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The Neurotechnology Revolution: “The future is here; it’s just not evenly distributed yet”

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On Tues­day, Sep­tem­ber 29th, 2015, the Potomac Insti­tute for Pol­i­cy Stud­ies host­ed a sem­i­nar in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Sharp­Brains titled, “The Neu­rotech­nol­o­gy Rev­o­lu­tion: Mar­ket Trends & Impacts”. The sem­i­nar sought to ini­ti­ate a dis­cus­sion of the grow­ing trends in fund­ing and mar­ket devel­op­ment based on two recent­ly released reports on emerg­ing neu­rotech­nol­o­gy by Potomac Insti­tute and Sharp­Brains.

Dr. Jen­nifer Buss, Direc­tor of the Potomac Institute’s Cen­ter for Neu­rotech­nol­o­gy Stud­ies pro­vid­ed open­ing remarks for the sem­i­nar and intro­duced the Potomac Institute’s Trends in Neu­rotech­nol­o­gy Report. Unnati Mehta, the author of the report, pre­sent­ed some of the key com­po­nents of this report to the audi­ence. The report focused on the recent accel­er­a­tion in neu­ro­science research pub­li­ca­tions and tech­nol­o­gy devel­op­ment. Neu­rotech­nol­ogy can be used to fur­ther under­stand the nat­ural process­es of the brain, study and treat neu­ro­log­i­cal dis­or­ders and injuries, and enhance neur­al capa­bil­i­ties, result­ing in increased human intel­li­gence and effi­ciency. Out­side of the realm of health, it will be used in social con­texts to improve over­all qual­ity of life. Brain Com­put­er Inter­faces (BCIs), imag­ing capa­bil­i­ties, cog­ni­tive load and wear­able tech­nolo­gies have all improved rapid­ly and are being applied in mul­ti­ple fields.

Alvaro Fer­nan­dez, CEO & Co-founder of Sharp­Brains, pro­vid­ed remarks to sum­ma­rize and high­light some of the most impor­tant find­ings from Sharp­Brains’ Per­va­sive Neu­rotech­nol­o­gy report. The report is a com­pre­hen­sive analy­sis of more than 10,000 patent fil­ings that are trans­form­ing med­i­cine, health, enter­tain­ment, and busi­ness. He delved into the key trends and insights that define per­va­sive neu­rotech­nol­o­gy devel­op­ments, from expo­nen­tial intel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty growth and tech­nol­o­gy acqui­si­tion from large com­pa­nies to the use of neu­ro-mon­i­tor­ing tech­nolo­gies and sen­sors in many social appli­ca­tions.

neurotechSeminarJohn Cam­mack, Man­ag­ing Part­ner of Cam­mack Asso­ciates, spoke about his obser­va­tions of sig­nif­i­cant growth in our under­stand­ing of the brain’s func­tion­al­i­ty in com­plex areas like con­scious­ness, aware­ness, atten­tion, and mem­o­ry. Because of these excit­ing, ground­break­ing find­ings in the field of neu­ro­science, entre­pre­neurs and inno­va­tors are look­ing to trans­late this research into a mar­ket for enhanc­ing human capa­bil­i­ties and brain fit­ness. These tech­nolo­gies will help us to improve out­comes for suf­fer­ers of men­tal ill­ness and neu­rode­gen­er­a­tive dis­eases and dis­or­ders, but they will also pro­vide nor­ma­tive datasets for use in large-scale research appli­ca­tions.

A pan­el dis­cus­sion fol­low­ing the speak­ers’ remarks involved the top­ics of neu­rotech­nol­o­gy per­son­al­iza­tion, the indi­ca­tors that neu­rotech­nol­o­gy invest­ment is here to stay, the impacts of neu­rotech­nol­o­gy on soci­ety, and pol­i­cy rec­om­men­da­tions on advanc­ing neu­rotech­nol­o­gy. The neu­rotech­nolo­gies and their future iter­a­tions dis­cussed dur­ing the pan­el will pro­vide improved com­mu­ni­ca­tion and make soci­ety more pro­duc­tive. Along these lines, there are many oppor­tu­ni­ties to apply the avail­able sci­ence to gov­ern­ment pol­i­cy deci­sions in many areas. Addi­tion­al­ly, these grow­ing tech­nol­o­gy trends should be incor­po­rat­ed into pol­i­cy ideas for the suc­cess­ful devel­op­ment and imple­men­ta­tion of neu­rotech­nol­o­gy, such as the President’s BRAIN Ini­tia­tive, so that we can make the most of the tremen­dous poten­tial that neu­rotech­nol­o­gy offers.

To watch full event record­ing (90 min­utes):

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As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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