Science & Health

Australian Medical Research Turns To Crowdfunding

86 per cent of applications for public research grants are unfunded. To combat this, the first crowdfunding site that specialises in medical research has been launched, in partnership with major research institutions.

“I’m sure every Australian wants discoveries that will cure cancers, and prevent and treat problems like dementia, but they would be shocked to find out how many medical researchers with great potential are left without money each year,” says George Crones, the founder of Researchable, a new and unique online crowdfunding platform — the first of its kind in Australia.

Crones acknowledges the challenge the public face when wanting to donate to research. Ensuring the quality and abaility of the researchers, and knowing how the money will be spent is information those giving donations simply don’t have access to.

“This is where Researchable comes in,” says Crones. “We do the due diligence for donors, making it easier for them to support projects at leading institutions and to follow the research as it happens.

“We partner with major research institutions whose output is well known and trusted, then work with them to identify high quality projects which are at an early stage and would benefit from funding to get them going. Researchable uses a very lean, cost-effective model to pool funds from individuals, businesses and charities to achieve something greater together.

“Most importantly, we don’t fund and forget. We stay engaged with the research institutions and ensure that the researchers report back to donors on how the project is advancing,” continued George Crones. “A major advantage for research institutions is that Researchable is a one stop shop for funding. We even assist with preparing the funding proposal.”

“As recognised on the National agenda, innovation is crucial. This new way of funding aims to foster innovative research and support the ideas that can truly make a difference.”

Approved projects are listed on the site so that the “crowd” can contribute funds, which are pooled together to enable the project to proceed. Donations are tax-deductible for Australians.

Researchable has launched with projects focusing on a non-injection treatment for diabetes, more effective storage of adrenaline for allergy treatment and education for youth on sexting and pornography.

Projects will only receive funding if they raise their target before their campaign ends. If they don’t reach the target, donors will be refunded in full.

If you donate to a project you’ll be able to follow the research as it happens, get regular updates and the final report at the end. If the research ends up being published, you’ll also get a copy of the research paper.

“Donating to research is an investment in the future,” says Crones, “And I founded Researchable because I want to ensure that the breakthroughs of tomorrow receive the funding they need today.”

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