It is a distinguished honor and pleasure for the “Athena” Research and Innovation Center to be hosting the 7th Human Brain Project Summit and Open Day in Athens, Greece. The event is under the auspices of the General Secretariat for Research & Technology of the Ministry of Development and Investments of Greece, while the City of Athens and the Region of Attica have generously provided their endorsement. Furthermore, the entire Athenian academic and research community, especially the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, has contributed to shaping the content and ensuring a highly impactful Summit and Open Day. I am deeply indebted to all of them.
Following six very successful meetings in the central, northern, and western regions of Europe, for the first time the HBP Summit moves to the southeast end of the continent, expanding its geographic footprint to essentially cover all of Europe. A world-renowned scientific, economic, cultural, philosophical, and political landmark, with a continuous history of human presence and activity of more than 30 centuries, Athens offers an ideal environment to host the Summit of one the most ambitious and visionary Research Infrastructure projects in Europe today.
The city lies in the heart of Eastern Mediterranean, on the crossroads of three continents, and has served as a background of continuous change and fusion of ideas, conflict and reconciliation, evolution and revolution, re-formation and re-creation throughout the centuries. Even today, as the capital of Greece, it is coming out of a major economic crisis, having survived and overcome many potential financial and social collapse points, and is reinventing itself as a major energy and transport hub, bursting with creativity and experiencing the explosive growth of a very vibrant start-up scene.
HBP is at a crossroads itself, entering its last phase of funding as a FET Flagship project and envisioning its long-term future as a landmark infrastructure in the ESFRI Roadmap. Athens is, thus, a fitting stage for fertile discussions, intense exchange of ideas, and bold new conceptions on the science, infrastructure, research, technology, application, education, and innovation dimensions of neuroscience in general and the Human Brain Project in particular.
On behalf of the program committee and the organizing committee, I am delighted to be welcoming you all to the 7th Human Brain Project Summit and Open Day. I am looking forward to an inspiring and productive event under the Athenian sun in February 2020!
Prof. Yannis Ioannidis
Local Host of the HBP Summit and Open Day
President and General Director, “Athena” Research & Innovation Center
Professor, Dept. of Informatics and Telecom, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens