Infosys co-founder invests in brain research

Park Sae-jin Reporter() | Posted : Febuary 11, 2014, 16:55 | Updated : Febuary 11, 2014, 16:55
First, the news broke about Sam Pitroda reiterating about biotech's growth potential, and now Infosys is investing in brain research.

While the field itself has been shunned by many stating BT has no scope, isn’t it a surprise that IT stalwarts are investing in healthcare and biotech research? Well, the answers are debatable. However, it is time to start investing in pure research instead of simply outsourcing American work to India.

As the life expectancy is rising in the emerging markets like India and China, it has certainly caused the pressures to spread around the world.

In India, the co-founder of IT services firm Infosys has responded by funding a brain and computing research center to improve the health of 100 million citizens aged over 60.

Kris Gopalakrishnan, co-founder and vice chairman of Infosys, will donate $36 million over the next decade to establish and develop the Center for Brain Research at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore.

Using the funds which Gopalakrishnan is donating through his charity, the IISc will work to understand neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

As part of this push, the center will tap into the field in which Gopalakrishnan made his money.

"The center will look at links between brains and computers and leverage existing understanding of brain functioning to create better models of computing," IISc neuroscience chief Vijayalakshmi Ravindranath told The Times of India.

Operating at the nexus between brain biology and computing puts the center in similar territory to U.S. President Barack Obama's “Brain Initiative,” which aims to tap technology to understand the workings of individual cells and neural circuits.

It will be interesting to see how the next decade will turn out, whether in favor of biotech research or not?

By Ruchi Singh
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