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In crisis conditions, the Russian scientists master in alternative way of attracting funds

02.03.2016

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In crisis conditions, the Russian scientists master in alternative way of attracting funds

Young audience that knows of internet payments is more disposed to participate in crowd-funding of science projects; and the collection of funds at crowd-funding venues allows attraction of mass media and big sponsors. This idea was announced by the experts at the conference "Where to find money for science projects during crisis?" which was conducted on February 26 as a part of the PVC applied educational project Communication Laboratory at Internet Initiatives Development Fund (IIDF) City Hall.

According to UNESCO, Russian spends 1.12% of GDP, giving place to go for the USA, EU countries, China and Brazil. And the most part of science financing in the country is provided by the state budget and share of investments from the commercial sector in the scientific developments is about 20% of total volume. According to the RVC Communication Laboratory RVC experts, the state support for scientific organization is not enough for the new qualitative breakthrough. The scientists need to learn how to work with the other financing sources: how to find the additional funds in the business sector or resort to public support by way of crowd-funding.

Several Russian projects related to science have passed the milestone of one million rubles at the crowdfunding venues, and some of them collected up to two millions, — General Director, CEO at RVC Alexandr Potapov explains. — Such trend shows strong interest of the public to the science and readiness of the active internet users to support scientist not only by likes and reposts, but with own money.

Such millionaire projects include collections for the moon micro-satellite by the space science promoter Vitaliy Egorov and for Mayak satellite by Alexandr Shaenko who made presentations at the conference.

Crowdfunding is a free promotion, in this way more people will know of your project, Vitaliy Egorov says. — Young people who know more of electronic payment are more responsive to funds request. But if you present the project in the way that might interest, any aged person will learn how to use the Internet.

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In 2015, the Ural Federal University collected with the help of crowdfunding more than half a million rubles for expedition related to search for meteorites in Antarctica. Such success was ensured mainly due to the competent and efficient campaign organization: involvement of the project ambassador — Victor Grokhovskiy — development of creative symbols, involvement of volunteers. According to the Head of Partner Relations Department of UrFU Leonid Skobelkin, "when the partner sees that even ordinary students support the project it understands that it's worth and it's necessary to sponsor it. That's why it is better to start with public fundraising. However, there is no academic fundraising culture in our country. We help to disabled and ill people, but we haven't got used to donate for science. One of the elements of our project mission is to let the public know that the science is worth of being invested".

The Head of the Master of Science Management program of the Higher School of Science and Management Personnel of RSA Ivan Dementiev considers that it' impossible to make commercial companies invest in science — instead it is necessary to convince business invest in its scientific interest with the managed risks. The scientists should also change their attitude:

When the scientists stop treating business as to people who try to take everything away, the communication between them will be set up, — Oleg Malsagov, Counsellor for Development of Rector of ITMO University, co-founder of the Business Alliance techno broker company.

The conference experts agree that, in market conditions, raising of the funds for scientific project should be done via different channels. Research organizations should actively master in new technologies of fundraising and establish scientific communications with the business and public.




About Communication Laboratory

The RVC applied educational project Communication laboratory is aimed at strengthening relations in the information ecosystem chain "science — education — mass media — public" and "science — business".

Project purposes:

  • development of the community of specialists forming and distributing popular science information and carrying out public awareness campaigns: scientists, scientific journalists, communicators;
  • promotion and realization of the main principles of the open science: availability of information and research results, distribution of information about the research to all levels of the interested audience, involvement of the civil public and business representatives in scientific activity.
  • development of a scientific communicator profession due to growth of the number of specialists in this field and improvement of their professional skills.

For the first year of operation, the project widely announced itself — on February 19, 2015, the Communication Laboratory was awarded with a special prize "The Best Project Promoting Scientific Achievements and Innovation" as a part of the XVIII National Award in Public Relations "Silver Archer".

According to the results of 2014, the project initiated more than 270 publications in online and printed mass media, on radio and TV, inspired a number of institutes to create their own press services, ensured establishment of the special Communication Laboratory nomination in the Tech in Media contest, it also attracted many partners from the leading scientific and educational institutions of the country and more than 500 participants of the special events. In 2015, Communication Laboratory started working in Krasnoyarsk, Novosibirsk, Yaroslavl, Nizhniy Novgorod and Saint-Petersburg.

The scientists, representatives of the communication departments of the European and American universities and research organizations, journalists and editors of the scientific, popular science and public mass media, science promoters, authors and organizers of the own science promotion projects, representatives of the universities' and SRI's press services, owners of the science-driven business, professional communication associations as well as all ecosystem participants interested in development of the scientific communication in Russia are invited to participate in the project.



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