EGI and the Human Brain Project

During the workshop the presentation delivered by  Sean Hill – co-Director of Neuroinformatics in the European Union funded Human Brain Project (HPB) – for the first time (for me!) provided a complete overview of the HBP data and computing needs.

Firstly it was a surprise to learn how  HBP is primarily a data integration project rather than a data generation one.

Secondly, it was great to realize how HBP could benefit from the federated HTC and cloud solutions of EGI. As said in the presentation, HBP  needs “technical capabilities to federate neuroscience data, analyze structural and functional brain data and to build and navigate multi-level brain atlases”.  HPC faces the challenge and need of bringing data and computation together, and this is an area where EGI can provide solutions, infrastructure, and expertise.

The replication of the “Shared data space” use case on the EGI federated cloud (pag 6 in the presentation) was discussed and the activity seems promising. Technical information will be exchanged to discuss the next concrete steps.

As a conclusion to the workshop, the participants agreed on a number of points that are highly relevant to EGI, among which:

  • data management and computation (HTC and HPC) are necessary conditions for the research in neuroscience;
  • the “data pipeline” from creation to use and re-use, needs underpinning e-Infrastructure services;
  • more coordination between Research Infrastructures and e-Infrastructures is needed.

The first workshop between a FET initiative like HBP and European e-Infrastructures was a successful event that has brought EGI closer to the needs of neuroscience. We are keen to collaborate!


Blog post contributed by Tiziana Ferrari, Technical Director of the EGI Foundation