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Israel Brain Technologies (IBT), a non-profit organization whose mission is to advance the neurotechnology industry, has announced the ten finalists for its $1 million Global B.R.A.I.N. Prize competition.  The winner of this international R&D award will be announced at BrainTech Israel 2013 in Tel Aviv this October.

The ten finalists include leading researchers from the world’s elite institutions as well as companies addressing the world’s most critical brain-related health issues. The B.R.A.I.N. (Breakthrough Research And Innovation in Neurotechnology) finalists were chosen from amongst entries from eleven different countries.

Some of the finalist projects have appeared on NeuroGadget before, and they all represent breakthrough achievements with potential for significant impact on humanity. The ten finalists are:

  • Dr. Hagai Bergman – Improved adaptive deep brain stimulation technique to treat Parkinson’s disease and other basal ganglia disorders including depression, obsessive-compulsive disorders and schizophrenia.
  • Dr. Edward Boyden – Developing optogenetics, which enables cells to be activated by light, towards identifying clinically relevant targets in the brain and for treating brain disorders.
  • BrainGate Team led by Dr. John Donoghue -Development and first demonstrations of a neural interface system being used by people with paralysis to provide direct brain control of communication devices, computers, and robotic limbs to restore functions performed by the arm and hand.
  • ElMindA & Soterix (Collaboration) – Integrating brain functional mapping and monitoring with targeted brain stimulation technology in order to offer focused, personalized and effective treatment for pain.
  • Dr. Itzhak Fried – Brain pacemaker to treat memory impairment in early Alzheimer’s disease and other memory disorders including traumatic brain injury, epilepsy and stroke.
  • Inscopix – Mouse brain imaging devices enabling researchers to observe large numbers of neurons and in many mice in parallel, thereby opening up new approaches to studying brain disease and identifying therapeutics.
  • Insightec – Using ultrasound for brain surgery with no incision and no radiation.
  • Nano-Retina – Developing an artificial retina that uses natural mechanisms of the eye to convey images to the brain, thereby restoring vision to persons blinded by retinal diseases.
  • Dr. Andrew Schwartz – Restored arm and hand function to paralyzed individuals by using their brain signals to control artificial limbs.
  • Team Led by Dr. Phillip Starr, UCSF – Improving neurostimulation therapies for brain diseases.

The finalists will present their breakthrough developments at the first ever BrainTech Israel Conference on October 14th-15th in Tel Aviv. The winner will be chosen at the conference by an international judging committee of distinguished neuroscience and life science industry leaders, including Nobel Laureates.

“The Global B.R.A.I.N. Prize is our way of recognizing breakthrough achievements and helping brain-tech innovators bring their solutions to society faster,” said Miri Polachek, Executive Director of IBT. “The $1 million prize will go a long way towards developing tomorrow’s promising brain technologies, today.”

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