Everybody loves new science and technology. But why can only established scientists and engineers be part of the fun of discovering or inventing new stuff? Is science really so difficult and expensive? And do science and innovation always require big investments and funding? The last years have shown that crowdfunding initiatives could be a new way of supporting young and risk-taking researchers in their quest for knowledge. However, while many platforms exist around the world, in Switzerland there are no resources to help such small and short-term projects outside the traditional research world. This pilot project launches a crowdfunding channel for science and research in cooperation with the largest Swiss crowdfunding platform wemakeit.ch
and gives everyone the opportunity to contribute to the scientific adventure. By doing so, it promotes original and small science projects in an unconventional and at the same time create 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. Today, this holds especially true for the arts. A number of crowdfunding initiatives have dedicated some of their efforts towards funding science projects, more or less successfully, but none have been active in Switzerland. In addition to being the first in the country, this project is unique in the sense that it will encourage interactions between the ‘crowd’ of an established platform with scientists who are eager to communicate their science to a broader audience. The goal is thus to provide extensive coaching to the researchers in order to maximize the quality and impact of their campaign on society. The first-degree benefit for them will be an alternative source of funding for short-term and small-scale research projects. However, we anticipate that the initiative will also give researchers a unique opportunity to improve their communication skills, as well as significantly increase their interaction with the general public.
The goal of the “Crowdfunding Science” project was to establish the first crowdfunding platform dedicated to science in Switzerland. After an incubation phase, we launched the Science Booster channel in January 2017 in partnership with wemakeit, the largest crowdfunding website in the country. The Science Booster is now a popular destination for projects looking for financial support for research, education and communication. Over the first 18 months of its existence, 37 projects convinced over 2800 individuals to contribute a total of nearly half a million Swiss francs to their crowdfunding campaign. Out of these 37 projects, 29 reached their target, giving a success rate of nearly 80%. The projects covered a wide variety of topics in natural sciences, social sciences and the humanities, including astronomy, marketing, brain surgery, history, agronomy, ecology, epidemiology, and many more. Through a matching fund mechanism, the Science Booster distributed an additional 225,000 francs to the successful campaigns thanks to the support from the Gebert Ruef Stiftung. Considering the total amount donated by the crowd, this support is leveraged over 2-fold.
We want surprises
, SNSF Horizons, no. 106, September 2015Science Booster channel: first crowdfunding platform for research projects
, SNSF Newsroom, 22 November 2016;Science Booster – Crowdfunding für die Wissenschaft
, Schweizerische Studienstiftung, News, 22 November 2016;Wemakeit promises crowdfunding for scientists
, Greater Zurich Area, 24 November 2016;Science Booster»
, UZH Journal, no.6, December 2016;
«Hier gibts mehr Geld alls erhofft», 20 Minuten, 12 December 2016;
«Science crowdfunding launched in Switzerland», *Research Europe Magazine, January 2017;Crowdfunding: Starthilfe für wilde Forschung
by Patrick Imhasly,
NZZ am Sonntag, April 2017;The Swiss researchers turning to crowdfunding
, SWI swissinfo.org, May 2017, Overview of the project including coverage of two successful crowdfunding campaigns by students from ETH Zürich (ftero and Skin Reactor);Du crowdfunding pour vos projets scientifiques
, EPFL Magazine, no. 9, June 2017Gefragt ist ein Austausch auf gleicher Augenhöhe
, Wissenschaftskommunikation.de, 10 octobre 2017Ils rêvent de recréer une élection du XVIIIème siècle
, 24 Heures, 14 novembre 2017Vivre une élection comme au XVIIIe siècle
, La Région Nord vaudois, 15 novembre 2017
«La reconstitution d’une eìlection au XVIIIe bel et bien lanceìe », La Région Nord vaudois, 5 décembre 2017Une application pour éviter les plans d'eau infestés de puces de canards
, La Tribune de Genève, 17 avril 2018Les pics de puces de canard pourraient être bientôt prévus
, Le Dauphiné, 19 avril 2018Le Muséum lance un crowdfunding pour mieux connaître les puces de canard
, Ville de Genève, 26 avril 2018Soutenez l’étude du Museum de Genève sur les puces de canard!
, Bulletin de l’Association pour la Sauvegarde du Léman, 23 avril 2018Mieux connaître les puces de canards et protéger les baigneurs
, Bulletin des Bains des Pâquis, avril 2018Alerte à la plage, le crowdfunding pour aider les baigneurs!
Bulletin de l’association Nature and Animal Rescue for Injured and Endangered SpeciesSchweizer wollen Bienen vor dem Aussterben retten
, 20 Minuten, 10 avril 2018Leur fusée vise les étoiles avec les moyens du bord
, 24 Heures, 16 juin 2018
Persons involved in the project
, Co-Projektleiter, Verein PocketScienceMirko Bischofberger
, Co-Projektleiter, Verein PocketScience
Johannes Gees & Melina
, wemakeit – Crowdfunding für kreative Projekte, Zürich
Last update to this project presentation 25.03.2020