The non-profit Israel Brain Technologies (IBT) has announced a $1 million BRAIN (Breakthrough Research and Innovation in Neurotechnology) Prize for an individual or team with the greatest potential for affecting the lives of people across the globe.

Israeli President Shimon Peres, a longtime advocate of brain research, said an international judging panel composed of leaders in neuroscience, technology and business would award the money to a promising project in Israel or elsewhere.

“There is no doubt that brain research in the next decade will revolutionize our lives and impact such major domains as medicine, education, computing and the human mind,” said Peres, who inspired the founding of IBT.

“Moreover, it will not only relieve the suffering of patients of such debilitating diseases as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, but it will also engender large economic rewards as well. With its reputation as a ‘start-up’ nation, renowned for its innovative and creative initiatives and its focus on science and technology as an engine for economic development, Israel is well-positioned to assume a leadership role in the emerging neurotechnology industry that promises to make the world a better place.”

The first BRAIN Prize is to be awarded at IBT’s Global Brain Technology Conference in 2013. The organization promotes multi-disciplinary research and development projects in Israel and collaboration between Israeli and global researchers and innovators.

IBT Founder and Chairman Rafi Gidron added: “The BRAIN Prize will bring together the best minds across geographic boundaries to create the next generation of brain-related innovation, from brain machine interface to brain inspired computing to urgently needed solutions for brain disease.”