Claude Berrou, a professor at Télécom Bretagne, has been awarded a grant of 1.9 million euros by the European Research Council (European Research Council, ERC)
The tender ERC advanced grants in 2011 led 2284 research scientists, scientists from all disciplines and all European countries, to submit research proposals for the next five years. About 13% of the projects submitted were finally selected whose project led by Telecom Bretagne.
Title Neucod (for Neural coding), this research program aims to identify and exploit the strong similarities observed between the structure and properties of the cerebral cortex, and those of modern error-correcting decoders. Highly interdisciplinary, Neucod combines information theory, computer science, electronics and neuroscience. The grant awarded by the ERC (see p.5) will allow the project director, Claude Berrou together a team of eight researchers who will work for five years on developing a theory of mental information. The expected impact of this work are on artificial intelligence and cognitive neuroscience.
To convince the European Research Council, Claude Berrou has asserted its international expertise in coding and distributed scientific environment of very high level of Telecom Bretagne. He was able to state specifically the turbo, the coding system for high-performance communications which he invented in the early 1990s with the help of his colleague Alain Glavieux, who died in 2004. The turbo codes are now used extensively in 3G and 4G.
“This European grant is both a recognition of our past work relied on coding for telecommunications and a great opportunity for us to expand applications to neuroscience. The question we must answer in a few years is indeed this: Information is mental fundamentally digital and if so – what I believe – can we use the same methods as in telecommunications for more understand and exploit its principles? “said Claude Berrou.