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Neuromorphic Technology

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - NEUROTECH (Neuromorphic Technology)

Reporting period: 2018-11-01 to 2020-04-30

Neuromorphic engineering is a ground-breaking approach to design of computing technology that draws inspiration from the powerful and efficient biological neural processing systems. Neuromorphic devices are able to carry out sensing, processing, and motor control strategies with ultra-low power performance. Today’s neuromorphic community in Europe is leading the state of the art in this domain. The community counts an increasing number of labs that work on theory, modelling, and implementation of neuromorphic computing systems using both conventional VLSI technolo- gies, emerging memristive devices, photonics, spin-based, and other nano-technological solutions.

To enable the uptake of this technology and to match the needs of real-world applications in future products that solve real-world tasks in industry, health-care, assistive systems, and consumer devices, a strong and sustainable communication channel between research labs and different stakeholders is needed.

To achieve this goal, the NEUROTECH project aims to

(1) create a comprehensive online platform that will integrate information about all involved parties, the state of the art, and showcase latest technology advancement strengthening the NCT community and increasing its impact and visibility;
(2) actively reach out to industry stakeholders to get them involved in shaping future research directions and to facilitate uptake of existing technology;
(3) promote public interest in NCT by show-casting key technologies; and
(4) shape educational resources in this interdisciplinary field targeting students with different backgrounds.

The CSA will be the connecting element that will allow us to consolidate and disseminate the state of the art of neuromorphic technology and to create a transforming roadmap for future progress, unleashing the power of NCT in smart technologies of the future.
WP1: Community building

The objective of WP1 is to interconnect organizations, national networks, projects, and initiatives on NCT through creating a comprehensive online platform – the NEUROTECH Portal- that is now successfully serving as a go-to link to collect material about NCT and a “meeting point” of the NEUROTECH network. There is also a NEUROTECH blog that is updated at least once a month or any time there is relevant information for the community. We created 4 workgroups: Science, Industry, Ethics, and Future, composed by partners of NEUROTECH and general audience to discuss several topics and define guidelines for the NCT community. the workgroups are open to new members and they meet regularly.

WP2: Academia/Industry Cooperation

The objective of WP2 is to actively promote interactions between industry and academic NCT innovation drivers. We have successfully involved industrial partners in the elaboration of a roadmap for the future development of NCT and to identify and disseminate compelling demonstrations of the NCT that show its commercial viability and potential to drive the development of smart systems of the future. IMEC organized a forum in 2019 and an online version of Forum 2020 will be organized by IBM in November. In addition, there is a specific workgroup on Industry, lead by IMEC, that meets regularly with the members involved.

WP3: Outreach and forming public awareness

The objective of WP3 is to represent the NCT community strongly towards a variety of stakeholders, such as other scientific communities, industry, policymakers, and general public demonstrating and explaining how it can lead to sustainable technology for the benefit of humanity. Partners present the NEUROTECH community with relevant results all around the world. In the website, there are 3 pages under construction with the information on the roadmap, the cartography, and the current state of the art of the neuromorphic technology relevant for the community that will be constantly updated with new projects or technology information. To facilitate the link to the general audience, but also the scientific one, we created a Twitter channel where we announce the news from the partners and all the relevant information for the NCT community in Europe and in the World.
WP4: Education activities

The objective of WP4 is to assemble a coherent collection of educational resources on all aspects of NCT to promote core educational events on NCT, and to disseminate the NCT curriculum to other communities. We created an Educational team composed of UZH, THALES, IBM, HERTFORDSHIRE, and lead by IIT that will organize monthly webinars on introductory information on Neuromorphic computing to reach an audience from other communities. These webinars will be stream live and recorded on a youtube channel (if the speakers agree).
NEUROTECH funded several scholarships for the Capocaccia and telluride Workshop to allow students and PostDoc to participate and compete on for the Demo awards (also funded by NEUROTECH).

WP5: Management and coordination

The objective of this WP is to coordinate activities between the partners for project operation, quality control, and progress reporting, and to create a Data Management Plan and update the Dissemination and Exploitation plans.
WP1: Community building
The NEUROTECH website will move to an in-house solution that UZH will maintain for many years, even after the end of the NEUROTECH project. The same is valid for the Twitter and Linkedin account.

WP2: Academia/Industry Cooperation
A second Forum will be organized in November by IBM. IBM, and THALES are member of the Educational Team to organize webinars of neuromorphic computing with the goal of proposing different perspectives. THALES and IMEC are leaders of two active Workgroups.

WP3: Outreach and forming public awareness
NEUROTECH will be part of the Misha Mahowald Prize for Neuromorphic Engineering, with Steve Furber (MANCHESTER) in the Board. We are organizing the NICE event, with a pre-NICE event dedicated to the neurotech project. The 4 workgroups are open to general, scientific, stakeholders and decison making audiences and we will try to enroll new members using the website, twitter, Linkedin or publicizing it in conferences and the Forum.

WP4: Education activities
We will organize live monthly webinars and a youtube channel dedicated to educational activities, in particular to introductory material that will reach different communities.

WP5: Management and coordination
The NEUROTECH partners will meet monthly for the general assembly plus the meeting of the different workgroups.
Neuromorphic computing