European Commission supports DigiTwins project that aims at establishing a personal Digital Twin for every European citizen

18 May 2018

DigiTwins project, in which Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) participates, has received an invitation from the European Commission to enter the next stage of the competition to become an EU Flagship for Future and Emerging Technologies. DigiTwins, a large research initiative in Europe and beyond aims at revolutionizing healthcare and biomedical research for the benefit of citizens and society and at contributing to Europe’s Digital Single Market strategy through the creation of Digital Twins for every European citizen.

The community consists of more than 200 partners from industry, academic and clinical research institutions in 32 different countries. DigiTwins combines a transdisciplinary team of visionary scientists, clinicians, public health experts, policy makers, medical informatics experts, experts in Artificial Intelligence, experienced science management professionals, serial entrepreneurs, industry researchers and patient group representatives as well as experts from cross-cutting fields, such as economics, regulation, ethics, health insurance, data security and privacy. The initiative is led by Prof. Hans Lehrach (Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin), Dr. Nora Benhabiles (CEA - French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission) and Dr. Rolf Zettl (BIH - Berlin Institute of Health).

“Today we’re a significant step closer to the establishment of a system of truly personalized healthcare and health maintenance throughout Europe, which will save millions of lives and billions of healthcare costs in the future.”, rejoices Prof. Hans Lehrach, who leads the initiative, after the announcement of the news. The DigiTwins Coordination Team has gathered to celebrate and to plan the next steps leading up to the submission of the full proposal to the EC in September this year. “We’re well prepared for the next stage of the competition, but the next three months will be marked by intensive efforts together with all partners and stakeholders, to create a convincing application.”, predicts Dr. Nora Benhabiles, Co-Coordinator of the initiative.

In February, the DigiTwins initiative submitted a first proposal to the EC and thus took the first step, of a three stage process, towards becoming an EU Flagship for Future and Emerging Technologies (FET). Stage two, in which a full proposal for a candidate FET-Flagship is submitted, will kick-start with a DigiTwins partner meeting in Berlin at the end of this month. If successful, DigiTwins would be financially supported by the EC over a one-year period to prepare for stage three: the final selection of the FET-Flagships. FET-Flagships are science- and technology-driven, large-scale, multidisciplinary research initiatives built around a visionary unifying goal that are promoted and financed by the European Commission under its Research and Innovation Program Horizon 2020 with one billion euros over ten years.

BSC supports DigiTwins, because we believe in DigiTwins’ promise to create a personal Digital Twin for every European citizen and their revolutionary potential for our digital health society. Digital Twins, accurate computer models of the key biological processes within every individual that keep us healthy or lead to disease, will be used to identify individually optimal therapies as well as preventive and lifestyle measures, without exposing individuals to unnecessary risks and healthcare systems to unnecessary costs.

Are you excited about the idea of revolutionizing healthcare? Interested parties are invited to join the DigiTwins community to contribute actively or simply stay up-to-date on the initiative’s activities via the DigiTwins website (