March 8, 2023 — The European Innovation Council (EIC) has selected 27 projects out of 289 proposals submitted to the Transition grant program to receive a total of 79.3 million euros in EU funding. This program aims to transform research results from European research projects into commercially viable businesses.
For the first time, the European Innovation Council (EIC) is awarding a grant of this type to a deep-tech startup from the German federal state of Saxony. The team from SpiNNcloud Systems, a spin-off from Professor Christian Mayr’s research group at Technische Universität Dresden, is receiving a grant of 2.5 million euros (US$2.6 million) for their groundbreaking project, “SpiNNode: SpiNNaker2 on the edge.”
“SpiNNaker2 is a bio-inspired supercomputer which was developed at my Chair in collaboration with Prof. Steve Furber’s research group at the University of Manchester as part of the Human Brain Project’s European flagship. It is the world’s largest and most energy-efficient supercomputer for real-time artificial intelligence.”
Prof. Angela Rösen.-Wolff, vice-rector of research at TU Dresden added, “The EIC grant will enable SpiNNaker2 to expand to mobile applications, such as human-machine interaction in our CeTI Cluster of Excellence, and to be tested in realistic industrial environments.”
Matthias Lohrmann, CTO at SpiNNcloud, elaborated, “With this funding, we can press ahead with our expansion and we will be able to deliver the first systems from Saxony to our customers worldwide in 2024.”
Frank Bösenberg, managing director of Silicon Saxony, Europe’s largest semiconductor site with more than 400 company members, said, “SpiNNcloud is another example of the high-tech developments in Saxony’s semiconductor industry and a testament to the success of technology transfer driven by the excellent research environment at TU Dresden.”
Christian Eichhorn, Co-CEO of SpiNNcloud Systems, explained: “AI such as ChatGPT is now entering our everyday lives and, therefore, represents a revolution comparable to that of the internet. Training this AI model consumes as much electricity as 3,000 households use in a month. It is not yet possible to predict the scale of future electricity consumption resulting from the use of AI. We are working on the most energy-efficient computing hardware for large-scale applications, as this will be key to significantly reducing the carbon footprint of AI.”
Hector Gonzalez, Co-CEO of SpiNNcloud Systems, added, “Our inspiration is the human brain, which only requires 30 watts to tackle the most complex tasks. The future of computing technology must be inspired by the brain.”
About the Human Brain Project
The Human Brain Project (HBP) is one of the largest research projects in Europe and one of the European Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) Flagships. It was launched in 2013 for a duration of 10 years. The Human Brain Project and its 123 Partners are co-funded by the European Commission. At the interface of neuroscience and information technology, the HBP investigates the brain and its diseases with the help of highly advanced methods from computing, neuroinformatics and artificial intelligence, and drives innovation in fields like brain-inspired computing and neurorobotics. The HBP is also actively involved in major international brain initiatives and projects such as the International Brain Initiative and the European Brain Research Agenda. As such, it contributes to stimulate brain research and coordinates brain research agendas at the European and global levels.
Source: Technische Universität Dresden and HBP