us not only cure diseases, but also build better computing systems, able to do things that today we may not even imagine.

The Human Brain Project, a very ambitious 1 Billion EUR project launched by the European Commission in 2013, aims to reconstruct the human brain through supercomputer-based models.

The projects grouped under Future & Emerging Technologies aim to better understand the working process of our brain: for example, HIVE focused on non-invasive brain stimulation technologies and led to the creation of innovative medical tools.

In the field of Robotics, artificial cognitive systems inspired by brain research will enable robots and autonomous systems to perform new types of tasks in the real world.

The projects that deal with Brain-Neural Computer Interaction (BNCI) records brain activity and works to understand the connections between the brain and neural connections. The aim is to develop interactions between the brain and electronic devices to overcome neural damage. The TOBI project is at the forefront in the study of brain-computer interactions that will have a real impact in improving the quality of life of disabled people.

Brain research is key in our ageing society, to better manage senile brain degeneration illnesses. BrainAble aims at improving people's quality of life by providing inner functional independence for daily life activities and autonomy at home with accessible and interoperable smarthome services; and enabling their participation in social activities with adapted social networks services.

EU funded projects




Thomas Skordas's picture
The two Future and Emerging Technologies Flagships of Horizon 2020, The Human Brain Project and Graphene, have recently received additional funding from the European Commission for the next 2 years of their 10-year journey which started in 2013.
Thierry Van Der Pyl's picture
April is a busy month for the Future and Emerging Technologies Flagships with many important milestones: Partnering kick-off events, seminars, HPB platform release, a new web portal and the start of Graphene Phase 2!
Thierry Van Der Pyl's picture
In the coming days, the Commission will launch the interim evaluation of the two FET Flagships, the Human Brain Project (HBP) and Graphene. The evaluation will be held by a panel of high-level experts. Their goal will be to analyse the capability of the Flagships in delivering their long-term objectives. The recommendations of the evaluation panel will help fine-tuning the current implementation of the Flagships and their governance model and pave the way for future FET Flagships.
Roberto Viola's picture
Roberto VIOLA
New technologies have a huge positive impact on human lives. Already today, mechanical limbs connected to the nervous system and exoskeletons – innovative devices that impaired people wear in order to support their mobility and dexterity – can enhance physical performance and help by-pass disability. BNCIs (brain-neural computer interfaces) help people with severe disabilities regain control over everyday life; participate in society, and work. This is why we support new technologies. And we will keep on doing it.
Thierry Van Der Pyl's picture
The Human Brain Project Flagship call for systems and cognitive neuroscience community to join the project's next phase, under Horizon 2020
Robert Madelin's picture
Marco Marsella's picture
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