The HBP Flagship was launched by the European Commission's Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) scheme in October 2013, and has been 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
- Simulate 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.
More information on the HBP's Flagship Objectives is available in the Framework Partnership Agreement.
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 Three (SGA3), which spans the three-year period from April 2020–March 2023. The HBP is funded via several sources; about half of it will be provided by the European Union, and the other half by Member States and private funding sources. The European Union contributed EUR 54 million to the Project in the Ramp-Up Phase (October 2013 to March 2016), EUR 89 million for the second phase (SGA1, April 2016 – March 2018), EUR 88 million for the third phase (SGA2, April 2018 – March 2020) and EUR 150 million for the fourth phase (SGA3). The FET Flagships Staff Working Document provides further information on how Flagships are funded.
How the Flagship works
The Flagship model is made up of the Core Project (CP) and Partnering Projects (PPs). The CP is funded by the European Union, and is the driving force behind the Flagship. It ensures the Flagship's scientific leadership and cohesion, and supports the building of the Research Infrastructure. The PPs are an integral part of the Flagship. They are financed by various national funding agencies, and complement the research performed in the CP. They also contribute to building the Research Infrastructure, and provide the first external users to test the HBP Platforms with funded projects. In the Flagship model, the research community drives the process of defining and selecting the challenge of the Flagship, and developing the related research roadmap.
Further information on FET Flagships is provided here.
The HBP is now in its final phase with its Vision and Mission focused on:
The HBP Vision
To deepen understanding of human brain structure and function, by building a European research infrastructure that harnesses multiple disciplines and computing, and advances science, ICT and medicine, to the benefit of society.
The HBP Missions
1) To explore the multi-level complexity of the brain in space and time.
2) To transfer the acquired knowledge to brain-derived applications in health, computing, and technology.
3) To provide shared, open computing tools, models and data through the European Brain Research Infrastructure “EBRAINS – Solutions for Neuroscience” that serves to integrate brain science across disciplines.
4) To create a trans-disciplinary community of researchers united by the quest to understand the brain at multiple scales of organisation and functioning and thus derive societal benefits.