Jerusalem, Oct 15: Israeli President Shimon Peres Tuesday awarded a $1 million prize to a group of US scientists for developing a technology which can enable the disabled to get up from the wheelchair.
The BrainGate R&D team from Brown University was declared the winner of the Breakthrough Research and Innovation in Neurotechnology (B.R.A.I.N) at the International Braintech Israel 2013 Conference held in Tel Aviv, Xinhua reported.
BrainGate’s robotic and prosthetic arms “provide hope” to disabled people across the globe, enabling them to walk again and regain use of their arms. Recently, a woman who suffered a stroke 15 years ago served herself a cup of coffee using the technology, said an Israeli president’s office statement.
“The research … has enabled a new understanding of human brain functions and the development of a novel, fully-implanted technology … used in brain computer interface, epilepsy monitoring and neuromodulation applications,” it said.
The one million dollar prize is awarded by Israel Brain Technologies (IBT), a non-profit organisation founded in 2011 with the objective of making the Jewish state a hub of brain research.
“I’m excited,” Peres told the audience. “A few years ago we turned Israel into a world leader in nanotechnology. Now we must do the same with neurotechnology and brain science research.”
The additional nine finalists were selected from among 70 projects run in 11 countries that competed for this year’s prize.