An interesting study or a special initiative, but no money to realize it? This may change soon. Wageningen UR is launching a crowdfunding platform in October, where people can donate money online to a Wageningen project.
With this the Wageningen University Fund (WUF) responds to a question from Wageningen researchers, says WUF-employee Arianne van Ballegooij ‘When we have a nice project, we'll send Wageningen alumni and former employees a letter or payment slip. But Wageningen has many socially relevant projects that will appeal to more interested people than only ex-Wageningers.’ Crowdfunding also fits better in the current trend to raise money online, through social media.
A workgroup is currently in discussion about the implementation of the platform. Van Ballegooij: ‘We want a mix of projects on the platform. The condition is that it is a concrete plan with a clear translation to the target audience. For example, when a researcher wants to develop an app to unlock great results of his research to the general public. Or when a student from Starthub wants to build a prototype of his or her latest invention. Those are things you can use crowdfunding for.’
Furthermore, the intention is that the project leaders themselves start with the promotion of their idea. Van Ballegooij: ‘It is not a case of simply putting something online and awaiting. No, they should really have fun working on this.’
Wageningen is following the initiative of universities in Groningen, Utrecht, Nijmegen, Tilburg and Leiden. For example at the State University of Groningen money for new and more sophisticated tools and materials for the education of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, has been brought in via crowdfunding. At Utrecht University money can be donated to enable talented, foreign students to study at the university.