Musk Approaches Brain Chip Company

( )- Electric powered vehicles are not enough for the controversial billionaire who recently gained a lot of supporters and enemies over his bid to secure Twitter. Earlier this week, Elon Musk reportedly approached a brain chip company about a potential investment.

Musk is flirting with the idea of investing in brain chip implant developer Synchron Inc. as his own company lags behind the race to connect the human brain to machines, Newsmax reported. He reached out to Synchron’s founder and chief executive, Thomas Oxley, although it is not yet clear whether any investment might mean a collaboration or link between the two companies.

Synchron, based out of Brooklyn, New York, is leading the race to secure regulatory clearance for its devices. It’s unclear where Neuralink stands with the Food and Drug Administration in relation to human trials, but Synchron began human trials in 2021 and implanted its first chip in a patient in the United States.

Sources told Newsmax on the condition of anonymity that it is not yet known whether the company would accept an investment from Musk. Both companies, as well as the FDA, declined to comment on the matter.

What was not conveyed to Oxley, however, is that Neuralink employees allegedly said that Musk is frustrated over his company’s lack of progress they have made so far. Musk was aiming for regulatory approval by 2020, then reportedly said at a Wall Street Journal conference he was hoping to start human trials in late 2021.

A difference between the two products is in how the brain chip would be implanted. Synchron does not require an incision in the skull to install it, unlike Neuralink. Its goal is to reportedly help paralyzed patients operate digital devices with their mind.

Synchron currently has 60 employees and has raised $65 million from investors, whereas Neuralink is larger with 300 employees between San Francisco and Austin, Texas. It has raised $363 million from investors so far.