For me, the most important remark was: "So there is this enormous mystery waiting to be unlocked, and the BRAIN Initiative will change that by giving scientists the tools they need to get a dynamic picture of the brain in action and better understand how we think and how we learn and how we remember. " My work is close to this idea using, of course, medical imaging, so I am really interested in this initiative.
About the budget involved, it might be considerably smaller than the Genome Project (3.8 billion), but the announced kick-start for the project was about 100$ million, while for the Genome Project was 28$ million. This kick-start will fund projects in the scope of the initiative: 50$ million from DARPA, 40$ million from NIH and 20$ million from NSF. Private sector will also contribute about 158$ million: 60$ million from the Allen Institute for Brain Science, 30$ million from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 28$ million from Salk Institute for Biological Studies and 4$ million from the Kavli Foundation, among others.
White House links: Blog, Fact Sheet and Infographics