Everybody loves new science and technology. But not everyone can be part of the fun of discovering or inventing new stuff. Is science really so difficult and expensive? The past years have shown that crowdfunding could be a new way of supporting not only young researchers in their quest for discoveries, but also curious individuals willing to share their passion for knowledge outside of the traditional research environment.
The Science Booster – the first crowdfunding platform dedicated to science in Switzerland – was launched in January 2017 in partnership with wemakeit, the largest crowdfunding website in the country. It is now a popular destination for projects looking for financial support for research, education and communication. This pilot project has supported small, short-term and original projects, giving them the opportunity to make a contribution to the scientific adventure, and at the same time creating a communication channel between citizen and researchers.
What is special about the project?
Science and innovation still lack resources dedicated to short-term and small-scale projects, both outside and within academia or industry. Crowdfunding has become a popular way to help people launch initiatives that would otherwise never have been funded. Until recently, this was mostly true for the arts.
In less than two years, the Science Booster platform, developed in the context of the “Crowdfunding Science” project, has succeeded in convincing scientists and the public that crowdfunding can be fun! In addition to being the first in the country, this project is unique in the sense that it encourages interactions between the wemakeit ‘crowd’ and the scientists who communicate their project. The first benefit for the project leaders is an alternative source of funding for short-term and small-scale research projects. But in order to maximize the quality and impact of their campaigns, the “Crowdfunding Science” project provides specialized coaching. We observe that it gives them a unique opportunity to improve their communication skills, step out of their comfort zone and significantly increase their interactions with the general public.
Since the creation of the Science Booster in January 2017, 45 successful crowdfunding campaigns convinced over 4000 individuals to contribute a total of 750,000 Swiss francs to science projects via our platform. These projects covered a wide variety of research topics in natural sciences, social sciences and the humanities, including astronomy, marketing, brain surgery, history, agronomy, ecology, epidemiology, and many more. Through the “Crowdfunding Science” project supported by the Geber Rüf Foundation, an additional 300,000 Swiss francs were distributed to the successful campaigns through a matching fund mechanism. In the current consolidation phase, the incentive provided by the matching fund will be decreased, aiming at a self-sustainable crowdfunding channel for science in Switzerland.
The project receives a lot of media attention. Below are a few selected press reports:Le bricolage spatial congolais impressionne Claude Nicollier
, 24 Heures, 15 avril 2019Le projet Macromascar veut valoriser la biodiveresité de Madagascar
, RTS Couleur3, 22 février 2019Psychiater will Depressionen mit Drogenpilzen behandeln
, Blick am Sonntag, 14 octobre 2018Sophie Michaud Gigon, secrétaire générale FRC: "100% naturel, c'est défini par rien du tout
, RTS 19h30, 12 octobre 2018Les scientifiques se rapprochent de leur public à travers le crowdfunding
, RTS 19h30, 12 octobre 2018Comment financer la science?
, RTS 2 Versus-penser, 8 octobre 2018Crowdfunding: Starthilfe für wilde Forschung
, NZZ am Sonntag, avril 2017Science Booster channel: first crowdfunding platform for research project
, SNSF Newsroom, 22 novembre 2016Science Booster - Projects
Persons involved in the project
Last update to this project presentation 25.03.2020