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IMI and HBP join forces and explore future ways to collaborate

HBP was pleased to organise a workshop on 7-8th June 2016 in Geneva at the Biotech Campus, bringing together teams from HBP's Medical Informatics and Neuroinformatics Platforms, and representatives from three projects of the Innovative Medicine Initiative (IMI), EMIF, AETIONOMY and EPAD.


The aim of this technical workshop was to enable sharing and learning between the HBP and the IMI projects with regards to platforms technologies and data.

It was organised in four distinctive sessions: A presentation session about the projects' platforms, followed by two parallel Working Group sessions, during which each group collaborated to identify synergies between their platforms as well as common challenges and opportunities and then develop a roadmap for future collaborations. Finally, a wrap-up session helped pool ideas and identify ways to work together to implement the plans.


"The combination of expertise in both, computer science and medicine, in that workshop was unique. This sort of exchange is so helpful for sharing ideas, identifying already working technical solutions, identifying common challenges … for me, it was so motivating to see how our concepts and the concepts of other projects resonated with the different teams."

Dr. Martin HOFMAN-APITIUS, Head of Department Bioinformatics, Fraunhofer SCAI,

Academic initiator and academic coordinator of AETIONOMY


Facilitating collaboration and building bridges between these different groups of researchers is a fundamental milestone towards a better understanding of diseases such as, in this case, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases.

It shows once again the importance of collaboration within the HBP itself, but also the different ways in which the HBP can interact with other projects and scientific industries, by building partnerships, targeting areas of interoperability and sharing expertise in various fields.


"Brain diseases affects millions EU citizens. Enabling and facilitating the research and development between two prominent European projects is a major step forward for a better understanding of brain diseases. This initial workshop and the identified three working groups (sharing data, knowledge and infrastructures) pave the way for future achievements resulting from a strong collaboration."

Dr. Ferath KHERIF, Senior Lecturer at CHUV/UNIL,

Principal Investigator, Laboratoire de recherche en neuroimagerie (LREN).


Being Europe's largest public-private initiative that aims to speed up the development of better and safer medicines for patients, the Innovative Medicine Initiative (IMI) supports collaborative research projects and builds networks. The three projects that the HBP was privileged to work with during this workshop (EMIF, AETIONOMY and EPAD) all play an important role in neurodegenerative diseases research programmes, especially for the improvement of drug development and therapy.


For more information about the IMI and its projects, please follow this link. Updates about future collaborations between the HBP and these platforms will be provided on the HBP website.


What People are Saying

  • Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate. This is our opportunity.

    Prof. Karlheinz Meier, University of Heidelberg,
    Co-leader of the Neuromorphic Computing Subproject

  • The Human Brain is the most complex system that we know of. We would like to develop some kind of ‘google' brain where we can zoom in and out, see it from different perspectives and understand how brain structure and function is related. The ultimate aim of the Human Brain Project is to understand the human brain. This is only possible when we understand the structural organization of the human brain.

    Prof. Katrin Amunts, Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine,
    Forschungszentrum Jülich

  • The Human Brain Project will become a major driver of ICT in Europe.

    Prof. Thomas Lippert, Institute for Advanced Simulation, Jülich Supercomputing Centre,
    leader of the High Peformance Computing subproject