Grant for research into neuromorphic computing

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NWO is awarding a grant to Johan Mentink’s research into neuromorphic computers. These computer systems could drastically reduce the energy consumption of hardware in the future.

The grant is part of the Emerging Key Technologies call from NWO. A total of nine projects will receive EUR 9.4 million in funding. With that money, the public-private partnership projects should take the next step in their development. The consortium partners are committing an additional EUR 1.3 million in co-financing.

Neuromorphic computing

Radboud University is lead applicant for one of these projects, titled ’Disruptively green neuromorphic scientific computing leveraging stochasticity’. The project is led by Johan Mentink from the Institute for Molecules and Materials. Co-applicants are the Fontys University of Applied Sciences and the Johannes Gutenberg-Universität in Mainz, Germany. There is also collaboration with the University of Twente and the eScience Centre, and the project is co-funded by IBM Research and SURF.   

Neuromorphic computing has the potential to drastically reduce the energy consumption of computing systems. This interdisciplinary project investigates new algorithms and materials for potentially disruptive application of neuromorphic hardware. By exploiting rather than circumventing inherent stochastic effects, large-scale computer simulations are made possible that are currently practically impracticable.

Breast cancer 

Radboud university medical center is also a co-applicant in a project by Severine le Gac from the University of Twente. That project is entitled ’SMART-ToC Tumour-on-Chip (ToC) platform incorporating Sensing hydrogel MAtrices - correlating microenvironment and Response to immunotherapy’. Within SMART-ToC, an advanced breast cancer model will be developed in an on-chip format for testing (immuno)therapies, pursuing an animal-free experimental approach.  

This model will reproduce and measure important tumour environmental factors, which are lacking in current approaches, while significantly influencing treatment outcomes. The model includes a three-dimensional multicellular culture in innovative, customisable and sensory matrices, which allow correlation of the microenvironment and therapeutic outcomes. In parallel, the researchers are pursuing an innovation path towards social acceptance. The transdisciplinary team, comprising experts and stakeholders, will contribute to the development of cancer therapies, personalised medicine and industrial productivity for the benefit of society as a whole. 

Institute for Molecules and Materials , Faculty of Science , Faculty of Medical Sciences (Radboudumc) , Ultrafast Spectroscopy of Correlated Materials