The Human Brain Project Summit highlighted the achievements of the Flagship project.
The Human Brain Project (HBP) Summit took place in Marseille from 28 – 31 March 2023. It was the project’s final summit as it reaches its conclusion in September, marking 10 years of Europe’s largest digital brain science project. The Human Brain Project has been one of the biggest research projects ever supported by the European Union, with more than €400 million of EU funding provided over the past decade.
This summit offered a forum for stimulating and high-quality interdisciplinary exchanges in a wide range of fields, from neuroscience to computing, engineering, mathematics and medicine. It showcased the fruits of the efforts of over 500 scientists from more than 150 universities working together in the HBP.
A decade of achievement
Since its start in 2013, the HBP has brought impressive scientific advances to neuroscience. For instance, it has delivered the most detailed atlas so far of the human brain, contributed to measuring consciousness itself, advanced knowledge of the neural mechanisms underlying vision as well as memory, improved epilepsy surgery with digital brain models, developed a brain implant to help blind people see, as well as developed neuro-derived technologies to make machines smarter.
The HBP has been a pioneer in using big data and supercomputing to simulate complicated functions of the brain, while comparing them to the latest neuroscience theories. Today the HBP is building the first digital twin of the human brain and has made major contributions to our understanding of how the brain works.
One of the principal outputs of the Human Brain Project is the capacity to customise and personalise brain models. The predictive power of these models has been gradually increasing and can be of major benefit in the discovery of early biomarkers for conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.
High-performance computing powering research
Building on these scientific advances, the HBP has also developed the EBRAINS Research Infrastructure. This infrastructure makes high performance computing available to the brain research community, enabling virtual experiments thus allowing the acceleration of breakthroughs.
The Summit also looked into the future of EBRAINS infrastructure and of Digital Brain research, and discuss a science vision for the next decade of digital brain research, which shall contribute to the preparation of an emerging European Partnership for Brain Health.
Building on the successes of the Human Brain Project, the Commission is now working with the Member States on a broader initiative. Notably, Member States have asked for more collaborations and coordination for Brain Health Research through a strategic partnership that would certainly reinforce the position of Europe on the global scene of brain research. Digital Brain Research and will play an important role in the context of such a partnership.
The Human Brain Project (HBP) is a long-term and large-scale research initiative that pioneers digital brain research. It was launched in 2013 for a duration of 10 years. It is one of the largest research projects in Europe and one of the European Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) Flagships. It involves more than 500 scientists and engineers at over than 150 universities, teaching hospitals, and research centres across Europe. The HBP and its 123 Partners are co-funded by the European Commission. Total funding, including partner contributions, is €607 million with €406 million coming from EU funding.
It aims to gain an in-depth understanding of the complex structure and function of the human brain with a unique interdisciplinary approach at the interface of neuroscience and technology. HBP scientists employ highly advanced methods from computing, neuroinformatics and artificial intelligence to carry out cutting-edge brain research. The acquired knowledge is translated into novel applications in medicine and technological advances. Researchers of the HBP also address the social and ethical implications arising from brain research and its applications.
In its final phase, running from April 2020 to September 2023, the Human Brain Project is focusing on three core scientific focus areas – brain networks, their role in consciousness and artificial neural networks – as well as on expanding the innovative EBRAINS infrastructure and its tools and services.
Source: European Commission | News (https://bit.ly/40BvHCM)