Takeaways from Human Brain Project Summit 2023
The Human Brain Project (HBP) Summit took place in Marseille from 28 – 31 March 2023. It was the project’s final summit as it reaches its conclusion in September, marking 10 years of Europe’s largest digital brain science project. The event hosted an open forum of hundreds of researchers, as well as policymakers, media and the public, to discuss exciting scientific results and the latest developments in the project. The Summit brought together nearly 700 researchers from 27 countries. The Science Market was home to 16 booths, as well as 173 posters, many by early-career researchers.
On the last day of the summit, a session dedicated to the HBP’s partnering projects (PPs) took place. From 76 projects collaborating with HBP, two have been selected to be presented and one of them was AI-Mind.
Dr Ira Haraldsen (Oslo University Hospital), the AI-Mind coordinator and Dr Ricardo Bruña (Universidad Complutense de Madrid) coordinating EEG data extraction presented the scope of the project, its aims and progress with their talk “Intelligent digital tools for screening of brain connectivity and dementia risk estimation in people affected by mild cognitive impairment”.
Dr Ira Haraldsen
We are not doing it solely for researchers and clinicians, we are doing it for people – to give them a chance to respond to the dementia challenge as early as possible – with these inspirational words, the AI-Mind coordinator summarised the project’s aim. AI-Mind presenters engaged in fruitfuil discussions and agreed that these provided a helpful overview of new perspectives and technologies that are available to broaden the scope of the project and the ongoing research.
Dr Haraldsen and Dr Bruña also talked about the AI-Mind study enrolling 1,000 participants in five clinical centres across Europe, focusing on the topics of data extraction and governance – an important point for European research and innovation projects.
Much-needed debate is gaining ground on the future governance framework for #neurotechnology. The latter is making enormous strides, benefiting from being able to target affected brain areas directly. – said Pawel Świeboda, CEO of EBRAINS and Director General of the HBP.
The Summit also looked into the future of EBRAINS infrastructure, which makes high-performance computing available to the brain research community, enabling virtual experimentsand Digital Brain research as well as discussed a scientific vision for the next decade of digital brain research.
Dr Ricardo Bruña
The meeting set the lines to collaborative neuroscience in Europe for the next decade. EBRAINS will be the umbrella where the different countries and institutions will share their infrastructure and data to understand the brain. It is exciting to see how this framework is designed and fed.– says Dr Bruña.
This discussion on the common vision for the future of digital brain research started prior to the summit and resulted in a position paper drafted in a collaborative effort of 98 researchers from 16 countries. The paper had been initiated by a group of scientists of the HBP and put up for discussion on the platform Zenodo. The latest version of the paper “The coming decade of digital brain research – A vision for neuroscience at the intersection of technology and computing” has been published shortly before the Summit.
Dr Ira Haraldsen has been affiliated with OUS for over nine years and throughout her career has held various leadership roles. As the AI-Mind coordinator, she is responsible for the overall coordination, communication and management of the AI-Mind project, playing a crucial role in guiding the consortium’s efforts.
Dr Ricardo Bruña, an expert in electroencephalogram (EEG) signal processing, magnetoencephalography (MEG) and functional connectivity, is involved in AI-Mind’s Work Package 2 – Data Management and Feature Extraction. He has been working at the Laboratory for Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience since 2011, concentrating on the development of methods to clean and analyse electrophysiological signals as measured by EEG and MEG.