Section: Partnerships and Cooperations

European Initiatives

FP7 & H2020 Projects


  • Program: ERC Starting Grant

  • Project title: BrainConquest - Boosting Brain-Computer Communication with High Quality User Training

  • Duration: 2017-2022

  • Coordinator: Fabien Lotte

  • Abstract: Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs) are communication systems that enable users to send commands to computers through brain signals only, by measuring and processing these signals. Making computer control possible without any physical activity, BCIs have promised to revolutionize many application areas, notably assistive technologies, e.g., for wheelchair control, and man-machine interaction. Despite this promising potential, BCIs are still barely used outside laboratories, due to their current poor reliability. For instance, BCIs only using two imagined hand movements as mental commands decode, on average, less than 80% of these commands correctly, while 10 to 30% of users cannot control a BCI at all. A BCI should be considered a co-adaptive communication system: its users learn to encode commands in their brain signals (with mental imagery) that the machine learns to decode using signal processing. Most research efforts so far have been dedicated to decoding the commands. However, BCI control is a skill that users have to learn too. Unfortunately how BCI users learn to encode the commands is essential but is barely studied, i.e., fundamental knowledge about how users learn BCI control is lacking. Moreover standard training approaches are only based on heuristics, without satisfying human learning principles. Thus, poor BCI reliability is probably largely due to highly suboptimal user training. In order to obtain a truly reliable BCI we need to completely redefine user training approaches. To do so, I propose to study and statistically model how users learn to encode BCI commands. Then, based on human learning principles and this model, I propose to create a new generation of BCIs which ensure that users learn how to successfully encode commands with high signal-to-noise ratio in their brain signals, hence making BCIs dramatically more reliable. Such a reliable BCI could positively change man-machine interaction as BCIs have promised but failed to do so far.

Collaborations in European Programs, Except FP7 & H2020


  • Program: Erasmus + Key Action 2: Cooperation for Innovation and Exchange of Good Practices

  • Project title: VISTE: Empowering spatial thinking of students with visual impairment

  • Duration: 01/09/2016 - 31/08/2019

  • Coordinator: Professor Marinos Kavouras (Vice-Rector, National Technical University of Athens and VISTE Project Leader)

  • Partners: National Technical University of Athens, Inria, Intrasoft International S.A., Casa Corpului Didactic Cluj, Eidiko Dimotiko Sxolio Tiflon Kallitheas, Liceul Special pentru Deficienti de Vedere Cluj-Napoca. External collaborators : IRSA, RealityTech

  • Abstract: Six partners from four European countries are working together to develop strategies, educational components and an ICT toolkit towards effective spatial thinking of students with VI, facilitating inclusion. The competence of spatial thinking, usage and interpretation of maps or other spatial tools is not self-evident for all; it is a dexterity which must be cultivated. For students experiencing disabilities, such as visual impairment (VI), spatial thinking proves to be an imperative skill for perceiving the world far beyond their immediate experience. Learning functional ways to utilize spatial experiences as an entirety and realize the relationships between objects in space and themselves is vital. Maps and other spatial representations are a splendid source of information for portraying space and environment. By using tactile maps and innovative ICT technologies, children may deploy their spatial notion more effectively compared to proximate orientation experiences in accordance with verbal directions. Providing thus a concrete set of such tools would empower specific spatial thinking skills not only of those with VI but of all students. VISTE aims at empowering the spatial thinking skills of students with VI. This will be accomplished by providing an innovative methodological framework and a semantic and technical infrastructure for developing appropriate inclusive educational modules to foster spatial thinking. The project’s main target groups are primary/secondary education students, as well as teachers, teachers’ trainers, and staff involved in their education.


  • Program: DGA-DSTL Project

  • Project title: Assessing and Optimising Human-Machine Symbiosis through Neural signals for Big Data Analytics

  • Duration: 2014-2018

  • Coordinator: Damien Coyle and Fabien Lotte

  • Partners: Ulster University, UK, Potioc, France

  • Abstract: This project objective is to design new tools for Big Data analysis, and in particular visual analytics tools that tap onto human cognitive skills as well as on Brain-Computer Interfaces. The goal is to enable the user to identify and select relevant information much faster than what can be achieved by using automatic tools or traditional human-computer interfaces. More specifically, this project will aim at identifying in a passive way various mental states (e.g., different kinds of attention, mental workload, relevant stimulus perception, etc.) in order to optimize the display, the arrangement of the selection of relevant information.

Collaborations with Major European Organizations

  • Partner 1: Univ. Freiburg (Germany)

  • EEG signal processing and decoding using robust methods

  • Partner 2: TU Berlin (Germany)

  • EEG data generation and simulation