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EBRAINS, the new digital research infrastructure developed by the EU-funded ‘Human Brain Project’ has been included in the 2021 Roadmap of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI). EBRAINS’ goal is to use digital methods and technologies to help translate findings from brain-related research into neuro-inspired technologies and medicine. For the digital research platform, which counts Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin among its members, this marks an important milestone and signals recognition of its enormous scientific potential.
Charité joined EBRAINS as an associate member in June 2021 to help shape the future of the digital research infrastructure. Charité’s contribution, developed in conjunction with the Berlin Institute of Health Charité (BIH), is the brain simulation platform ‘The Virtual Brain’. The platform, now available as a cloud ecosystem on EBRAINS, offers data protection-compliant processes enabling individual brain modeling at multiple scales. The platform runs automated processes to integrate brain imaging data into various models and uses high-performance computing to create computer simulations. “We are delighted at our inclusion in the ESFRI Roadmap, which will ensure that our developments become and remain available to the broader European scientific community,” says Prof. Dr. Petra Ritter, BIH Professor, Head of the Brain Simulation Section at the BIH and Head of Charité’s Department of Neurology with Experimental Neurology.
The first research infrastructure of its kind in the world, EBRAINS forms part of the ‘Human Brain Project‘ which is being led by Forschungszentrums Jülich. Via an online portal, the platform offers access to the most comprehensive human brain database available, as well as access to powerful digital tools for the creation of simulations and the analysis of big data. More than 500 researchers working at more than 130 partner institutions in 19 countries are involved in developing EBRAINS. This approach aims to promote cross-national scientific collaboration and enable world-leading international research.