Science - February 10, 2011

Crowd funding: citizens pay

Astrid Smit

Who? Remko Boom
What? Professor of Food Process Engineering
Why? Crowd funding from the Peas Foundation may be able to finance a professor with an endowed chair.
For what? Research to bring about a new generation of meat substitutes

Is crowd funding new?

'The Peas Foundation gets its money for the Chair from people who contribute twenty or more euros each year. This resembles funding from so-called collection boxes such as the heart foundation fund.'

What makes crowd funding different?
'We will organize meetings for the donors during which they can discuss the research work being done by the new professor. We usually work with companies, but in this case, we will come into contact with the citizens. This really appeals to me.'

Do the donors have a say about the research agenda?

'No, they don't have any say in this. Our research work is autonomous. The results will be published. When applying the knowledge, we will involve all the programme partners, including the Peas Foundation.'