Scientists face many barriers in today's world when it comes to funding and translating their research to commercial applications. They often find that the existing avenues to bring their critical research data to the world are filled with time-wasting activities, like spending up to 50% of their time seeking government grants, instead of using that time on conducting their actual research. We've found that the following combined effects have resulted in reduced trust in science and slowed movement of science out of the lab and into real life:
- exclusionary and inefficient funding opportunities;
- reproducibility crisis ($28B spent annually in the US on non-reproducible life sciences research);
- insufficient intellectual property protection;
- "publish or perish" incentives to publish sensational, but often unreproducible work; and
- poor commercialization pathways.
We are on a mission to solve these problems and increase the speed, accuracy, and efficiency of life sciences research "from lab to life" with decentralized applications built entirely on the Internet Computer, and believe that solving funding through decentralized and democratic crowdfunding opportunities is the first step.
What it does
The SciFi dapp currently allows for users to create accounts, organizations for grouping up with other users for joint funding or research collaboration, and projects that will soon allow for fundraising.
How we built it
We built our dapp using NextJs, Typescript, Motoko, React, and Rust.
Challenges we ran into
We ran into some challenges with the strictness of Motoko when developing our elastic search canister, in that the strict type expectations of Motoko prevented us from truly decoupling our implementation from our application. Also, utilizing dynamic routing in NextJs is not supported by IC asset canisters, as asset canisters do not auto-map .html files to routes in a URL.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We’re proud of where elastic search is at this moment. Although it's an alpha stage software, it’s incredibly fast and performant.
What we learned
We learned that deadlines are conducive to progress and that asset canisters on IC do not automap routes to corresponding .html files on load.
What's next for SciFi
Up next for SciFi consists of completing our UI, finalizing the development of our DeFi smart contracts that allow for fundraising to take place on the platform, and adding a marketplace to the dapp that allows for users to trade their science-based NFTs and fungible tokens. After we finish SciFi, we will begin working on our 100% completely decentralized research and development application with the goal of storing all research data on-chain.
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