What are Work Packages?

The HBP was conceived and built around the concept of researchers simultaneously advancing understanding in their fields, while helping technologists to build and perfect ICT tools that could help them. The original structure of the HBP grouped scientists by discipline and research focus in rather homogeneous Subprojects as the primary operational structure. Quite quickly, that formal operational structure was complemented by cross-cutting ones, called Co-Design Projects, a key characteristic of which was that they brought together people whose primary focus on was on various research approaches with those who were more concerned with building research tools, thus addressing a particular neuroscientific question from different angles, and making sure that the collaboration between these Partners would result in an added value for both research and infrastructure. For SGA3, the HBP has taken that trend a step further, using a small number of larger, cross-disciplinary Work Packages as its operational structure.

Work Package 1 - The human multiscale brain connectome and its variability – from synapses to large-scale networks and function

This Work Package develops biologically detailed human brain network models capable of generating brain signals as commonly measured in clinical and research settings. By linking a multiscale human brain atlas to computational modeling, the aim is to better understand the fundamental mechanisms of how the brain generates its behavior. The validity of the principles and concepts is demonstrated in applications to individual patient data for clinical translation such as in epilepsy, and in cohort data to understand human variability such as in healthy aging and pathology. Neuroethical interrogations guide the debate on the role of the digital twin brain in society.

Work Package 2 - Networks underlying brain cognition and consciousness

Our brain is a complex network of neurons able to perform very different activities, from a large variety of high-level cognitive functions, to sleep. To improve our understanding of how these processes occur, Work Package 2 will generate data-driven models that carry out cognitive tasks – such as object recognition or decision-making-, while expressing realistic brain dynamics in different states (sleep, awake, anesthesia, etc). This challenging objective requires the coordinated work of a large number of experimental and computational research groups, and the results will help to understand not only the healthy brain but also the brain in pathological conditions. The resulting data and models will be made available to the community.

Work Package 3 - Adaptive networks for cognitive architectures: from advanced learning to neurorobotics and neuromorphic applications

At the interface of neuroscience, AI and robotics, this Work Package develops biologically inspired, embodied, large-scale neural models emulating a range of brain functions. The aim of this approach is, by (re-)creating these functions, to better understand how neural activity enables perception, cognition and action. The advanced learning principles developed to support this work are applied to train deep networks, solving challenging tasks on neuromorphic hardware. Insights gathered are applied to improve the manner in which artificial agents understand and act upon their environment.

Work Package 4 - EBRAINS Data Services

Finding, accessing, interpreting, and making use of high-quality neuroscience data beyond the level of the traditional journal publication will be key for the future of neuroscience and modelling of the brain. The Work Package and its High-Level Support Team (HLST) provide the broader neuroscience community with services to organize, manage, visualize, analyse, interpret and share multi-level and multi-modal research data and computational models, in accordance to FAIR data standards.

Work Package 5 - EBRAINS Modelling Services

This Work Package develops and maintains the overall scientific software architecture for many of the EBRAINS applications. It handles on one hand the implementation of modelling services for simulation and robotics, and on the other hand it delivers the necessary e-Infrastructure for operating the service categories of the project on the computing infrastructure allocated to them.

Work Package 6 - EBRAINS Computing Services

This Work Package operates and integrates the High Performance-, Cloud computing and storage services of the Fenix Infrastructure with novel neuromorphic computing services. This joint infrastructure layer forms the basis of EBRAINS and enables platforms such as the Neurorobotics Platform and individual “vertical” solutions to integrate different EBRAINS services within complex workflows.