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The Original Crowd Sourcing: Government Funding

If you’re looking for funding for your next entrepreneurial venture, amidst all the clamor for kickstarter and indiegogo, don’t forget one of the original crowd sourcing schemes, government funding. While doing research for an upcoming article on the internet of things, I came across a press release from ARM announcing they were turning their Cambridge campus into a demonstration vehicle for the internet of things by instrumenting it with over 600 sensors.  While the idea in and of itself was pretty cool, a few sentences into the press release ARM’s true genius became apparent.  Sure, they were building a living demonstration of the internet of things, one of their key revenue segments, even better, they were using this demonstration to highlight some of their customers uses of ARM processors, but best of all, they weren’t paying for it!  The project was funded by a  £800,000 grant from the UK government’s Technology Strategy Board.

Earlier in the week I came across this article describing the U. S. Air Force’s expenditure of $25,000 for a feasibility study of teleportation.  The study, authored by Eric Davis of Warp Drive Metrics, summarized the basic technological requirements for teleportation.  It detailed the requirements for teleportation via general relativistic wormholes as well as by quantum mechanical techniques.  In the end, it was determined that the technology currently available wasn’t up to the task.

These two examples highlight an often overlooked funding option, government grants.  The Air Force, Navy, Army, NASA and other government agencies routinely have rather open ended funding calls.  Some calls are targeted at small businesses through Small Business Research Initiatives while others are targeted at universities.  The university funding usually encourages collaboration with industry though, so it pays to network with the professors and students at your local institutions of higher learning.

To search for the latest government funding opportuinties check out
http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/search-grants.html?keywords=physics
and to sign up for automated updates on NASA funding go to
http://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/

One Response to “The Original Crowd Sourcing: Government Funding”

  1. Low Power News, December 27, 2013 | Low-Power Engineering Says:

    [...] this year, I wrote about keeping an eye on government funding sources.  AMD has done just that, and it’s paid off in the form of a three million dollar grant from [...]

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