Turkish implementer of the Human Brain Project

Sabancı University to be the Turkish implementer of the Human Brain Project

A team led by Sabancı University faculty Dr. Volkan Özgüz and Professor Yaşar Gürbüz and supported by TÜBİTAK will develop neuroinformatic architectures, very low-energy integrated ICT circuits and hardware platforms, empowering scientists to design new information and communication systems based on the architecture and circuitry of the human brain.

Sabancı University will establish a platform in Turkey to understand the human brain and to direct research on health and computing, liaise between new participants and European partners for cooperation opportunities, and bring Turkey forward on a global level.  This will enable scientists in Turkey to take part in a project that is set to shape the 21st century, and collaborate with Nobel laureates in the project group.  The initiative will begin in late 2013.

The European Commission has officially announced the selection of the Human Brain Project (HBP) as one of its two FET Flagship projects. The new project will federate 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. On January 28, the European Commission supported this vision, announcing that it has selected the HBP as one of two projects to be funded through the new FET Flagship Program.

Federating more than 80 European and international research institutions, the Human Brain Project is planned to last ten years (2013-2023). The cost is estimated at 1.19 billion euros. The project will also associate some important North American partners. It will be coordinated at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, by neuroscientist Henry Markram with co-directors Karlheinz Meier of Heidelberg University, Germany, and Richard Frackowiak of Clinique Hospitalière Universitaire Vaudoise (CHUV) and the University of Lausanne (UNIL).

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The selection of the Human Brain Project as a FET Flagship is the result of more than three years of preparation and a rigorous and severe evaluation by a large panel of independent, high profile scientists, chosen by the European Commission. In the coming months, the partners will negotiate a detailed agreement with the Community for the initial first two and a half year ramp-up phase (2013-mid 2016).  The project will begin work in the closing months of 2013.