The Human Brain Project aims to empower brain research toward understanding the human brain and its diseases to advance brain medicine and computing technology.

Computer generated image showing a human head and the brain

The Human Brain Project brings together neuroscientists, computer and robotics experts to build a unique Information and Communications Technology (ICT)-based infrastructure for brain research. This project is one of the first two FET Flagships launched in 2013 by the EU and is one of Europe's biggest ever research initiatives.

The EU-funded core project coordinates:

The Human Brain Project is collaborating with ongoing initiatives in the same domain in Europe and beyond (USA, Japan and Canada). It is part of the European Brain Research Area (EBRA) coordination and is co-founder of the International Brain Initiative (IBI).

Improving our the understanding of the brain

The HBP ICT facilities help researchers to:

  • accelerate the understanding of the brain through modelling and simulation in computers and robots;
  • enable further development of targeted new treatments and diagnosis for patients;
  • trigger new approaches for future computing, including neuromorphic (brain inspired) systems for AI (artificial intelligence) and robotics.

This requires scientists to simultaneously:

  • organise and share collections of brain data from different species (from mice to humans);
  • advance the development of interactive supercomputers and massive data access and storage (FENIX federated HPC infrastructure, also foreseen to serve other communities with similar needs).

Responsible Research and Innovation is also a very important dimension of the project. In addition to ethics management, the Flagship carries out foresight and philosophy work and citizens’ engagement.

Some of the key indicators of the importance of the project are listed below (figures by mid-2019):

  • More than 1000 scientific publications, large number of quality neuroscience datasets curated and becoming anchored in brain atlases, and a growing catalogue of integrative brain models;
  • A steady increase of users of the continuously enriched ICT platforms (including externally to the project).

The Human Brain Project's findings and approaches are regularly showcased at events such as the Society for Neuroscience's annual meeting, and shared with the scientific community, especially with the young researchers, through dedicated workshops organised by the project's education programme.

A collection of the project's stand-out achievements are outlined in the Human Brain Project leaflet and on the dedicated highlights and achievements web page.

How to join the Human Brain Project

Contributing to the Human Brain Project's Flagship objectives and strategic roadmap is possible through calls for expression of interest —which are open when new expertise and ideas are required in the core project — or through the project partnering mechanism. This mechanism is designed for the research projects funded at national, transnational or European level, which can make valuable contributions to the Human Brain Project roadmap.

Useful links