Right now, there are thousands of scientists whose research is being held up because they lack access to the experimental expertise needed to test a hypothesis or verify a result. But while we have seen how online marketplaces can dramatically expand and create new businesses in many other diverse areas, it is still too difficult for those scientists to access the right experimental expertise.
Help is on the way. Techniques that some label “science as a service” are making specialized resources and institutional expertise available on demand and with openness and transparency. Science Exchange is applying these market-based principles, having created an online community for scientists to list, discover, access and pay for experimental services from research institutions around the world, thereby creating the world’s first true online marketplace for specialized scientific expertise.
Almost 5,000 scientific services are listed on the Science Exchange platform, including the latest genomics and proteomics services, micro- and nanofabrication techniques, and even access to a microgravity research facility on the International Space Station. The providers already offering services on Science Exchange range from labs at the top U.S. research institutions, like Harvard, the University of Southern California, the University of Texas Health Science Center and Duke, to small independent research companies or individuals, such as Reveal Biosciences and the Voss laboratory. Using the Science Exchange platform a scientist or researcher can search for a service, compare providers and their reputations, choose a provider, pay for the transaction and manage the projects.
For maybe the first time, with this type of marketplace, individuals, labs and companies can market their core expertise, providing efficient access to the world’s scientific expertise in an open manner. The easy access to scientific expertise offered by Science Exchange not only lowers the cost of research, it also significantly lowers the barrier to commercializing scientific discoveries. This makes scientific entrepreneurship more attractive. Furthermore, the platform offers new methods to fund research and evaluate reputation, and, finally, to provide equal access to all types of research expertise.
Science Exchange’s mission is to democratize access the global network of scientific resources and expertise. We are excited to be investors in Science Exchange. You can read more about the company here.