Inspired by the success of “garage start-ups” in Silicon Valley, many people are exploring the opportunities for do-it-yourself biology-based innovation. This so-called DIY-BIO movement spurred several players to suggests variations on the DIY solution:
- DIY bio/biocurious movement expands, developing a non-professional class of researchers
- Establish physical spaces and events for the DIY BIO and open science communities to strengthen public awareness, engagement and support.
- What new kinds of bottom-up funding models might support these new DIY BIO and open science communities?
- How would you coordinate the research happening in all these DIY Bio labs?
- Current communities usually go the non-profit route. Creating more DIY BIO and open science specific grants could help propel them further.
- What can we do to enable non-scientists to contribute to the diy bio movement?
- http://openwetware.org/wiki/DIYbio is a great site dedicated to just that.
One challenge to the DIY solution is how to fund it. A key solution was a new public microgrants platform targeted at DIYBIO:
- A public microgrants platform should be developed to support rapid, low-cost DIYBIO innovation & prototyping
The cost of equipment and labs also provoked an extended exchanges:
- DIY/self assembled lab & research equipment brings costs down orders of magnitude. And still leaves room for manufacturers to make a profit.
- affordability by itself will not solve the problems
- No, but getting those tools in the hands of “amateurs” interested in science will.
- Are there tools and materials that should be provided for free? Which ones, and to whom?
The question of qualifications to do in-depth research prompted many people to suggest preparing high-school students to participate:
- We would need every mind working on this problem. Encourage kids in high school to try to solve this problem.
- A credited course in #innovation & #design for high school students w/ tools & training #innovationcorps
- Start in high school and teach them all we know! Have contests, science fairs, etc to encourage problem solving.
- Why restrict it to University students? Invite high schoolers and amateur scientists as well