Brain-Computer Interface Pioneer g.tec to Host World’s Premier BCI & Neurotechnology Summit With 2024 Spring School

As brain-computer interface (BCI) and neurotechnology continue to develop, there is growing interest in these emerging scientific areas, from both academic and business circles. BCI has various valuable uses, including communication, controlling devices, and rehabilitation for people with neurological conditions, which is why more people are learning about it, with an aim to further improve the technology and find more ways to apply it.

To meet the rising demand for BCI knowledge and showcase the latest advances, g.tec medical engineering, a leading BCI technology company based in Austria, is holding its 2024 BCI and Neurotechnology Spring School. The event, which will run from April 22 to May 1, 2024, will provide a total of 140 hours of cutting-edge education regarding BCI, with 85 speakers, representing 86 institutions. It is free of charge and will be broadcast on Zoom, with recordings available for two weeks after.

Each of the 10 days consists of 14 hours of continuous activities with no breaks and will focus on various areas and topics in BCI and neurotechnology. Two days are dedicated to the BR41N.IO Designers’ Hackathon, where teams work to craft their own brain-computer interface or biomedical applications under the guidance of international experts.

According to g.tec co-founder and CEO, Dr. Christoph Guger, the Spring School is perfect for a wide variety of professionals, including biomedical engineers, neuroscientists, developers, makers, neurologists, neurosurgeons, therapists, and researchers in the brain-computer interface and neurotechnology field. Students can also benefit from the Spring School, with the entire 140 hours equivalent to 14 university credits, or an entire semester, with a final exam available upon request. Furthermore, students can get in contact with several global experts in this field and request them to be their advisers on BCI research. Attendees will earn a participation certificate and will be able to improve their CVs with this credential. Dr. Guger says this type of education would normally cost around $50,000 at an elite university, but g.tec is making it available for free.

The 2024 edition comes after g.tec’s highly successful 2023 BCI and Neurotechnology Spring School, which gathered a total of 15,787 attendees from 113 countries and 340 BR41N.IO hackers in 51 teams.

The first day is an introduction to BCI and Neurotechnology, where g.tec shows how to assemble electroencephalogram (EEG) electrodes, as well as how to connect electrodes to the brain, how to register and amplify signals, and how to run experiments. Meta, one of the largest tech companies in the world, will also demonstrate its activities in the BCI domain.

The second day is about neuromodulation, which involves implanting electrodes directly on the cortex, and then extracting information. One use of this technology is for patients with Parkinson’s disease. Several international experts, including Dr. Kai Miller from the Mayo Clinic in the US, will be conducting lectures about their research.

The hackathon will be held on the sixth and seventh days of Spring School, where various teams work on around 30 different projects, such as using BCI technology to control a smart home environment or to fly a drone. Other projects include data analysis, where g.tec provides data from patients with epilepsy, ALS, stroke, or are completely locked in a coma, and the researchers will work on signal processing and classification to extract information from the data. The hackathon also explores gaming and artistic applications of BCI technology. At the end of the hackathon, a panel of judges will select the best projects, with cash prizes for the winning teams.

The eighth day of the Spring School is about BCI for neurorehabilitation. Here, g.tec will showcase its groundbreaking recoveriX technology and how it benefits patients of stroke and multiple sclerosis. One of the guest speakers is Prof. Kenneth Fong of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, who is using recoveriX in Hong Kong to treat patients with neurological conditions. The ninth day is about using BCI for coma patients in an unresponsive wakefulness state, and the final day is about functional mapping, where BCI can be used to determine which areas of the brain are linked to specific body areas. This can greatly help neurosurgeons avoid crucial areas of the brain when operating while showing them how to avoid surgical mishaps.

“g.tec’s first Spring School happened in 2020, right after the pandemic struck,” Dr. Guger says. We were expecting less than a hundred participants, but we got 2,500. Since then, the attendance has grown each year, reaching a record high in 2023 with almost 16,000 attendees from over 110 countries. The Spring School is the biggest BCI and neurotechnology event in the world, so far, and are continuously working to make it an even better event with a wider reach and help further propel these scientific fields. Interested participants can find out more and register here.”

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.