Crowdfunding platform for scientific research
Getting research funded at universities, institutes, and even on an individual level is a frustrating exercise of often wasted time and resources. It’s an intensely competitive field, and even once funded the sources may not be neutral, with many research projects funded, for example, by corporate-backed R&D departments. We’re in an era of social funding for products and services – why not research too?
Experiment is just that, an experiment into cutting out the middleman between funding science for societal benefit, and the researchers directly engaged in the project. They aim to save on the often 50–60% grant costs when funding comes through a university, directing all funds to research.
As a platform for discovery, Experiment is the essence of social tech. Co-founded by Cindy Wu, a former researcher, Experiment only hosts projects that lay out clear benefits to science. All are currently reviewed and approved in-house, but Cindy plans to soon open up this process to peer review too.
As with other crowdfunding platforms, backers – currently numbering almost 18,000 – are only charged once the project has hit its funding target. So far, Experiment has enabled 366 projects to raise $4.7 million (£3 million), and been directly responsible for funding 20 scientific papers in journals.
Bill Gates said that Experiment “helps close the gap for potential and promising, but unfunded projects.” The funders on the site clearly agree: they come from academia and research, are families of patients looking to help find a new medical cure, and are almost all individuals. Many return to back new projects.
With projects fully fleshed-out and vetted, and research proposals ranging from mathematics to political science, have a look at Experiment and see if you can help bring the next big discovery to life.
Image courtesy of Experiment
Last updated: 18th of September, 2015