Video: Europeans to Fund Billion-euro Human Brain Project

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Nature Magazine reports that the European Commission has awarded up to €1 billion in research funding for the Human Brain Project led by neuroscientist Henry Markram. And while the official announcement is not expected until January 28, part of the project will be dedicated to the development of a exaflop supercomputer that will be used for the simulation of the brain model.

Brain researchers are generating 60,000 papers per year,” said Markram as he explained the concept in Bern. “They’re all beautiful, fantastic studies — but all focused on their one little corner: this molecule, this brain region, this function, this map.” The HBP would integrate these discoveries, he said, and create models to explore how neural circuits are organized, and how they give rise to behaviour and cognition — among the deepest mysteries in neuroscience. Ultimately, said Markram, the HBP would even help researchers to grapple with disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. “If we don’t have an integrated view, we won’t understand these diseases,” he declared.

The Human Brain Project is one of the two winner projects of the Future and Emerging Technologies Flagship competition launched by the European Commission, the other one being the “Graphene” project led by Swedish theoretical physicist Jari Kinaret.