Who wins is the choice of civil society!

Fraunhofer IME launches the crowdfunding competition 2022 "ScienceForGood".

Molecular Biotechnology /

In the crowdfunding competition 2022 "ScienceForGood" of the Fraunhofer Future Foundation, the motto is "On your marks, get set, go!". Six research teams compete together with their heartfelt projects. From October 6, to November 30, 2022, the scientists from the participating Fraunhofer institutes have time to convince as many people as possible of their idea and reach their funding goal. The Fraunhofer Future Foundation supports this commitment with cofunding and prize money. The decision on this is up to civil society.

For the Fraunhofer IME the project "2detect" takes part in the crowdfunding competition. The project idea: 2detect -the 2in1 test for covid and flu – for a fast and reliable result. "Such a combination test is important for the rapid and proper treatment especially for at-risk groups including older people, people with health conditions and young children. The test is faster, less expensive and simpler than the gold standard PCR and more reliable than an antigen test," explains Lena Freund, member of the Fraunhofer IME team. The Fraunhofer IME campaign is open on the Startnext platform until November 30, 2022. Every donation, no matter how small, helps, on top every amount is doubled by the Fraunhofer Future Foundation.

Crowdfunding - more than just financing?

For the first time in its history, the Fraunhofer Future Foundation is involving civil society in the decision on the allocation of grants with the 2022 "ScienceForGood" crowdfunding competition. With crowdfunding, many people -the crowd - support a project that needs financial support on an internet-based platform. With their donation, they decide whether a project is convincing and should be implemented. Crowdfunding is therefore often seen as an early market test. "Our previous pilot campaigns showed that crowdfunding can be an effective communication tool. They are suitable for building networks and identifying cooperation partners," explains Alexandra Goßner, communications officer at the Fraunhofer Future Foundation and project manager of "ScienceForGood".

Every vote counts!

The foundation is providing funding totaling 120,000 euros for the competition. However, it is not the foundation's committees that decide who gets the funding, but the supporters - the crowd. Prof. Hans-Jörg Bullinger, Chairman of the Foundation's Board of Directors, explains: "In line with our new mission, we want to actively engage in dialog with civil society and involve it in decision-making. With crowdfunding, we are for the first time testing an instrument for the participatory allocation of funding." The most successful projects will be awarded additional prize money. Their allocation is based on the number of supporters - regardless of the amount of donations.

Six research projects with a link to sustainability

When selecting the participating teams, the foundation was looking for projects that address civil society and are committed to sustainable development. Since its 2020 strategy change, the foundation's funding activities have been aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the research competencies of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Our funding focus is on projects that do good, have a social benefit and make our world a little bit better. This also applies to our crowdfunding competition," summarizes Andreas Dockhorn, Program Manager of the Fraunhofer Future Foundation. Together with the Fraunhofer IME, five other teams from the institutes Fraunhofer IGB, Fraunhofer IWU, Fraunhofer IMS, Fraunhofer IMW and Fraunhofer IVI are competing in "ScienceForGood". For them it is now "On your marks, get set, go".