The project aims to develop a decentralized, data protection-compliant research platform capable of simulating some of the brain’s complex neurobiological phenomena. As part of the project, researchers will collate an array of different types of information, including data from PET and MRI scans, EEG tests, behavioral studies and lifestyle surveys, as well as clinical data from thousands of patients and healthy controls. These will be combined with biological information from knowledge databases and made available for research purposes. The resultant digital ‘brain twins’ will enable large numbers of researchers to conduct innovative research within a powerful digital infrastructure.
Thanks to its transparent analytical pipelines, the new research infrastructure will also help to promote reproducible research.
Furthermore, complex, personalized brain simulations which take into account large quantities of data may be able to provide a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying brain function and disorders. Virtual brain modeling may also improve diagnostics and disease prediction, in addition to enabling the optimization of treatment plans. The project consortium comprises 20 partners and operates in cooperation with EBRAINS AISBL, the coordinating entity of the EU-funded flagship ‘Human Brain Project’.
Project coordinator Professor Petra Ritter welcomes the funding from the European Commission's Infrastructure Programme: "We are delighted that our consortium has been given the confidence by the EC to develop a European infrastructure for health data. Not least, this decision expresses recognition for the successful coordinator role of Charité and BIH in the large-scale European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) project Virtual Brain Cloud, in which the platform architecture that is now to be rolled out at the European level was developed. Likewise, the approval of this new major project recognises our contribution to the EU Flagship Human Brain Project for the development of cloud services for sensitive health data. These developments will contribute to the establishment of the European Health Data Space - an important pillar of future health research in Europe".
Duration: 4 years, starting 1 July 2022
Total funding: approximately € 13 million