Funding in science is inefficient, biased, and deceptive. We exist to change this. Our mission is to coordinate worldwide funding in science. The key is the individual reputation in a field of research — the kleos. Find out why we started this project and how we solve this task.
The 5 central reasons we started KLEOS.
01 Our planet and all species are under existential pressure. The main reason for increased global warming is the increased concentration of greenhouse gases by human activity such as burning fossil fuels, as for example concluded by the European Commission, the NASA, and the Government of Canada.
We believe research is supposed to relief this pressure. Hence priority shall for example be on energy extraction and mobility without fossil fuel consumption.
In a broader context the United Nations released 17 sustainable development goals. Achieving the goals will protect our planet for future generations. At least one of the goals should be addressed in any research supported by public funding.
Our mission at KLEOS is to identify such initiatives and shift research funds towards them.
Funding in science is inefficient, biased and deceptive.
02 The number of scientists is the largest in history. Roughly 90% of scientists that have ever lived are alive today — attributable to Derek de Solla Price.
Hence research is competition: competition for novelty, competition for results, and competition for funding.
We are convinced interdisciplinary approaches bring you ahead of the competition.
Our mission at KLEOS is to point you to the resources needed and enable your research.
03 Proposal writing is inefficient. The success rate of Horizon2020 (H2020) eligible full proposals is 12.6% overall — see page 6 of this H2020 report.
Estimated costs on the applicant's side
Let's estimate at least 160 hours work on a single application and an average labour cost of 25 Euro per hour. This yields 4,000 Euro cost per application. From 2014-2016 roughly 115,000 eligible applications were submitted to the H2020 scheme. With only 12.6% succes rate, this means more than 400 million Euro were invested in unsuccessfull proposal writing — at least 134 million Euro each year.
Estimated costs on the evaluator's side
The European Union (EU) evalutates proposals with the following methodology:
- Individual evaluation and drafting of report
- Consensus discussion
- Consensus report
- Panel review with decision
Based on the methodology for expert fees for remote evaluation applied to H2020 proposals we can estimate the evaluation costs. These are: 450 Euro for reading the proposal, 110 Euro for drafting the individual evaluation report, 110 Euro for consensus discussions, 110 Euro completeing the consensus report and 45 Euro for finalizing the evaluation in the panel review. This yields 1225 Euro per proposal per reviewer. Given that at least 3 reviewers are part of the process each proposal costs 3675 Euro. Scaling this up to the H2020 elegible applications a total of 422 million Euro was necessary for evaluation — at least 140 million Euro each year.
This money is taxpayers' money. It doesn't generate value. It is a fee or friction loss in the process. We believe this money can and must be spent more wisely.
Our mission at KLEOS is to simplify proposals and make the process more efficient.
274 million Euro taxpayers' money are spent on EU proposals each year.
04 Applicants and reviewers are blinkered. In writing and reviewing a proposal both parties have a limited perspective. None of both have the complete overview of the respective field of research. There is no one to blame. It is simply not possible to always have all data and the latest research present in our fast moving, complex world. Hence the application as well as the evaluation are biased by the knowledge of the people involved. We are convinced this is not necessary and computers can do better job here.
Our mission at KLEOS is to provide this support and empower unbiased science.
05 Only teamwork can answer the big questions of our time. Project proposals require project partners. Interdisciplinary research proposals are the future — see the articles by Nature, The Guardian, and The Conversation. How is an interdisciplinary project group assembled? Frequently the answer is: by personal relationship or individual social networks. We believe this is deceptive.
Our mission at KLEOS is to leap forward and assemble project groups for excellence and impact.
Our mission at KLEOS is to coordinate the worldwide funding in science.
The 5 reasons clarify why we started the project and what we intend to achieve. What remains open is the question: How we are going to do all that?
How do we solve this challenging task?
The answer is: We use kleos!
Kleos relates to the Greek mythology and means "what others hear about you". It is the personal currency in science, the individual reputation in the community, and the achieved excellence in a field of research. Each scientist holds particular kleos based on their publications, projects, patents, and scientific work. In a research group, all scientists represent a portfolio of research with joint kleos — a group kleos. The same logic applies to departments and institutes as well as organizations and companies. Kleos is time dependent and, in contrast to the Greek mythology, not transferable. When a scientist changes affiliation, she takes her kleos along.
According to the saying — Go big or go home! — we started the mission to coordinate worldwide funding in science.
Join our iniative and get in touch now.
We acknowledge our mission is a bold challenge. In this complex world easy recipes don't always work. To rely on fortune seems too arbitrary to us. Join our team and turn coincidence into strategy.
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By the way, being based in Braunschweig, Germany we are in a perfect spot for starting KLEOS. Braunschweig had the highest level of research and development (R&D) intensity in the EU, at 9.5 % in April 2018.