A Foundation's Big Hunt for Weird New Materials That Could Change the World

At its best, science philanthropy funds risky research and goes where no market actor dares to go. A case in point: How the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation is backing researchers trying to create new materials.
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How This Gift for Materials Research Could Help Build the Future

The next breakthroughs in consumer electronics, biotechnology, and even sustainable energy often begin with new materials. The hunt for the compounds that will make the next solar panel or iPhone is advancing along with computing power, and one University at Buffalo alum wants to help his alma mater speed things up. 

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The Funder That Wants to Put all that Fitbit Data to Work

Stores of personal health data accumulating through use of wearable tech, mobile apps and social media stand to offer a scope and versatility researchers rarely see in clinical studies. A major health care funder just made a $1.9 million grant to put such data into action.

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Meet the Southern California Researchers Raking in the Big Bucks from the W.M. Keck Foundation

The Keck Foundation's research grant recipients are working on solutions for malaria, tumors, and smog pollution. Here's what they have in common: a novel approach, a thirst for innovation, a willingness to take risks, the potential to break open new territory in their fields, and the practical global application of their experiments.
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Why Fred Kavli's Legacy Is So Important

In the weeks leading up to philanthropist Fred Kavli’s passing, his foundation’s president Robert Conn said the 86-year-old Norwegian billionaire never wavered in his vision of supporting science research. “In phone conversations over the last 6 weeks, he told me several times—let’s keep going.” And while Kavli passed away in late November, his philanthropy will most certainly keep going.

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The Swartz Foundation's Single-Minded Pursuit of the Mind

Despite the current surge in neuroscience research and news coverage, and some tantalizing data points derived from improved brain scan technology, the cold hard truth is that we know very little about how the brain actually works. But we’re trying, and there’s a lot of funding flying about in this realm. Researchers are using all of the scientific disciplines at their disposal to try to cross the giant chasm between understanding the biological structures of brains and the functions of the mind. The Swartz Foundation exists solely to make that leap possible.

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Shale Gas Boom Spurs Big Polymer Research Grant From Welch Foundation

In the wake of the massive shale gas boom, another boom is following, in the chemical industry. The explosion in domestic fracking is causing not only an increase in fossil fuel production—not to mention a host of environmental concerns—but also a new day for the petrochemical and polymer industry. And for at least one Texas university, that’s translating into big foundation dollars to expand polymer chemistry research.

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Sloan Hopes to Shed Light on the Creepy Things Living in Your House

Think for a minute, but not too much longer than that, about the fact that even in the most spotless living room, kitchen, hospital or office, there is a complex ecosystem of microbes. Molds, mildews, bacteria, fungi, swarming on every surface. And yet, there is a surprisingly small body of research about the microbial world of the indoors. The Sloan Foundation’s youngest science research program is trying to remedy that, by bolstering the emerging field of Microbiology of Built Environments

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