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Human Brain Project

The Human Brain Project is a H2020 FET Flagship Project which strives to accelerate the fields of neuroscience, computing and brain-related medicine.
This acceleration will be achieved by a strategic alignment of scientific research programs in fundamental neuroscience, advanced simulation and multi-scale modelling with the construction of an enabling Research Infrastructure.


The HBP Flagship was launched by the European Commission's Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) scheme in October 2013, and is scheduled to run for ten years. The Flagships, represent a new partnering model for visionary, long-term European cooperative research in the European Research Area, demonstrating the potential for common research efforts. The HBP has the following main objectives:

  • Create and operate a European scientific Research Infrastructure for brain research, cognitive neuroscience, and other brain-inspired sciences
  • Gather, organise and disseminate data describing the brain and its diseases
  • Simulation of the brain
  • Build multi-scale scaffold theory and models for the brain
  • Develop brain-inspired computing, data analytics and robotics
  • Ensure that the HBP's work is undertaken responsibly and that it benefits society


The timeline of the Project is split into multiple phases, each of which will be covered by a separate funding agreement. The current phase is Specific Grant Agreement Two (SGA2), which spans the two-year period from April 2018–April 2020. The European Union contributed EUR 54 million to the Project in the Ramp-Up Phase (October 2013 to March 2016) and EUR 89 million for the SGA1. The FET Flagships Staff Working Document provides further information on how Flagships are funded.
Since the start of the Human Brain Project in 2013, INM-6 researchers are involved in numerous work packages and tasks in Subprojects SP4, SP5, SP6, SP7 and SP9. For the current phase (SGA2) our PIs lead the following work packages and tasks:

  • WP4.2 Simplified Spiking Models of Different Brain Areas
    (Work package leader: Markus Diesmann)

    • T4.2.1 Spiking mesoscale cortical models with spatial organization
      (Task leader: Markus Diesmann)
    • T4.2.3 Multi-area multi-layer spiking cortical models
      (Task leader: Sacha van Albada)

  • WP4.5 Linking model activity and function to experimental data

    • T4.5.1 Comparing activity dynamics of models and living brains
      (Task leader: Sonja Grün)

  • WP6.3 Software tools and model reconstruction workflows

    • T6.3.3 Optimized communication-bound simulation on exascale architectures
      (Task leader: Markus Diesmann)

  • WP6.4 Platform Services

    • T6.4.5 Validation framework
      (Task leader: Andrew Davison)

  • WP7.3 Exascale simulator and visualization technology
    (Work package leader: Markus Diesmann)

    • T7.3.4 Code generation for network components
      (Task leader: Abigail Morrison)
    • T7.3.5 Optimized network construction on exascale architectures
      (Task leader: Hans Ekkehard Plesser)

  • WP7.4 User support and community building

    • T7.4.5 NEST user experience and sustainability
      (Task leader: Markus Diesmann)


  • CDP4:
    In SGA2, the visuo-motor architecture will be extended from eye movement control to reaching and grasping tasks allowing a common NEST network model to control arm and eye movements of a (virtual and real) robot in a closed-loop system able to perform non-trivial goal-directed behaviour. Furthermore, the visuo-motor integration architecture will be used to model unilateral spatial hemineglect resulting from right-hemispheric stroke in (predominantly) parietal cortex.
    (Implemention lead: Sacha van Albada)

    Human Brain Project (HBP)


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