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:
- 121 partners from universities, research institutes and companies in 20 countries;
- more than 800 researchers across Europe and countries associated to Horizon 2020.
- 18 partnering projects that contribute to the strategic research roadmap;
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.
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.
- For latest news on the Flagship and coming events: Human Brain Project website and FENIX infrastructure sister-website
- CORDIS publication (May 2019): How the digital revolution is transforming EU-funded brain research
- European Commission Vice President Ansip's blog post (July 2018): Mapping the brain: computer science teams up with neuroscience in frontier EU research
- The Human Brain Project review (2016-2017)
- Leaflet with an overview of the Human Brain Project
- European Commission Vice President Ansip's blog post (Feb 2017): Future and emerging technologies: investing in Europe's future, improving people's lives
- (Oct 2016) FET Flagships: lessons learnt
- Blog post (Sept 2016) : The Human Brain Project and the Graphene Flagships are moving ahead to the next stage of their 10-Year Voyage
- Blog post (Apr 2016): News from the FET Flagships – The Voyage Continues.
- The International Brain Initiative (IBI) website
- The European Brain Research Area (EBRA) website