President Barack Obama announced today at the White House a BRAIN Initiative, “a bold new research effort to revolutionize our understanding of the human mind.” Sebastian Seung was privileged to be in attendance among 100 of the world’s top researchers and government leaders.
Obama’s BRAIN Initiative stands for Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies and “builds on the President’s State of the Union call for historic investments in research and development to fuel the innovation, job creation, and economic growth.” Here’s an explanatory infographic from the White House.
Obama paralleled the BRAIN Initiative with the Human Genome Project, a revolution in genomics that yielded an impressive 140 dollar return for each dollar invested. Moreover, the cost of sequencing a genome has dropped from $100 million to $7,000. Millions of people are today employed in jobs created by HGP scientific and technological investment, and the number continues to grow. How many people will be employed in neuroscientific jobs ten years from now that don’t even exist today?
Like sequencing the human genome, President Obama’s BRAIN Initiative provides an opportunity to rally innovative capacities in every corner of the Nation and leverage the diverse skills, tools, and resources from a variety of sectors to have a lasting positive impact on lives, the economy, and our national security.
The BRAIN Initiative is launching with approximately $100 million in funding for research supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the President’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget.
President Obama will hold a Q&S at Noon, US EST. Check out the livestream from the White House. Here’s a video featuring NIH Director Francis Collins with more info.
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