STEM Genesis will harness the surge in cryptocurrency investment to fund innovation in STEM that tackles global challenges and helps meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Dr Jackie Lighten – STEM Genesis founder, University of Exeter– says the project is building a decentralised finance (DeFi) ‘ecosystem’ to support STEM around the world.
"Most research grants come from taxpayers' money distributed by governments to national institutions. STEM Genesis will create a new approach to fund research and applied technology irrespective of national or institutional affiliations,"
Dr Lighten said.
"Most people are unaware of the DeFi revolution being driven by cryptocurrency, and the scale of money being invested."
"We will help people to leverage their digital capital in a globally sustainable manner."
"STEM Genesis will create a link between the rapid growth of cryptocurrency and investment in real world STEM innovation, where development of technological advances is the key to sustainable human existence."
"I firmly believe this is going to be a game-changer and help the DeFi community realise that they hold the power to change the world, and will also show everyday people that cryptocurrencies can be translated in to real-world impact and benefit."
A major feature of the recent cryptocurrency boom has been Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) – unique digital items such as artwork that can be traded, sometimes for high sums (one sold for $69 million earlier this year).
STEM Genesis will offer its first NFTs, called Pixel Pongos, on December 12 this year to celebrate its announcement, which are inspired by the hugely successful CyberKongz NFT collection.
Owning a Pongo (scientific name for orangutan) allows community building around the STEM Genesis vision for future growth to better those within and outside of DeFi, and to improve the health of our planet.
The vision is to then develop a STEM Genesis crypto-coin.
The aim is for this coin is to allow people to directly invest in partnered STEM projects, and also gain exclusive rewards.
For example, these could be used to offset personal utility bills with a green electricity company, contribute towards the purchase of an electric car, and help to develop or access novel medical therapeutics or net zero carbon products.
"The possibilities are endless given that STEM encompasses almost every aspect of our modern life,"
Dr Lighten said.
"STEM Genesis is revolutionary in that we will aim to bridge the gap between digital assets and real-world application as investment tools or functionality within STEM companies. We are undergoing a digital DeFi revolution, and STEM Genesis aims to pave the way for ethical application of digital assets to solve the world's most pressing problems."
STEM Genesis have already been approach by Triple-A computer game developers, respected artists, carbon neutral/negative manufacturers of ‘green products’, and academic institutes who wish to partner with them. This demonstrates that mainstream culture is willing to adopt the growing DeFi movement when applied in an ethical, transparent, and accountable manner.
STEM Genesis aims to also fund grants for early career researcher and engagement workshops, with a goal of promoting equality, career progression, diversity, education and inclusion in STEM research.
Dr Lighten and his team are building a community who share their vision of using DeFi to improve the world, and they can do so by purchasing a Pixel Pongo NFT and engaging with them on Twitter and their dedicated Discord Server chat room.