Research into the brain is advancing rapidly. Information technology is giving us tools for understanding the brain that only a short while ago were mere "dreams". We are also drawing on a deeper and wider pool of intellectual talents from across different disciplines. The size and the breadth of the talent pool is without historical precedent.
There are also two overarching geopolitical drivers for the work underway.
The OECD countries all face a wave of senescence and with that the potential for crushing healthcare costs with potential to strain the social fabric. Breakthroughs are urgently sought for the diseases of the brain particularly those associated with aging.
The other driver is the race to reverse engineer the human brain. No nation state or alliance can afford to come in second place in cognitive affordances. It is no surprise therefore that each of the major global players have very large initiatives underway.