Monday, January 28, 2013

The "Human Brain Project"

The European Union has decided to invest in a big way in research on the human brain. See James Kanter, [Two] Science Projects [Each] to Receive Award of a Billion Euros, NYTimes (Jan. 28, 2013):

BRUSSELS — Projects to imitate the brain and to develop new materials for information technology have won awards of about 1 billion euros each that will be announced Monday by the European Commission.

The awards, the largest of their kind ever made by the European authorities and equivalent to about $1.35 billion each, are aimed at helping innovative industries in the European Union and nonmember countries like Switzerland.
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The Human Brain Project aims to create the most accurate simulation to date of the brain and its functions. The project could help aid diagnoses of diseases, help with the testing of new drugs, and develop supercomputing techniques modeled on the brain.

The project involves scientists from 87 institutions and will be led by Henry Markram, a professor at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland. Partners in that project include the Institut Pasteur in France, I.B.M. in the United States and SAP in Germany.

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