Did you know that research projects can also be financed via crowdfunding? On experiment.com scientists can raise money to investigate important questions! Earlier this year, a group of our customers was able to fund their biomimicry project with this method1.
Via this platform, backers who pledge their money can directly fund the project scientists. Especially in comparison to receiving a grant at a university, in which there is often 50-60% overhead, this is an important fact to consider. Just like at most non-scientific crowdfunding platforms, the project must reach the funding target, or no one's pledges are charged. One of the most important conditions to starting a project on this platform is that the results can be shared openly.
A group of researchers from across the globe had their biomimicry project funded this way: With the means of a Photonic Professional GT they were able to 3D print noniridescent photonic structures with long-range order inspired by hair from a tarantula species. This is a key step to unlocking the potential of structural colors such as wide-angle viewing systems in optical devices, apparels, and coatings.
Have a look at their video on the Development of Non-iridescent Structurally Colored Material Inspired by Tarantula Hairs.
 B.-K. Hsiung et al: Tarantula-inspired non-iridescent photonics with long-range order. Advanced Optical Materials 2016: DOI: 10.1002/adom.201600599.
Advanced Optical Materials can be accessed at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/(ISSN)2195-1071