What if everyone had actually access to powerful tools for scientific finding out and also problem solving? Scientific discovery tools — from telescopes to magnetometers — aid us answer inquiries and also generate understanding. But many kind of effective devices are also expensive or too difficult for non-experts to usage.

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Tool Foundry by Luminary Labs

Earlier this month, Luminary Labs launched Device Foundry to advance clinical exploration devices that anyone have the right to use. The initiative is funded by grants from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and Schmidt Futures to expand also access to science.

Tool Foundry is accepting applications through May 30, 2019 for a four-month accelerator, designed to aid citizen researchers, inventors, equipments, and also developers iteprice and range easily accessible devices. As part of the accelerator, cohort members will certainly receive $50,000 in non-dilutive capital, professional mentorship, technological guidance, virtual finding out modules, user experimentation opportunities, and also an in-perchild boot camp at the Autodesk Technology Center in San Francisco.

Why does this matter? Accessible tools can inspire a deeper interest in science and empower civilization to indulge their curiosity, check out their atmospheres, and deal with problems pertinent to their own communities. We’ve been inspired by the real-human being impact of many easily accessible scientific devices that are currently in usage. Here are 3 examples of inventions that expand access to science:

Safecast’s open-resource geiger counters

In 2011, an earthquake-triggered tsunami brought about a nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan. Geiger counters, tools provided to meacertain radiation levels, were in high demand also and a worldwide shortage led to soaring prices.


Local citizen researchers created what is currently well-known as Safeactors, a community-led initiative to collect and pool data using open-resource, networked geiger counters. The task has created over 120 million data points as of March 2019 — and by making that data available to everyone, Safeactors has added to public safety and security knowledge and also aided reclaim public trust.

Foldscope Instruments’ $1 Paper Microscope

Research on a microscopic level has caused breakvia inventions from healthtreatment to agriculture. But standard microscopes are often expensive and also bulky. They break quickly and also are tough to relocation. Stanford researchers Manu Prakash and also Jim Cybulski arisen the Foldscope, a foldable microscope made mainly from paper. It’s ultra-portable and costs much less than $1 to develop.


To date, the company has dispersed almost 650,000 Foldscopes, which have actually been used about the people — consisting of to identify the microscopic eggs of farming pests in India, directory the biodiversity of soil arthropods in the Amazon, and map pollen diversity in city landscapes.

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Conservation X Labs’ DNA Barcode Scanner

Illegal wildlife trade geneprices between $7 billion and also $23 billion every year in illicit revenue. Many type of fish, timber species, and also other wildlife are challenging to recognize visually — specifically if they have actually been turned into processed products. DNA analysis deserve to be a advantageous tool, yet typically needs a lab with expensive tools.


Conservation X Labs’ low-price, modular, portable DNA Barcode Scanner enables users to take a sample of a product and confirm its species identity — within an hour — without accessibility to taxonomic specialists or a laboratory. Working with researchers and also legislation enforcement officials roughly the civilization, the scanner has contributed to the BOLD database, which currently contains over 6.7 million DNA barcode sequences from even more than 275,000 species.

Finding and Creating Tools

To find various other jobs that usage easily accessible, low-cost tools and tools, visit’s database of jobs added by the global citizen science area. is occurring a citizen science devices database, which is still in beta.

Have you created your own tool, or execute you have an concept for one? We’re in search of high-potential groups and also people with protokinds for low-cost, high-quality, and also easy-to-use physical devices for clinical exploration. To learn more about Device Foundry and also ask concerns around the accelerator, join our informational webinar on Tuesday, April 23.

Tool Foundry is likewise developing and also curating cost-free sources to assist inventors anywhere create, scale, and share their devices. Sign up to obtain the Device Foundry Journal in your inbox, and you’ll be the initially to recognize once new resources are available.


Elizabeth Bowling

Elizabeth is a Strategist at Luminary Labs, a New York-based strategy and development consultancy that helps personal sector, nonprofit, and federal government establishments flourish in the confront of change. Elizabeth leads Device Foundry, an initiative broadening access to scientific research. She has a keen interemainder in experimenting concerns through unparticular answers and also is fascinated by the route to exploration. She looks for efforts that impact actual readjust and is interested in how technological breakthroughs will certainly transform markets and also culture.

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