Universities unite to create neuroscience hub
The Neuropolis hub will host the EPFL's Blue Brain Project which aims to construct a virtual brain (Keystone)
A joint project between Geneva and Lausanne universities, together with the Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), will see the creation of a SFr110 million ($115 million) global neuroscience hub.
Dubbed “Neuropolis”, the project will be based in two facilities to be built in Geneva and Lausanne. It aims to develop understanding of the human brain while creating a space in which researchers can interact with the public.
In Lausanne, Neuropolis will host the simulation platform of the EPFL Blue Brain Project, which aims to study the architectural and functional principles of the brain by reconstructing a brain and eventually creating a virtual brain in a super computer.
It could also, if selected, play host to the European Union Human Brain Project, which aims to simulate the working of a brain in order to understand its mysteries better. This project currently counts about 120 teams of researchers in 90 scientific institutions from 22 countries.
Neuropolis Lausanne will also be the site of the Centre for Scientific Simulation, an interactive space open to the public dedicated to neuroscience and the exploration of the brain.
In Geneva, a new Institute of Translational Molecular Imaging will be created to focus on neuro-imaging, chronic diseases, neurological degeneration and aging.
The Neuropolis project has been financed by the Swiss government, the Vaud cantonal government and Rolex. When completed, the two facilities will be capable of hosting up to 1,000 research collaborators.
An international architecture competition will be launched in autumn to find a design for the new institutions.