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Human Brain Project’s research platforms released

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The Human Brain Project (HBP) is pleased to announce the release of initial versions of its six Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Platforms to users outside the Project. These Platforms are designed to help the scientific community to accelerate progress in neuroscience, medicine, and computing.

The Platforms released today consist of prototype hardware, software tools, databases and programming interfaces, which will be refined and expanded in a collaborative approach with users, and integrated within the framework of a European Research Infrastructure. The public release of the Platforms represents the end of the Ramp-Up Phase of the HBP and the beginning of the Operational Phase.

Karlheinz Meier, Co-leader of the Neuromorphic Platform, said, "The HBP invites scientists everywhere to work with our prototype Platforms and give us their feedback. This will help us improve their functionality and ease of use, and hence their value to society".

The HBP Platforms are designed to help researchers to advance faster and more efficiently, by sharing data and results, and exploiting advanced ICT capabilities. The Platforms should, for example, enable closer collaboration between scientists to create more detailed models and simulations of the brain. A first step in opening up the Platforms to the wider scientific community has already been taken, through the funding of the first HBP Partnering Projects via the EU's FLAG-ERA 2015 Joint Transnational Call.

The six HBP Platforms are:

  • The Neuroinformatics Platform: registration, search, analysis of neuroscience data.
  • The Brain Simulation Platform: reconstruction and simulation of the brain.
  • The High Performance Computing Platform: computing and storage facilities to run complex simulations and analyse large data sets.
  • The Medical Informatics Platform: searching of real patient data to understand similarities and differences among brain diseases.
  • The Neuromorphic Computing Platform: access to computer systems that emulate brain microcircuits and apply principles similar to the way the brain learns.
  • The Neurorobotics Platform: testing of virtual models of the brain by connecting them to simulated robot bodies and environments.

All the Platforms can be accessed via the HBP Collaboratory, a web portal where users can also find guidelines, tutorials and information on training seminars. Please note that users will need to register to access the Platforms and that some of the Platform resources have capacity limits.

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The Human Brain Project (HBP) is a EU-funded Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) Flagship Initiative to create and operate an ICT-based research infrastructure, to help advance neuroscience, medicine and computing. The 10-year Project began in 2013 and involves leading scientists at more than 100 universities and research centres across Europe but also in the USA, China and Japan. The HBP is centred on six ICT research Platforms: Neuroinformatics, Brain Simulation, High Performance Analytics and Computing, Medical Informatics, Neuromorphic Computing and Neurorobotics. It also conducts related research and theoretical studies on brain structure and function, and looks at the ethical and societal implications of HBP's work. For further information on the HBP go to http://www.humanbrainproject.eu and for the FET Flagships go to http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en/h2020-section/fet-flagships.

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Lionel Pousaz
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