President Obama announced a new and bluntly named effort to map the human mind: the BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies, great acronym work, guys) Initiative. It amounts to $100 million in funds for research that he likened to the Human Genome Project, with the goal of producing “dynamic pictures of the brain that show how individual brain cells and complex neural circuits interact at the speed of thought.”
That’s a sizable investment, in these austere times. But it’s chump change compared to the EU’s Human Brain Project. That effort to map the brain, also likened to the Human Genome Project, won 1 billion euros, in the form of a 10-year grant from the European Commission. That’s nearly $1.3 billion in U.S. dollar terms.
Obama’s announcement made no mention of the EU project, so it appears the two efforts may be going literally head to head.