Human Brain Project software

The Big Problem With “Big

- The world’s most ambitious neuroscience project is underway. Scientists from the 135 partner institutions of the Human Brain Project, co-funded by the EU with an estimated budget of €1.2 billion, are meeting in Switzerland for the official launch.

With more than 130 research institutions from Europe and around the world on board and hundreds of scientists in a myriad of fields participating, the Human Brain Project is the most ambitious neuroscience project ever launched. Its goal is to develop methods that will enable a deep understanding of how the human brain operates. The knowledge gained will be a key element in developing new medical and information technologies. On Monday, October 7, 2013, the project partners met at EPFL (Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne), the coordinating institution. Over the course of a week, neuroscientists, doctors, computer scientists and roboticists will fine-tune the project’s details. Six months after its selection by the EU as one of its FET Flagships, this project of unprecedented complexity, with an estimated budget of €1.2 billion, has now been set in motion.

Six platforms to move the project forward
The Human Brain Project’s initial mission is to launch its six research platforms, each composed of technological tools and methods that ensure that the project’s objectives will be met. These platforms are: neuroinformatics, brain simulation, high-performance computing, medical informatics, neuromorphic computing and neurorobotics.

Over the next 30 months scientists will set up and test the platforms. Then, starting in 2016, the platforms will be ready to use by Human Brain Project scientists as well as researchers from around the world. These resources – simulations, high-performance computing, neuromorphic hardware, databases – will be available on a competitive basis, in a manner similar to that of other major research infrastructures, such as the large telescopes used in astronomy.

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Q&A

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When did the human genome project start?

The Human Genome Project (HGP) began in 1990 and was completed in 2003. Have another question? on! Text HINT for tips.

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What age does the human brain start pruning?

Brain cell growth begins to decline around age three; some of the neurons and synapses are "pruned."

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