#Page-Top "Page Top"
#What-is "What-is"

What is the Annual BCI Award?


The International BCI Award, endowed with 6,000 USD, is one of the top accolades in BCI research. The Award was created to recognize outstanding and innovative research in the field of Brain-Computer Interfaces. The BCI Award Foundation organizes the annual BCI Award and guarantees scientific objectivity by assigning an independent and international jury assembled with world-leading BCI experts who work with invasive and non-invasive BCI in both research and clinical environments to judge the submitted projects. The BCI Award Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 2017 in Austria, chaired by Christoph Guger and Gerwin Schalk.  

12 projects are nominated before the winner is announced at the BCI Award Ceremony.


  • The 12 nominated projects will be invited to submit a chapter to be published
    in a book (Springer).
  • The winner gets 3,000 USD, the 2nd place 2,000 USD and the 3rd place 1,000 USD!
  • The BCI-award is donated by g.tec, a leading provider of BCI research equipment located in Austria.
  • There is no limitation or special consideration for the type of hardware and software used in the submission.
  • The competition is open to any BCI group or researcher worldwide.*

* Submissions from BCI groups/labs affiliated to the Jury 2019 are excluded from this year's competition.



The BCI Award is a very prestigious prize that attracts leading groups developing neural prostheses. I have seen a steady increase in the award’s popularity and the quality of submitted projects. Importantly, nominated projects are presented in an annual book series, which presents a collection of the best BCI studies conducted each year.

I foresee that the BCI Award will become an equivalent of a Nobel prize in the field of brain interfaces, and it will define the key directions in this growing research field.


– Mikhail A. Lebedev, PhD
Duke University Medical Center

#Submission "Submission"



  1. Write a clear description in English that does not exceed 2 pages.
  2. Include your full name(s), contact information, project title, brief description and current status of the work, images, figures and tables (if needed).
  3. Additionally, make a short film to explain the subject matter of your BCI project submission. It should be approx. one minute long and has to be spoken or subtitled in English.
  4. Send the document as a .pdf file and the short film to submit (submit(Ca)bci-award·com)( (submit(Ca)bci-award·com)C (submit(Ca)bci-award·com)a (submit(Ca)bci-award·com)) (submit(Ca)bci-award·com)bci-award (submit(Ca)bci-award·com)· (submit(Ca)bci-award·com)com (submit(Ca)bci-award·com) before the indicated deadline (June 1, 2019).
  5. Attend the 8th BCI Conference 2019 in Graz (Austria) or send a delegate to receive the nomination or the award in person. The 12 top-ranked nominees will be informed about 2 months before the BCI Award 2019 Ceremony

All projects will be treated confidentially.


The jury will score the submitted projects on the basis of a list of criteria. Your project should get high scores in several of the criteria to get a high ranking. Thus, you should consider the following questions when writing your submission:

  • Does the project include a novel application of the BCI?
  • Is there any new methodological approach used compared to earlier projects?
  • Is there any new benefit for potential users of a BCI?
  • Is there any improvement in terms of speed of the system (e.g. bit/min)?
  • Is there any improvement in terms of accuracy of the system?
  • Does the project include any results obtained from real patients or other potential users?
  • Does the approach work online/in real-time?
  • Is there any improvement in terms of usability?
  • Does the project include any novel hardware or software developments?


The 12 nominated projects will be invited to publish their work in the “BCI State-Of-The-Art” book series by Springer.


EXTENDED Submission deadline

June 17th, 2019

1st place:     USD 3,000*
2nd place:    USD 2,000*
3rd place:     USD 1,000**
  * sponsored by g.tec medical engineering
** sponsored by the BCI Society
Short film
For the BCI Award 2019, it is required to additionally submit a short film to explain the subject matter of your BCI project submission.
All nominees will present their submissions at the Poster Session during the 8th BCI Conference 2019 in Graz!
#Interview "Interview"

Restoring Functional Reach-to-Grasp with FES and BCI



With the BCI and FES we have gone around the spinal cord, such that a person with paralysis can think about moving, and then the arm and hand will move in the same way that they are thinking.



A. Bolu Ajiboye, Ph.D.

Read the interview with the 1st place winner of the BCI Award 2018 about his research with FES and BCI in on the g.tec Blog. It was the first study to combine an implanted human BCI system with implanted FES to restore both reaching and grasping in a person who had lost all functionality.


