The BRAIN Initiative, announced in April 2013, called for a bold and ambitious ten-year effort to accelerate the development and use of tools to improve our fundamental understanding of how the human brain and nervous system function in health and disease. The Initiative’s strategic plan was initially outlined by a Working Group of the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director (ACD). In 2014, after incorporating input from several public workshops, the Working Group published BRAIN 2025, a scientific vision that coalesced support for BRAIN across the neuroscience community and has been embraced by BRAIN allies both nationally and internationally.
By all accounts, the first few years of the BRAIN Initiative have been enormously successful. As of January 2018, NIH’s total investment of approximately $559 million has led to 368 BRAIN awards to more than 500 investigators, resulting in more than 330 publications to date. This momentum is on an upward trajectory, with the 21st Century Cures Innovation Funds providing a total of $1.511 billion towards this critical research endeavor through fiscal year 2026.
As the NIH BRAIN Initiative rapidly approaches its halfway point, the ACD BRAIN Initiative Working Group 2.0 will assess BRAIN’s progress and advances within the context of the original BRAIN 2025 report, identify key opportunities to apply new and emerging tools to revolutionize our understanding of brain circuits, and designate valuable areas of continued technology development.
To read the official charge to the group and to view the roster, please visit the official ACD BRAIN Initiative Working Group 2.0 page.