Observations Patient Involvement

Crowdfunding: from startup businesses to startup science

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h18 (Published 14 January 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h18
  1. Gregory C Makris, specialty registrar, Academic Radiology Department, Cambridge University Hospitals, UK
  1. gm482{at}cam.ac.uk

Social media and “crowdfunding” can boost patient and public involvement in biomedical research

Despite the recent reported rise in the overall success rate of major research grant applications in the United Kingdom, which now stands at around 28%,1 it is still a big challenge for junior investigators to secure the funds to support pilot research for innovative and sometimes high risk ideas. Pilot research is needed to provide preliminary support to a hypothesis before a researcher can start considering applying to major funding bodies. It is understandable that under the current financial climate not all ideas can be funded. However, with so many burning health issues, can we really afford to turn down almost 70% of all research proposals? Have we really used all the available resources?

Translating success from business to bioscience

Crowdfunding started in the United States as a way to fund innovative startup businesses that otherwise could not have secured financing to launch their product. In six years the most successful crowdfunding platform for businesses has raised more than $1bn for more than 76 000 projects, with donations coming from more than two million repeat backers and a success rate of …

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