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ANN ARBOR, MI, United States

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA | Phase: ICT-2013.5.3 | Award Amount: 1.03M | Year: 2013

Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) have become a popular topic for research in recent years. A BCI is a communication device which allows people to control applications through direct measures of their brain activity. A BNCI (brain/neuronal computer interaction) system extends a BCI by including other physiological measures such as muscle or eye movement signals.\nThe number of BCI research groups around the world, peer-reviewed journal articles, conference abstracts, and attendance at relevant conferences are indicators of the rapid growth of this field. With dozens of companies and research groups actively participating in the development of BCIs and related technologies, collaboration, a common terminology, and a clear roadmap have become important topics. To provide a solution to these issues, the European Commission (EC) funded the coordination action Future BNCI in 2010/2011. This project, led by TUG, was the first effort to foster collaboration and communication among key stakeholders.\nThis proposal, BNCI Horizon 2020, aims to continue and improve upon the efforts initiated by Future BNCI. Our consortium includes eight major European BCI research institutions, three industrial partners, and two end user organizations (one of which is also a research partner).\nA main result of BNCI Horizon 2020 will be a clear and concise roadmap to support the EC in their funding decisions for the new framework program Horizon 2020. More specifically, we will focus on consolidating recent results in BNCI research and on investigating new BNCI activities and synergies with relevant fields. We will discuss potential new applications leading to the enhancement of functions for people with motor, sensory, cognitive and mental disabilities. Furthermore, we will elaborate on key technological advancements necessary to achieve future goals, and we will touch upon other key topics including ethics, societal needs for and acceptance of BNCI systems, user-centered approaches, evaluation metrics, and the transfer of technology from research labs to the market.\nBNCI Horizon 2020 will foster communication, collaboration, and dissemination of information; create public awareness of BNCIs by organizing a retreat-style conference specifically for companies and end users; create and maintain a website for researchers, reviewers, the industry, end users, and the general public; and involve both academic and industrial key stakeholders as well as end users and end user associations.\nAll these areas are important to further advance this still young and growing research field into a full-fledged major research discipline. A clear and comprehensive roadmap produced by BNCI Horizon 2020 will lay the foundations for, and impact on, a (continued) dominance and clear visibility of European research groups in the future. In addition, the roadmap will display opportunities, but also limitations and constraints, for the industrialization and commercialization of BNCIs.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: SME-2 | Phase: ICT-37-2015 | Award Amount: 2.94M | Year: 2015

Imagine being able to hear, feel, and think but not see or move. You cannot communicate in any way, but can hear doctors and family members saying that you are comatose and cannot understand or make decisions. Recent work has shown that this nightmarish situation is a reality for tens of thousands of people worldwide, who have been diagnosed as comatose but may in fact have some ability to understand. More recent work has shown that brain-computer interface (BCI) systems can help with re-assessment of these patients, and can even provide communication. Our Feasibility Assessment in ComaWare Phase I, and other very recent developments, have strongly supported our plan to provide new technology to help these patients. In addition to providing assessment and communication, our new mindBEAGLE prototype will also be able to provide prediction and rehabilitation. This is a highly disruptive technology that will create a new market and buyer group: patients who have been (mis)- diagnosed as unable to communicate. These persons, and their physicians and families, will be very highly motivated to convey their basic needs and desires, and seek rehabilitation to regain some cognitive and motor function. In addition to creating a new mindBEAGLE-Pro system specialized for severely disabled persons without vision, we will also develop, pilot-test, and launch a novel business focused on providing support for patients, their carers and clinicians. This evaluation will support our Commercialization Plan, along with user, market and IP research, targeted surveys of end users, business experts, researchers and other groups, Workshop Tours, and other activities. Our efforts will be supported by a strong Advisory Board and subcontractors with specific, targeted expertise. Overall, ComaWare will create a paradigm shift in assessment and treatment of persons diagnosed with disorders of consciousness.

Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 500.00K | Year: 2011

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project proposes to develop an imaging based monitoring system for the piercing process used in the manufacturing of seamless steel tubes based on the feasibility proven in Phase I. Piercing is the core process of the near net-shape manufacturing process for seamless tubes, which are crucial materials in many critical applications ranging from energy to chemical, automotive, aerospace, and infrastructure. However, being the primary cause for tube wall variations and internal surface quality issues,piercing is rarely investigated due to the lack of proper sensing means. There is a need to improve the piercing process efficiency for higher product quality and lower costs with new sensors. The proposed innovation consists of a set of imaging sensors for measuring the vibrations of the part being pierced. The vibration signals are used for system conditions monitoring for the detection of critical failure modes. The new approach was validated on selected tubes. Further development is proposed to support the commercialization of a new piercing-monitoring system. This project will be carried out by a team of industry-academia collaboration in 24 months. A site-tested prototype will be delivered. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is substantial. This project represents a unique approach of multi-model sensor fusion to controlling a highly stochastic and non-linear process. If commercialized, it may improve seamless steel tubing manufacture through reduced mill downtime, fewer setup pieces, and tightened tolerances, thereby reducing the pollution emissions and costly energy consumption associated with remanufacturing or reworking out-oftolerance products. Industry-wide adoption in the tube industry could yield drastic reductions in waste byproducts and cost savings of $250 million per year. Scientifically, the proposed research could have an impact on the adoption of emerging high dimensional data analysis techniques. The proposed project carries strong educational implication due to the close working relationship with the academia. Social impact is also expected with this project in improved energy preservation and environmental protection. The estimated benefits include energy savings of 3 terawatt-hours and reduction of 300,000 tons of carbon-equivalent emission and 260,000 tons of toxic waste per year. The estimated market size for the proposed iPPM system is $15 million in the US and $200 million globally. Beyond the piercing process, the success of the project will also provide generic modeling and analysis tools for systems with complex information.

Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1000.00K | Year: 2014

This project is to establish the capability and sustainability of the US-based rail manufacturers by applying innovative sensing and process control for a high-efficiency practice in producing 100m high-speed rails. Technology advantage is key to overcoming detrimental factors, such as higher labor costs, that are saddling the US manufacturing sector.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2013.8.1 | Award Amount: 3.54M | Year: 2013

Current ICT technology provides new capabilities to measure the functional activity of the brain and to compute in real-time stimuli that can be applied to the brain itself in order to train and modify its activity. This new frontier of research is made possible by a dramatic increase in cheap computing power, novel design methodologies for high-performance software, integrated circuits and systems for sensors and actuators, and algorithms and software environments for collaborative interaction of people cooperating on solving a specific problem. This project will explore the consequences of exploiting these novel technologies in a deliberate attempt to improve a higher-order task such as creativity.

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