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Posted: Sep 12, 2016
Human Brain Project receives 89 million euros from the European Commission
(Nanowerk News) The European Commission and the Human Brain Project (HBP) Coordinator, the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), have signed the first Specific Grant Agreement (SGA1), releasing EUR 89 million in funding retroactively from 1st April 2016 until the end of March 2018.
The signature of SGA1 means that the HBP and the European Commision have agreed on the HBP Work Plan for these two years. The funding will be released based on periodic assessments of the Project's progress, as part of the agreed work plan. SGAs are two-year agreements drawn up between the HBP and the European Commission. Each SGA describes the work to be carried out by the Project, it determines the budget and how the Project's progress will be assessed.
The signature of SGA1 follows the HBP's successful Second Periodic Review, in which the HBP was praised for making significant progress during the Ramp-Up Phase (October 2013-March 2016).
Chris Ebell, HBP Executive Director, said that the signing of SGA1 represented an important step in driving forward European research efforts: "The next phase of the HBP will allow researchers to build on the pioneering work carried out in the Ramp-Up Phase, and move the Project closer to establishing an enduring European Research Infrastructure". This will be achieved under a new governance which includes a Science and Infrastructure Board, a Directorate, and a Stakeholder Board.
Thomas Skordas, Acting Director of the European Commission Digital Excellence and Scientific Infrastructure Directorate, said "The Project is now ready and well-prepared to begin the next phase.The new governance and the SGA1 work plan provide the right basis for the Project to make significant progress in the coming two years towards reaching its overall goals".
The SGA1 work plan will move the Project closer to achieving its aim of establishing a cutting-edge, ICT-based scientific Research Infrastructure for brain research, cognitive neuroscience and brain-inspired computing.
The Human Brain Project (HBP) is an EU-funded Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) Flagship Initiative to create and operate an ICT-based research infrastructure, to help advance neuroscience, medicine and computing. The 10-year Project began in 2013 and involves leading scientists at more than 100 universities and research centres across Europe. The HBP is centred on six ICT research Platforms: Neuroinformatics (access to shared brain data), Brain Simulation, High Performance Analytics and Computing, Medical Informatics (access to patient data), Neuromorphic Computing (access to brain-inspired computers), and Neurorobotics (use of robots to test brain simulations). It also conducts related research and theoretical studies on brain structure and function, and looks at the ethical and societal implications of HBP's work.