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JSC Contributes to "Human Brain Project"

The European Commission has officially announced the selection of the Human Brain Project as one of its two FET Flagship projects (Future and Emerging Technologies). The new project will unite European efforts to address one of the greatest challenges of modern science: understanding the human brain.

The goal of the Human Brain Project is to pull together all our existing knowledge about the human brain and to reconstruct the brain, piece by piece, in supercomputer-based models and simulations. The models offer the prospect of a new understanding of the human brain and its diseases and of completely new computing and robotic technologies. Federating more than 80 European and international research institutions, the Human Brain Project is planned to last ten years (2013-2023). It will be coordinated at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland by neuroscientist Henry Markram.

Forschungszentrum Jülich is one of the partners. Jülich's scientists will contribute their expertise primarily in the areas of the structure and function of the brain, as well as supercomputing and simulation. A major contribution to the project will be Jülich's know-how and infrastructure in the field of supercomputing. However, today's supercomputers do not possess sufficient capacity to process the vast volume of data on the human control centre that is available worldwide or prepare it for computer simulation. Experts from JSC, together with cooperation partners, are developing a new generation of exaflop computers and suitable software. Prof. Thomas Lippert, head of JSC, expects the Human Brain Project to enable information technology to make a giant leap forward. As part of the Human Brain Project, he is responsible for the supercomputing activities and the future Human Brain supercomputer, which will be installed at the Jülich Supercomputing Centre by 2020. "We will develop faster and more powerful computers in order to simulate increasingly detailed models of the brain. New findings on the function of the brain will in turn open up new perspectives in data processing," Lippert says.

More information on the project can be found at http://www.humanbrainproject.eu.


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