New publication: Empowering grassroots innovation to accelerate biomedical research


Our latest publication - Empowering grassroots innovation to accelerate biomedical research – is out now as a perspective article in PLOS Biology. The result of a collaboration with fellow researchers at CRI, Hackuarium in Lausanne and the Centre for Health Ethics Law and Development in Toronto; it is one of the winning essays of the Reimagine Biomedical Research for a Healthier Future Essay Challenge that was launched by the Health Research Alliance & PLOS.

We argue that one of problems with how biomedical research is being conducted today is its hierarchical and closed structure, leading to a slow pace of innovation and research that often does not serve the needs of society. In contrast, bottom-up and open innovation communities (such as DIYBio, Fablabs and patient-led research teams) have the potential to overcome many of these problems.

Unfortunately, these initiatives remain the exception from the rule due to a lack of systemic support for them. To address these short-comings we propose three actionable reforms that could support grassroots innovation in biomedicine, which revolve about improving access to:

  1. hardware, lab equipment, and consumables
  2. funding routes for grassroots research movements
  3. ethical oversight

To learn more, read the full article.

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