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Crowdfunding’s Next Frontier: Academic Research?

Crowdfunding has become increasingly popular lately. That is, those who are looking for funding for their various projects can now turn to the community at large, which makes small contributions that are pooled resources into some pretty sizable chunks of change. Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter have been able to boast some phenomenal success stories recently – the $3 million raised for the Double Fine Adventure video game being a case in point. Of course, not everyone who tries to raise money via Kickstarter is successful (actually less than half are.) But by bypassing traditional fundraising channels – investors or banks or grants, for example – crowdfunding sites have supported a flood of new creative projects. In many cases, these are projects that would not have ordinarily received funding.

But Kickstarter’s focus is specifically on “creative projects,” and a new site launching its beta today hopes to turn that same crowd-based financing effort to science. The site’s called Microryza – a name that says a lot about the startup’s approach to funding scientific efforts.

Click here to read more from this April 12, 2012 Inside Higher Ed article by Audrey Watters.

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