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

Read about Breakthroughs to Cures overall results.