Section: Partnerships and Cooperations

European Initiatives

FP7 & H2020 Projects

  • Type: FP7

  • Defi: Future and Emerging Technologies

  • Instrument: Collaborative Project with Coordination and Support Action

  • Objectif: FET Flagships

  • Duration: October 2013 - March 2016

  • Coordinator: Henry Markram (EPFL, Switzerland)

  • Partners: 86 partners, https://www.humanbrainproject.eu/fr/discover/the-community/partners

  • Inria contact: Olivier Faugeras

  • Abstract:

    Understanding the human brain is one of the greatest challenges facing 21st century science. If we can rise to the challenge, we can gain profound insights into what makes us human, develop new treatments for brain disease and build revolutionary new computing technologies. Today, for the first time, modern ICT has brought these goals within sight.

    Convergence of ICT and Biology The convergence between biology and ICT has reached a point at which it can turn the goal of understanding the human brain into a reality. This realization motivates the Human Brain Project – an EU Flagship initiative in which over 80 partners will work together to realize a new "ICT-accelerated" vision for brain research and its applications.

    One of the major obstacles to understanding the human brain is the fragmentation of brain research and the data it produces. Our most urgent need is thus a concerted international effort that uses emerging emerging ICT technologies to integrate this data in a unified picture of the brain as a single multi-level system.

    Research Areas The HBP will make fundamental contributions to neuroscience, to medicine and to future computing technology.

    In neuroscience, the project will use neuroinformatics and brain simulation to collect and integrate experimental data, identifying and filling gaps in our knowledge, and prioritizing future experiments.

    In medicine, the HBP will use medical informatics to identify biological signatures of brain disease, allowing diagnosis at an early stage, before the disease has done irreversible damage, and enabling personalized treatment, adapted to the needs of individual patients. Better diagnosis, combined with disease and drug simulation, will accelerate the discovery of new treatments, drastically lowering the cost of drug discovery.

    In computing, new techniques of interactive supercomputing, driven by the needs of brain simulation, will impact a vast range of industries. Devices and systems, modeled after the brain, will overcome fundamental limits on the energy-efficiency, reliability and programmability of current technologies, clearing the road for systems with brain-like intelligence.

    The Future of Brain Research

    Applying ICT to brain research and its applications promises huge economic and social benefits. But to realize these benefits, the technology needs to be made accessible to scientists – in the form of research platforms they can use for basic and clinical research, drug discovery and technology development. As a foundation for this effort, the HBP will build an integrated system of ICT-based research platforms, building and operating the platforms will require a clear vision, strong, flexible leadership, long-term investment in research and engineering, and a strategy that leverages the diversity and strength of European research. It will also require continuous dialogue with civil society, creating consensus and ensuring the project has a strong grounding in ethical standards.

    The Human Brain Project will last ten years and will consist of a ramp-up phase (2013-2016) followed by an operational phase (2016-2023). Bertrand Thirion is responsible for the 2.1.1 task, Anatomo-functional mapping of the human brain.