Crowd-funding continues to play a bigger and bigger role in scientific research, especially with the reduced budgets many researchers–particularly those from the academic world–now have to deal with.
A great example of this funding method's success is the crowd-funding site Microryza, which allows the everyday person to donate to a variety of different research projects.
Founded by University of Washington graduates Cindy Wu and Denny Luan a year ago, the site has already raised a total of $200,000 for approximately 80 projects. Current projects still open to funding on the site include "Crowdcuring: People, Technology and Research Against Depression," which is 85 percent funded; "Discovering Maine's own Freshwater Snail," which has garnered 47 percent of the funds it needs, and "Can we keep skiers and snowboarders from landing on their heads?," a project that currently has 12 percent of its funding from 27 backers.
The site's first project raised $2,250 to support an on-campus hive and beekeeping class at the University of Washington.
Though $200,000 is a very small amount in the research funding world, Wu told the Seattle Times the plan is to continue to grow.
“Right now, we’re just a small sliver of the pie,” Wu said to the Seattle Times. “But I think in the next year you will see that sliver is going to grow really, really rapidly.”
- With files from The Seattle Times, The Republic, and Microryza