Reichman University congratulates researchers from the Baruch Ivcher Institute for Brain, Cognition and Technology for winning the prestigious ERC Proof of Concept grant
Prof. Amir Amedi, head of the Baruch Ivcher Institute for Brain, Cognition and Technology and the Ruth and Meir Rosental Brain Imaging Center at Reichman University, received the European Research Council’s Proof of Concept grant, awarded to outstanding researchers who have previously won the prestigious ERC grant. The purpose of the grant is to help researchers explore the commercial or societal feasibility of their research. Only 66 researchers from all over Europe received the current grant, among them only four Israelis, including Prof. Amedi.
The ERC grant, the most esteemed funding scheme awarded by the European Union, includes four types of grants: Starting Grants, Consolidator Grants, Advanced Grants and Synergy Grants. This is the second time Prof. Amedi has received an ERC grant; he previously won the Starting Grant, which awards outstanding young researchers up to € 1.5 million for a period of 5 years. The current grant comes as a follow-up to his winning the more competitive Consolidator Grant, given to established researchers at more advanced stages of their careers.
Prof. Amedi’s research deals with digital interfaces and virtual reality, which are becoming more and more integrated into various aspects of everyday life in education, entertainment, health and medicine. The ERC grant funds will be directed towards the development of innovative technology that aims to simulate sound in space through touch, and thereby improve accessibility for the hearing impaired. The unique audio-to-touch system, designed in collaboration with Dr. Adi Snir, a Harvard graduate and postdoctoral researcher in the lab, uses touch to accurately simulate the spatial location of audio inputs such as speech, sounds and three-dimensional movements.
With the receipt of the new ERC Proof of Concept grant, the team will begin further research and development into commercial routes for this promising technology. The awarding of the grant was also made possible thanks to Prof. Amedi’s partners in the vision and writing of the grant, Dr. Amber Maimon and Iddo Wald, the lab management team at the Baruch Ivcher Institute.
Prof. Amir Amedi, a neuroscientist and one of the pioneers of multisensory research, has developed such brain technologies as sensory substitution devices (SSDs). He studies the relationship between nature (genes) and the environment in shaping brain activity and development. In his first study, he discovered a new area of the brain that operates according to a new organizational principle —task selectivity. He has published over 100 original articles and book chapters that have been cited over 12,000 times (H-factor 46). Prof. Amedi has won dozens of international and local awards, including the Krill Prize for Excellence in Scientific Research from the Wolf Foundation and the JSMF Scholar Award in Understanding Human Cognition. He was selected as one of 100 visionaries in the Genius100/Einstein Legacy Project.
Prof. Amedi heads the Baruch Ivcher Institute for Brain, Cognition and Technology, which is affiliated with Reichman University’s new Innovation Center. The center engages in research and its applications, producing innovative and ground-breaking solutions. Prof. Amedi also heads the Ruth and Meir Rosental Brain Imaging Center at Reichman University.