Brain Crisis: Advancing our understanding of the brain, and diagnosing and treating brain disorders, represent one of the greatest challenges of our time. Brain-related illness generates more healthcare costs and loss of income than any other area of health, and more than one billion families are impacted worldwide by the suffering caused by these disorders. Critical unmet medical needs exist for almost every area of the brain and nervous system, and while there are important advances in neuroscience every day, acceleration of the development of effective research, diagnostic and treatment technologies is desperately needed.
The Neurotech Wave: The techno-economic 21st century wave of neurotechnology is expected to have pervasive economic and social effects, influencing every aspect of our lives – with tools that will enhance human emotional, cognitive and sensory performance and serve as the new frontier in medicine. This wave is no longer a dream, with emerging brain technologies already starting to alleviate brain-related human difficulties.
Neurotechnology today is truly a global industry, yet it represents the largest untapped medical market. Considering the promise of new treatments coupled with the size of the potential patient population, there are great opportunities for the dramatic growth of neurotechnology, and there are large rewards available for those who successfully nurture the industry.
Vision: why Israel is unique: Israel is well positioned to assume a global leadership role in the emerging neurotechnology industry with its innovation and proven track record in fields such as computer science, nanotechnology and brain research. Israel has a strong tradition of placing science and technology at the forefront of its economic development – helping the country gain its reputation as the “startup nation”.
Recognizing this opportunity, Israel President Shimon Peres has envisioned an initiative to launch Israel on a journey to become the world leader in Neurotechnology. At his request, McKinsey & Company conducted an analysis of the Israeli brain research and technology landscape during 2010. Among its recommendations, the McKinsey report indicated that Israel is uniquely positioned to develop leadership in two areas of brain communication: the Brain Machine Interface (BMI) and therapeutic neuro-stimulation devices.
From Vision to action: Israel Brain Technologies (IBT) is about making President Peres’ vision a reality. Using the McKinsey report as a roadmap, IBT is initiating and coordinating activities that will bring together academia, industry and all other related parties in order to pave the way towards the development of a successful, world-leading neurotechnology industry in Israel. IBT is a non-profit organization and will work both externally, promoting international collaboration and dialogue, and internally, accelerating local research, industry and innovation.