IFISC (CSIC-UIB) coordinates the FuturICT Spanish node, a project to create an observatory for crisis and social dynamics based on new technologies and supercomputing

IFISC logoWhat can Twitter explain about the 15-M movement emergence and its subsequent developments? Can we understand the origin and make predictions about social and political changes, like Obama’s election or protests in Arabian countries? Are there alternative mechanisms for participatory democracy today? Are there ways to anticipate the effects a bill will have before it is approved? Can we identify specific and simple actions to reduce unemployment? What measures can prevent a crisis? Are epidemic models and associated protocols useful to manage the banking crisis?The Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Physics and Complex Systems, a joint research center of the University of the Balearic Islands (UIB) and the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), participates in the European project FuturICT. The Spanish node of this initiative, which is formed by 19 research centers, R&D companies  and a cultural center, is coordinated by Dr. Maxi San Miguel, Professor at the UIB and director of the IFISC (CSIC-UIB), and Dr. Albert Diaz-Guilera ( – University of Barcelona).

Structured as a cooperative network, the pilot project FuturICT has hundreds of European scientists, is multidisciplinary, and introduces ideas of Physics, Mathematics, Biology, Sociology, Psychology, and Economics to develop new formulas that generate new forms of research, management and even prediction on various aspects of society. FuturICT works to create a life simulation on Earth (LSE), based on a supercomputer, which integrate all processes that affect human existence on the planet, with special attention to those phenomena that depend on human behavior (social, political and economic).

This European project is part of the six pilot projects selected in the first phase of the European FET (Future and Emerging Technologies) Flagship programme. FET Flagships is a new action driven by the European Commission as part of the initiative Future and Emerging Technologies (FET), which plans to invest 1,000 million euros in 10 years in each outstanding proposal.

By mid-2012 two of the six pilot projects will be selected and will eventually participate in the FET Flagships programme. Its goal is to promote “revolutionary and visionary” research able to generate major advances in information and communication technologies, providing solutions to industry and to some of the major social challenges society faces.

The main institutions and companies in the Spanish node are:

  • Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Physics and Complex Systems (joint research centre of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and the University of the Balearic Islands)
  • COMPLEXITAT.CAT (Barcelona Knowledge Campus, Polytechnic University of Catalonia and the University of Barcelona)
  • Carlos III University of Madrid
  • Madrid IMDEA Networks
  • Social Insisoc Systems Engineering Centre (University of Valladolid and University of Burgos)
  • COMPLEXITAT.CAT (Rovira i Virgili University)
  • Arts Santa Mònica (Barcelona)
  • Barcelona Supercomputing Center
  • Physics Institute of Cantabria (joint center of the CSIC and the University of Cantabria)
  • Institute of Biocomputing and Physics of Complex Systems (BELFA – University of Saragossa)
  • Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence (IIIA-CSIC)
  • Innaxis, The Research Institute Innaxis
  • Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA – Autonomous University of Barcelona)
  • Advanced Systems Technology (SATEC)
  • Milà and Fontanals Institute (CASAS-CSIC)
  • Avanced Communication and Computer Architecture (ACCA, Polytechnic University of Valencia, University of Castilla la Mancha, University of Murcia and University of Valencia)
  • Group of Analytical Sociology and Institutional Design (GSADI-Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
  • Yahoo Research Barcelona
  • Technology and Expertise IBERMATICA

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