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One Billion Euros to ­nleash the Power of Information

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A diverse group of European scientists are planning the FuturIcT knowledge accelerator, an effort to build a more powerful and accurate science of human systems. The project aims to assemble expertise in all areas of science to develop supercomputing facilities on which future policies can be based. The project will be "one of the most profound scientific initiatives of the 21st century," says European Complex Systems Society president Jeffery Johnson.

The recent global economic crises has led scientists to call for a large-scale research initiative on socio-economic and environmental issues to study the way the planet works while including the human component. "The need is clearly intense in the social and economic sphere, if we want to successfully avoid or mitigate similar crises in the future," says ETH Zurich's Dick Helbing. He says the project aims to capitalize on new scientific advances that should make it possible to understand human systems more precisely and on a larger scale.

One of the goals is to develop a Living Earth simulator, an experimental system that would be able to simulate global-scale systems involving the interactions of up to 10 billion agents.

From ETH Zurich
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