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Information & Communication Technologies



FP7: FET Proactive Initiative: Brain-Inspired ICT (BRAIN-ICT)





Objective ICT-2009 8.8: FET proactive 8: Brain Inspired ICT (Extract from Work programme text)

Recent advances in ICT and neuroscience enable a significant part of the human brain to be studied and modelled “in silico”. This objective seeks to exploit
such advances in order to better understand how the brain processes information and/or how it communicates with the peripheral nervous system (PNS), and to explore potential applications of this.

Target outcome
a. Development of multi-scale models of information processing and communication in the brain and/or PNS. Systemic study of the brain, combining recordings/imaging of brain activity on several spatial and/or temporal scales simultaneously. This research may also address higher-level cognitive processes. This multi-disciplinary research should foster joint progress and synergy in ICT and the bio- and neuro-sciences.
b. Synthetic Hardware Implementations of Neural Circuits that mimic information processing in the brain or PNS. These implementations should demonstrate either the emulation of significant functionality of a neural system (including a comparison with the biological counterpart) or the performance of other specified processing tasks.
STREP Proposals should address at least one and Integrated Projects both of the above topics.

Expected impact

  • Improved design principles for bio-hybrid artefacts involving engineered components that directly communicate with the nervous system, relying less than current implants on brain plasticity or training in order to function.
  • Computational systems that emulate human skills (e.g. by using the directed fusion of diverse sensory information) or exploit underlying principles for new forms of general purpose computing. These should demonstrate significant improvements in, for example,
    performance, fault tolerance, resilience or energy consumption over traditional ICT approaches.
  • Improved diagnosis/treatment of neurological disorders through the use of a comprehensive model of neural and brain functioning.
  • Experimental data archived with sufficient appropriate meta-data to facilitate re-use in another research contexts.

Funding Schemes: IP and STREP
All practical info related to the closed call: Specific FET Proactive guides for applicants – Electronic Proposal Submission service etc

Background documents




  • Call launched: 24 November 2009
  • Start of projects : Jan-Febr 2011