#Jury "Jury"

The Jury of 2019


Michael Tangermann (DE)

Chair 2019
Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg
Brain State Decoding Lab



Abidemi Bolu Ajiboye (US)

Winner 2018
Case Western Reserve University Ohio




Rossella Spataro (IT)

University of Palermo





Michael Smith (US)

University of California, Berkeley




Keiichi Kitajo (JP)

RIKEN Center for Brain Science
National Institute for Physiological Sciences



Selina Wriessnegger (AT)

Graz University of Technology
Institute of Neural Engineering


#Interview "Interview"

BCI-Based Language Training for Patients with Chronic Aphasia



Making use of BCI, we are able to monitor some of the cognitive processes relevant in language tasks. This allows us to help a patient develop his/her language ability during our training.



Michael Tangermann, Ph.D.

Read the interview with the 2nd place winner of the BCI Award 2018 about BCI-based language training for patients with chronic aphasia.


#Nominees "Nominees"

The Nominees for 2019

This year, top-level research projects were submitted from all over the world.
The jury, chaired by Michael Tangermann, carefully scored 12 nominated projects:


Junjie Bu1, Kymberly D. Young2, Wei Hong1, Ru Ma1, Hongwen Song5, Ying Wang1, Wei Zhang1,
Michelle Hampson
3, Talma Hendler4, Xiaochu Zhang1,5

BCI-based neurofeedback training for quitting smoking

1 Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at the Microscale and School of Life Sciences, University of
Science & Technology of China, Hefei, China
2 Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, USA.
3 Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.
4 Functional Brain Center, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel.
5 School of Humanities & Social Science, University of Science & Technology of China, Hefei, China.

Sergey D. Stavisky1, Francis R. Willett1, Paymon Rezaii1, Leigh R. Hochberg2, Krishna V. Shenoy1,3, Jaimie M. Henderson

Decoding speech from intracortical multielectrode arrays in dorsal motor cortex

1 Stanford University, USA.
2 Brown University, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Providence VA Medical Center, USA.
3 Howard Hughes Medical Institute, USA.

Masaaki Hayashi1, Nobuaki Mizuguchi2,3, Shohei Tsuchimoto1,2, Shoko Kasuga1,4,5, Junichi Ushiba3,4

Neurofeedback of scalp EEG sensorimotor rhythm guides hemispheric activation of sensorimotor cortex

1 School of Fundamental Science and Technology, Graduate School of Keio University, Kanagawa, Japan.
2 The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Tokyo, Japan.
3 Department of Biosciences and informatics, Faculty of Science and Technology, Keio University, Kanagawa, Japan.
4 Keio Institute of Pure and Applied Sciences, Kanagawa, Japan.
5 Centre for Neuroscience Studies, Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada

Yuxiao Yang1, Omid G. Sani1, Morgan B. Lee2,3,4, Heather E. Dawes2,3,4, Edward F. Chang2,3,4, Maryam M. Shanechi1,5

Developing a closed-loop brain-computer interface for treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders using electrical brain stimulation

1 Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering, Viterbi School of Engineering, University of Southern California, USA.
2 Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, USA.
3 Weill Institute for Neuroscience, University of California, San Francisco, USA.
4 Kavli Institute for Fundamental Neuroscience, University of California, San Francisco, USA.
5 Neuroscience Graduate Program, University of Southern California, USA.

Farah L. Laiwalla1, Vincent W. Leung2, Jihun Lee1, Patrick Mercier2, Peter Asbeck2, Ramesh Rao2, Lawrence Larson1, Arto Nurmikko1

Next-Generation Microscale Wireless Implant System for High-Density, Multi-Areal Closed-loop Brain Computer Interfaces

1 Brown University, USA.
2 University of California San Diego, USA.


Peter Yoo, Nicholas Opie, Thomas Oxley, Stephen Ronayne, Gil Rind, Amos Meltzer

StentrodeTM Neural Interface System: Minimally-invasive Brain-Computer Interface designed for everyday use

1 Synchron Inc., Australia.

Ben Somers1, Damien Lesenfants1, Jonas Vanthornhout1, Lien Decruy1, Eline
1, Tom Francart1

Interfacing hearing implants with the brain: closing the loop with intracochlear brain recordings

