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Student startup boosted by Digital Science innovation grant

Student startup boosted by Digital Science innovation grant

A smart academic search tool developed by three students from the University of Southampton is set to receive up to £25,000 from a Catalyst Grant with technology company Digital Science.

The funding boost for the Researchably startup, which is currently based in the Future Worlds incubator, is an exciting next step for the business that impressed at an on-campus Dragons’ Den event earlier this year.

Researchably uses powerful AI algorithms to accelerate the discovery of research papers. Co-founders Mauro Cozzi, Przemek Zientala and Maciej Szpakowski have launched a free browser extension for Chrome and Firefox that will evolve into a cross-platform digital academic assistant.

“Winning the Catalyst Grant is a significant milestone for our team,” Przemek explained. “It will help us realise our vision of user-centric scientific search. Ultimately, this will bring us one step closer to our goal – making the discovery of new research easier than ever before. We are very much looking forward to establishing a strong relationship with Digital Science.”

The Researchably tool gives students and researchers instant access to relevant resources, tapping into data sources to recommend over 100 million files including 28 million research papers, one million news articles, 300,000 clinical trials and 150,000 patents.

Millions of hours are being unnecessarily wasted around the globe as researchers spend on average over six hours per week searching for resources. The problem is fuelled by an increasingly disconnected landscape of research outputs and a lack of personalised search services. By understanding how research outputs relate, and how researchers interact with them, Researchably aims to turn information overload from a problem to a solution. In turn, it also aims to help open up science to the wider community.

Acoustical Engineering student Mauro, Geography graduate Przemek and Computer Science student Maciej are operating from the Future Worlds incubator on Highfield Campus for the coming months as they look to propel the business to the next stage.

Researchably – smarter search, faster research

“What gets us up in the morning is the thought of a university student in a rural or isolated region being able to discover new and important knowledge at the same rate as a Stanford or Cambridge student,” Mauro explains. Find out more about Researchably through its Future Worlds Discover profile and video.

Digital Science offers up to £25,000 funding and incubator-type support from market-leading experts for early stage ideas that could impact global research through its Catalyst Grant.

Steve Scott, Director of Portfolio Development at Digital Science and one of the Catalyst Grant judges, said: “Researchably is a very exciting tool for the research community – it’s already having an impact, and we hope the award of this grant will help build on the great work done to date.

“Twice a year we open the Catalyst Grant to applications from all over the world – and each year we receive more applications. The people best positioned to know what innovations are needed are researchers themselves – but it’s incredibly hard for those with an idea to secure early-stage funding – finding investors who understand the research market is a challenge, meaning many potentially successful ideas remain just that, ‘ideas’. That’s exactly why we created the Catalyst Grant – our financial support, alongside our advice makes a real difference.”

If you’re a researcher with an idea, or even if you are new to research but want to challenge yourself to come up with an idea that would impact the research and evidence industry, you can apply for the next round of Catalyst Grants before 31st December 2017 here.

Jon Nurse

Content Manager
Future Worlds

Jon compiles the latest innovations, articles and interviews for futureworlds.com as the platform’s Content Manager. He is also helping researchers in Physical Sciences and Engineering impact society with their work as a Communications and Impact Officer at the University of Southampton. He previously worked as a Senior Reporter for the Trinity Mirror newsgroup.

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