On April 2nd, President Obama announced the BRAIN Initiative, which stands for Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies. The White House even produced this infographic which describes the effort a bit more clearly.
The project will launch with an initial investment of $100 million in research funding via NIH, NSF, and DARPA, as well as funding from private sources. The hope is that it will be as successful as the Human Genome Project, which has resulted in the discovery of 1,800 disease genes and 2,000 tests to help detect genetic conditions. The goal of the BRAIN Initiative is to map the human brain, and hopefully make great strides toward understanding brain diseases and disorders like "Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, autism, epilepsy, schizophrenia, depression, and traumatic brain injury."
As a former university grant administrator, I know it will take a great deal of time before the objectives of the BRAIN Initiative are hammered out by the planning team, the budget is approved by Congress, and the requests for proposal start to appear from funding agencies. But as a person with loved ones who suffer from neurological and psychological disorders, I couldn't be more excited to see the progress we make in the next decade.