An Israeli non-profit group announced on Wednesday a $1 million prize program to encourage innovation in brain-research technology.
Israel Brain Technologies says it hopes the initiative will help turn Israel into an international hub for innovation in the field.
"It's an invitation to the world to eradicate brain disease," said the group's executive director, Miri Polachek.
The prize, funded by private donors in Israel and abroad, is open to researchers from around the world. The money will be awarded next year to a single individual or team, said Dr. Rafi Gidron, the group's founder and chairman.
Organizers said the prize was inspired by the vision of President Shimon Peres,
who wants Israel to be a global leader in brain research.
"There is no doubt that brain research in the next decade will revolutionize our lives and impact such major domains as medicine, education, computing, and the human mind, to name but some. Moreover, it will not only relieve the suffering of patients of such debilitating diseases as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, but it will also engender large economic rewards as well," Peres said at a technology conference where the prize was unveiled.
The B.R.A.I.N. Prize aims at engaging the best and brightest minds across the planet to spark a new wave of neurotechnology innovation. The prize will also showcase Israel as an international hub for innovation in brain research and technology, helping position Israel as not only the "Startup Nation," but also the "Brain Nation."
Prize winners could, for example, help treat neurological disorders like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, depression, PTSD or even sports-related brain trauma. Or they could create the next cutting-edge brain-inspired technology that will alter our day-to-day lives.
The international judging committee will be composed of distinguished leaders in neuroscience, technology and business.
"President Shimon Peres has a special vision: To make Israel a global center for advances in neurotechnology and brain-related treatments. We invite others to share this vision, and for innovators around the world to enter the B.R.A.I.N. Prize competition, so we can tackle some of the most exciting challenges facing our planet," said Polachek.
The Prize will be awarded at IBT's Global Brain Technology Conference in 2013. Interested contestants can visit http://www.IsraelBrain.org
to receive more information and to apply online.