NEW YORK, April 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Scientific discovery tools, from telescopes to magnetometers, help people answer questions and generate knowledge. But many powerful tools are too expensive or too difficult for non-experts to use. Tool Foundry, a new initiative from Luminary Labs, is designed to advance scientific discovery tools that anyone can use. Launched today, this Luminary Labs initiative is funded by grants from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and Schmidt Futures to expand access to science.
"Our greatest untapped resource is scientific curiosity," said Janet Coffey, Program Officer for Science Learning at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. "Accessible tools have the potential to drive exploration and problem solving in communities everywhere."
"Low-cost and high-impact tools are a powerful way to democratize science and provide everyone the means to participate in invention," said Kumar Garg, Senior Director for Technology and Society at Schmidt Futures. "Through Tool Foundry, we're investing in the next generation of scientists to advance the frontiers of science and accelerate the pace of discovery."
Tool Foundry is seeking applicants for a four-month accelerator to help tool makers build a foundation for sustainable growth and advocate for the science-curious. The accelerator will include virtual and in-person activities emphasizing education and collaboration. Inventors can apply to join the accelerator cohort by submitting their prototype ideas by 5:00 p.m. EDT on May 30, 2019 at toolfoundry.org.
Selected cohort members will each receive $50,000 and access to customized support and curated resources to help teams rapidly address barriers, fill gaps, and develop sustainable business models. The accelerator, designed by Luminary Labs, will include expert mentorship, technical guidance, virtual learning modules, user testing opportunities, and an in-person boot camp at the Autodesk Technology Center in San Francisco, in partnership with Autodesk Foundation. It will culminate in the Tool Foundry Showcase in fall 2019, when cohort members will present their tools to a live audience of investors, foundations, community partners, and tool experts.
"Powerful tools for scientific discovery are not yet widely accessible. We look forward to helping inventors of low-cost tools strengthen their products and business models, while also increasing equity and participation in science at large," said Luminary Labs CEO Sara Holoubek.
Beyond the accelerator, Tool Foundry is developing and curating free resources to help inventors everywhere create, scale, and share their tools. These resources will include design and prototyping guides, accessible equipment and components, and community engagement opportunities.
Tool Foundry is bringing on new partners to provide additional funding, expertise, and community building support. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about getting involved.
About Luminary Labs
Luminary Labs is a New York-based strategy and innovation consultancy that helps private sector, nonprofit, and government organizations thrive in the face of change. www.luminary-labs.com
About The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation fosters path-breaking scientific discovery, environmental conservation, patient care improvements, and the preservation of the special character of the Bay Area. www.moore.org
About Schmidt Futures
Schmidt Futures is a philanthropic initiative, founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt, that bets early on people who will make our world better — by helping people to achieve more for others, by applying advanced science and technology thoughtfully, and by working together across fields. Learn more at www.schmidtfutures.com
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SOURCE Luminary Labs