Billion-euro brain simulation and graphene projects win European funds
January 24, 2013
The European Commission has selected the two research proposals it will fund to the tune of half-a-billion euros ($650 million U.S.) each, after a two-year, high-profile contest, Nature News reports.
The Human Brain Project, led by neuroscientist Henry Markram at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne, plans to simulate the human brain in a supercomputer. (See “Brain in a box”).
The other project, called Graphene, is led by theoretical physicist Jari Kinaret at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. It will develop the potential of graphene — an ultrathin, flexible and conducting form of carbon — along with related materials for applications in computing, batteries and sensors.
The projects expect to receive €1 billion ($1.3 billion) over ten years, half to be provided by the European Commission and half by participants. The commission will make its formal announcement on Monday, 28 January.
The Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) Flagship competition was launched in 2009 as a challenge to apply information and communication technologies to social problems. The Human Brain Project claims that it will aid medical advancement in brain disorders. Graphene claims it will lead to development of new materials that will revolutionize diverse industries.