NorthStar Initiative offers opportunity to fund improved childhood vaccine delivery in rural East Africa

Development initiative seeks crowdsourced funding through innovative #SciFund Challenge

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Contacts:
Mary Hoff, Institute on the Environment, maryhoff@umn.edu, 612-626-2670
Jennifer Schmitt, NorthStar Initiative, jorg0206@umn.edu, 612-626-3637

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (11/14/11) – Could cell phones and Facebook-like social media improve childhood vaccine delivery in rural East Africa? The NorthStar Initiative for Sustainable Enterprise aims to find out with the help of an innovative science funding model called crowdfunding.

Crowdfunding has been popular in the arts and journalism, but remains largely untried in the sciences. The NorthStar Initiative for Sustainable Enterprise, a program of the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment, has joined a group of almost 50 scientists who are launching crowdfunding campaigns through the #SciFund Challenge. NorthStar’s project, known as Smart Delivery, will develop a method for improving delivery of vaccines using modern communication tools.

The #SciFund Challenge offers members of the public an exciting way to participate in science by providing an opportunity to make a donation of any amount to favorite projects over the Internet. View NorthStar’s #SciFund Challenge page at z.umn.edu/northstar.

To learn more about Smart Delivery or NorthStar, contact Jennifer Schmitt (jorg0206@umn.edu, 612-626-3637). To learn more about #SciFund, contact organizers Jarrett Byrnes (byrnes@nceas.ucsb.edu , 401-529-4104) or Jai Ranganathan (jai.ranganathan@gmail.com, 914-260-7405).