Calling for more rapid innovation in science and technology, Peter Thiel today launched a new program of the Thiel Foundation, Breakout Labs. Thiel announced that Breakout Labs will use a revolving fund to improve the way early-stage science and technology research is funded by helping independent scientists and early-stage companies develop their most radical ideas.
“Some of the world’s most important technologies were created by independent minds working long nights in garage labs,” said Thiel. “But when their ideas are too new, unproven, or unpopular, these visionaries can find it difficult to obtain support. Through Breakout Labs, we’re going to create opportunities for revolutionary science by cultivating an entrepreneurial research model that prizes extreme creativity and bold thinking.”
“At Breakout Labs, we’re looking for ideas that are too ahead of their time for traditional funding sources, but represent the first step toward something that, if successful, would be groundbreaking.”
Three core conditions of Breakout Labs funding set it apart from traditional research dollars
* The work it supports is entrepreneurial and fully independent from formal research institutions.
* The work is at an early stage, possibly even before proof of concept, but success would be a critical step toward a potential breakthrough that could dramatically change the world.
* The work will support the acceleration of innovation through revenue-sharing and open access publication.
Projects from across the spectrum of scientific disciplines will be considered for support, and funding will typically range from $50,000 to $350,000, but may vary substantially. In the interest of accelerating scientific development, support from Breakout Labs requires investigators to maximize the dissemination of the resulting innovations, either through open access publication or intellectual property development.
The Foundation has begun evaluating proposals and expects to announce the first awards as early as December 2011.
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Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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