HBP Innovation Awards

HBP launched the HBP Innovation Awards to recognise project researchers in their role of “innovators”. The awards gave internal and external visibility to their efforts towards the exploitation of their research results.

About the HBP Innovation Awards

The HBP Innovation Awards were conceived and designed to promote innovation within the project. The objective was to showcase those research initiatives and technology solutions that most firmly were trying to reach the neuroscientific and clinical markets. From 2021 until the end of the project, more than twelve initiatives were nominated and four HBP teams were awarded. Several of the awardees have already launched commercial start-ups which very soon will bring products into the market for the benefit of patients worldwide. 


First HBP Innovation Award

The first Innovation Award (first semester 2021) was granted to Viktor Jirsa and the Virtual Epileptic Patient (VEP) team. 

Our warmest congratulations went to Viktor Jirsa and all the VEP Team for the outstanding work made on VEP in the HBP from the innovation perspective.

We interviewed Viktor Jirsa on the occasion of the award, you can read the interview in our Innovation Newsletter and here you can watch an interview with Viktor Jirsa and Jean Marc Ferrier, CEO of VB-Tech (VB-Tech for Virtual Brain Technologies).

Second HBP Innovation Award

The second Innovation Award was granted to Marcello Massimini and the PCI team from the University of Milan and the Coma Science Group of the University of Liège for their work on the Perturbational Complexity Index (PCI). We gave them a warm congratulation for their great work! 

The innovation developed measures the complexity of electroencephalographic (EEG) responses to transcraneal magnetic stimulation (TMS); it showed a remarkable sensitivity in detecting minimal signs of consciousness. 

You can find out more about this exciting technology in the interview with Marcello Massimini here.

Third HBP Innovation Award

Winners of 2023 were announced at the last HBP Summit, our warmest congratulations went to Prof. Pieter Roelfsema and his team who won the third HBP Innovation Award for the work on “The Brain Prosthesis for the Blind”.  This is a brain prosthetic device to restore vision in people who have become blind later in life. 

The device is wirelessly connected to a wearable camera and implanted in the visual cortex, translating visual input into brain stimulation patterns that induce phosphenes, which are small, pixel-like dots in the visual field. The induced phosphenes of many electrodes can be used to create the perception of shapes and contours. To build the device with currently 1000 electrodes, Roelfsema’s group collaborated strongly with both neurosurgeons and AI experts. After successfully demonstrating the effectiveness of the approach in animal models, it is the group’s ambition to move into humans in the next years. 

In accepting the award, Roelfsema said: “I’m very grateful to the people of the HBP, who made this competition possible and whose help went far beyond only funding, in providing indispensable computational tools such as the virtual human brain atlas”.

Fourth HBP Innovation Award

The fourth HBP Innovation Award went to Prof. Philippe Ryvlin, Prof. Yannis Ioannidis and their teams, for their work on the “Medical Informatics Platform”, which provides advanced analytics for diagnosis and research in clinical neuroscience. 

Embedded into EBRAINS, this open-source and free-of-use software allows sharing of health datasets and is distributed across hospitals and institutions in different countries. It aims to better understand brain diseases, develop novel biomarkers and predictive models of brain disease to have a direct impact on clinical practice and patient management. 

In the ceremony speech, Ioannidis said: “Whereas others in the field may work more in isolation, developing the MIP could only have come about with the interdisciplinary and collaborative approach made possible by the HBP.”