1 KU Leuven - University of Leuven, Department of Neurosciences, ExpORL, Leuven, Belgium.

Tomislav Milekovic1,2, Flavio Raschellà3, Matthew G. Perich2, Shiqi Sun1,4, Eduardo Martin Moraud6,7, Giuseppe Schiavone5, Yang Jianzhong8,9, Andrea Galvez2, Christopher Hitz1, Alessio Salomon1, David Borton1,10, Jean Laurens1,11, Isabelle Vollenweider1, Simon Borgognon1, Jean-Baptiste Mignardot1, Wai Kin D Ko8,9, Cheng YunLong8,9, Li Hao8,9, Peng Hao8,9, Qin Li8,9, Marco Capogrosso12, Tim Denison13, Stéphanie P. Lacour5, Silvestro Micera3,14, Chuan Qin9, Jocelyne Bloch6,7, Erwan Bezard8,10,15,16, Grégoire Courtine1,6,7

A brain–spine interface alleviating gait deficits in a primate model of Parkinson’s disease

1 Center for Neuroprosthetics and Brain Mind Institute, School of Life Sciences, EPFL, Switzerland.
2 Department of Fundamental Neuroscience, Faculty of
Medicine, University of Geneva, Switzerland.

3 Center for Neuroprosthetics and Institute of Bioengineering, School of Engineering, EPFL, Switzerland.
4 Beijing Engineering Research Center for Intelligent Rehabilitation, College of Engineering, Peking University, People's Republic of China.
5 Center for Neuroprosthetics, Institute of Microengineering and Institute of Bioengineering, School of Engineering, EPFL, Switzerland.
6 Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) and University of Lausanne, Switzerland.
7 Department of Neurosurgery, CHUV, Switzerland.
8 Motac Neuroscience, United Kingdom.
9 Institute of Laboratory Animal Sciences, China Academy of Medical Sciences, People's Republic of China.
10 Carney Institute for Brain Science, School of Engineering, Brown University, USA.
11 Department of Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine, USA.
12 Translational Neuroscience platform, University of Fribourg, Switzerland; 13 Oxford University, United Kingdom.
14 The BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna,

15 Université de Bordeaux, Institut des Maladies Neurodégénératives (IMN), France.
16 CNRS, IMN, France.


Frolov Alexander1,2, Biryukova Elena1,2, Bobrov Pavel1,2, Bobrov Dmirty1, Lekin Alexander1, Mokienko Olesya3, Lyukmanov Roman3, Kotov Sergey4, Kondur Anna4, Ivanova Galina1, Bushkova Yulia1

Post-stroke rehabilitation training with a motor-imagery-based brain-computer interface (BCI)-controlled hand exoskeleton: a randomized controlled multicenter trial

1 Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University, Russia.
2 Institute of Higher Nervous Activity, Russia.
3 Research Centre of Neurology, Russia.
4 Vladimirsky Moscow Regional Research Clinical Institute, Russia.

Solaiman Shokur, Debora S. F. Campos, A. R. C. Donati, Eduardo J. L. Alho, Mikhail
Miguel Nicolelis

The Walk Again Neurorehabilitation Protocol: a BMI-based clinical application to induce partial neurological recovery in spinal cord injury patients 

Neurorehabilitation laboratory AASDAP.

M.Yarici, H.J. Davies, T. Nakamura, I. Williams and D.P. Mandic
Hearables: In-Ear Multimodal Brain Computer Interfacing

Imperial College London.

Tianxiao Jiang1, Priscella Asman1, Giuseppe Pellizzer2, Sudhakar Tummala3, Sujit Prabhu3 and Nuri F. Ince1

Power Modulations of ECoG Alpha/Beta and Gamma Bands Correlate with Time-Derivative of Force During Sustained Hand Grasp

1 University of Houston, USA.
2 University of Minnesota, USA.
3 MDAnderson Cancer Center, USA.

#Ceremony "Ceremony"

The 2019 BCI Award Ceremony


… takes place at the 8th Graz Brain-Computer Interface Conference 2019 on Tuesday, September 17, 2019, 18:00

Graz University of Technology, Rooftop

Stremayrgasse 16
8020 Graz



Awarded by


Sponsored by


#Interview "Interview"

Brain-To-Speech: Direct Synthesis of Speech from Intracranial Brain Activity Associated with Speech Production



Instead of writing down what a person was saying, we try to synthesize the speech directly from the brain signals and output speech as an audio waveform.



Christian Herff, Ph.D.

Read the interview with the 3rd place winner of the BCI Award 2018 about the direct synthesis of speech fron intracranial brain activity.


#Video "Video"