Human Brain Project
Pioneering digital neuroscience to better understand the brain, its diseases, and its computational capabilities – that is the vision of the European Human Brain Project. In order to make it a reality, researchers from 23 countries are working together to build a unique infrastructure that will allow them to establish and further develop a brain research and information technology network. The European Union supports this plan as part of its FET Flagship Initiative. Jülich scientists contribute their expertise primarily in the areas of structure and function of the brain, as well as supercomputing and simulation.
The Human Brain Project brings together neuroscientists, physicians, computer scientists, physicists, mathematicians and computer specialists from internationally respected scientific institutions in 23 countries. Their goal: Using novel digital technologies for data integration to gain a deeper understanding of the human brain, while transferring the insights to new applications in medicine and brain-inspired technological innovations.
Forschungszentrum Jülich and its institutes are involved in several areas of research within the Human Brain Project. Scientists at the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM), for example, provide fundamental neurobiological information about the structure and function of the brain.
Today’s supercomputers do not possess sufficient capacity to record the vast volume of data on the human control centre that is available worldwide. Experts from JSC, together with cooperation partners, are therefore developing a new generation of exaflop computers and suitable software.
The virtual model of the brain will in future make it easier for physicians to understand the structure and function of the healthy and diseased brain, and enable new drugs to be developed and tested. The human control centre will also be used as a model for an extremely powerful and energy-efficient computer, as the brain requires less energy than a 60-watt light bulb for highly complex tasks such as information transfer and processing.
Involvement in bodies of HBP
With the structural reorganisation of the project in 2016, Forschungszentrum Jülich is now also represented in the governance of the HBP. Prof. Wolfgang Marquardt, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Forschungszentrum Jülich and Vice-President of the Helmholtz Association, will represent the interests of Germany as a member state on the HBP's Stakeholder Board (SB). Prof. Katrin Amunts was elected Chair of the Science and Infrastructure Board, which pools the various scientific interests of the project.