"In July 2005, EPFL and IBM announced an exciting new research initiative - a project to create a biologically accurate, functional model of the brain using IBM's Blue Gene supercomputer. Analogous in scope to the Genome Project, the Blue Brain will provide a huge leap in our understanding of brain function and dysfunction and help us explore solutions to intractable problems in mental health and neurological disease."
I would say that the project offers far more advantageous then that; understanding the nature of the brain, and by extension, the nature of intelligence, could radically accelerate our knowledge in dozens of fields.
I see technologies like this as the first real steps to the digital human analogue that I spoke about before; as well as created truly intelligent machines; improving the human brain; and from a more academic perspective, improve our understanding of ourselves and the universe.
Visit the site here (and be sure to look around, information is a bit hidden.)