Published: 24th July 2018
Have a research project that you need funding for? Call Research Funders NOW
This crowdfunding platform is helping people with crazy scientific ideas raise money to continue their work and is connecting them to donors who can potentially fund their research
Are you passionate about scientific research and discovery? Or do you have crazy ideas of your own that often get ignored due to the lack of funds? Well, don't shelf those ideas just yet. You can now pitch for research funding online through a crowdfunding platform called Research Funders. Started by Akiraa PS, a computer scientist and researcher, Research Funders is an online community and a crowdfunding platform for scientific research. Based out of Hyderabad, the platform provides crowdfunding services for research related to Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Medicine, Anthropology, Psychology and much more.
Having done the 'Entrepreneur for Good' fellowship from The DO School in Berlin, Germany, Akiraa was obsessed with all things that fly and dreamt of being a researcher as a kid. During his fellowship, he led a team of 20 young researchers from around the world and built a cognitive computing technology to address issues of B2B models. After returning to India in 2016, he realised that there are a lot of curious minds out there who are forced to silence the scientist in them due to the lack of funds or equipment. Akiraa decided to change the course of things and built a solution that can help young minds continue their research without any hassle.
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"With the advancement of technology, we are in a position to learn and innovate more than ever before. Yet there is one major hurdle; that is funding. Nowadays, it has become difficult for new ideas to get off the ground, especially those creative and high-risk ideas with the biggest impact. Most of the time, the government is unwilling to fund basic research at the level that most institutions require, so we may see more and more scientists turning to the crowdfunding model. Research Funders aims to create a space where one's love for Science can be harnessed for the greater good without worrying about the money," says the 27-year-old.
In June 2017, Akiraa and his team launched the beta version of Research Funders which helped fund over 30 projects, ranging from cancer research to marine biology, raising over `75 lakh. The platform has raised over Rs 2 crore for diverse scientific researches so far. And how do they screen the campaigners who apply for funding? They make sure that a campaigner is credible before their project goes live. Their team scrutinises proposed projects for feasibility and at the same time runs checks on the applicants to prevent fraud. “After a project is submitted by the campaigner, our team reviews the project in order to ensure credibility,” he explains adding that once the project is approved, researchers can post videos and Q&As about their project on the site, while visitors can fund the project of their choice. With an aim to democratise Science, the platform allows anyone to start new research as long as the results can be openly shared.
So, do you have a good research proposal in mind? Then you're the person Research Funders is looking for.