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G3ict

NeuroAbilities

G3ict logo and a textual logo of NeuroAbilities with a design element in orange and blue, both placed side by side.

NeuroAbilities is G3ict’s dedicated program to explore the current state of assistive solutions based on advanced Neurotechnologies, Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabling persons with disabilities and older persons to better interact with their environment.


Vision

The convergence of innovations in neurosciences and information technologies will lead to assistive solutions potentially improving the lives of hundreds of millions of persons with disabilities. Those will emerge through multi-disciplinary collaborations and knowledge sharing among neuroscientists, information technologists, assistive technology providers, end-users and care givers.


Purpose

The purpose of NeuroAbilities is to document and improve the knowledge of Neurotechnologies and Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI) applied to Assistive Technologies for Persons with Disabilities while fostering exchanges among a community of involved stakeholders, exploring innovation, real word solutions, user’s perspectives as well as security, societal and ethical issues.


Context of NeuroAbilities within G3ict’s Mission of Promoting CRPD Dispositions

Art. 4. of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) - “General Obligations” specifies that States Parties commit:

(g) To undertake or promote research and development of, and to promote the availability and use of new technologies, including information and communications technologies, mobility aids, devices and assistive technologies, suitable for persons with disabilities, giving priority to technologies at an affordable cost;

(h) To provide accessible information to persons with disabilities about mobility aids, devices and assistive technologies, including new technologies, as well as other forms of assistance, support services and facilities.


Background

AI enabled neurotechnologies are emerging as an entirely new field of innovation in assistive solutions that can transform the lives of millions of persons with disabilities. And while neurotechnologies and brain computer interfaces have been explored for a while, competition and research and development investments are accelerating with major players entering the field showing definite progress towards marketable solutions. This is a very new development with considerable implications while little interaction occurring between ecosystem participants and persons with disabilities.

The purpose and goals of Neurotechnologies is to improve the knowledge of this nascent field around neurotechnologies and Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI) for assistive technologies and to create a new sustainable community of involved stakeholders with the intent to promote innovation and solutions while exploring user’s perspectives as well as security, societal and ethical issues.


The NeuroAbilities research program is made possible by:

A grant from the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation

Patrick J McGovern Foundation logo with a design element of the earth

Scientific and programmatic support offered by the National Center for Adaptive Neurotechnologies

A design element of a brain and NCAN logo in text

Technical support contributed by the International Association of Accessibility Professionals

International Association of Accessibility Professionals: IAAP logo in text with a colorful design element on the left.

NeuroAbilities is a program managed by the G3ict's Institutional Advocacy Division.


Audiences

  • Neuroscientists and technologists from public, private and academic research institutions
  • Assistive Technology and Information Technology industries, wearable technology vendors, private sector R&D and start-ups
  • Organizations of Persons with Disabilities and BCI/Neurotech users advocates and care givers
  • Granting organizations, government agencies, venture capital
  • Accessibility and Rehabilitation Professionals, special educators
  • Faculty and students

Advisory Council

NeuroAbilities Advisory Council provides guidance on themes, research priorities, experts and information resources shaping its program. Review the list of participants.

Current workgroups:

  • AI and neurotechnologies: How can AI have an impact on existing technologies and future innovations;
  • Removing barriers to translation: How to overcome the challenges of going from concept to consumers;
  • Creating a common vocabulary: communication and understanding about neurotechnologies among different stakeholders;
  • Managing consumers’ expectations: Ethics, safety and efficacy;
  • Neurotechnological hype: Developing honest assessment of the outcomes and impact of latest neurotechnologies.

NeuroAbilities Website

NeuroAbilities is in the process of launching its own website with the following objectives:

  • A searchable Resource Center of vetted information
  • A platform to engage multiple stakeholders and promote discussion
  • To promote a comprehensive series of lectures and webinars

In addition to a think-tank section allowing for multiple types of contributions and content formats, the website will include the following sections:

  • “Who’s Who” Directory
  • Explore publications, case studies, etc.
  • Explore by Functional Disability Areas
  • Explore Technology Solutions
  • Explore A to Z

Webinar Series

Under the NeuroAbilities program, G3ict is organizing a Webinar Series with a kick-off event on November 17 featuring a dialogue between a neuroscientist and a brain-computer interface (BCI) user, the first human to ever have electrodes implanted to enable sensation of an artificial limb. Registrations are now closed, as this event is in the past. Watch the webinar recording on YouTube.


Stay Tuned! If you would like to contribute to NeuroAbilities or receive further notifications about NeuroAbilities, please contact neuroabilitiesinfo@g3ict.org

Follow NeuroAbilities on YouTube.