As we recently reported, the dwindling pool of research dollars has inspired some scientists to search for new funding sources. They've augmented scarce research budgets with crowd funding donations. These campaigns have raised between a few thousand to well over a million dollars. However, even the most successful ventures have lost a percentage of their hard-won donations to platform and other fees.

Indiegogo, one of the more popular sites, has just launched a spin-off that will allow non-profit ventures to keep more of their donations. will waive platform fees and surcharges; instead it will only assess mandatory credit card processing fees.

Slava Rubin, Indiegogo’s co-founder and chief executive, said the main difference between and its predecessor was that all nonprofit campaigns would now be hosted on the site. “They’ll no longer pay any fees, which is a very big change,” he said.

New York Times, 10.21.15

Admittedly, long-term reliance on crowdsourced research funding is not sustainable. More traditional sources, such as the National Institutes of Health, had literally been the gold standard - at least until stimulus package funds were depleted. It seems that NIH will soon benefit from legislative largesse. Politico reports:

After a dozen years of flat funding, the National Institutes of Health has become a top target on Capitol Hill — not for less money but more, potentially billions more by 2020.

It’s a remarkable turnaround for the huge medical research agency, one triggered by a confluence of circumstances. Fears that the United States is losing ground to international competitors in science and technology synched with lawmakers’ need to show frustrated voters that they can work in a bipartisan manner, and NIH offered “an easy win” on both, advocates say.

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