Open Access, if it is to grow, needs help through promotion and financial support. Any initiative that aids the development of Open Access and its dissemination is greatly welcomed, especially when “the big players” such as Google are involved. Yesterday, Google together with PLOS, the Wellcome Trust and 24 other organizations launched a new award program for open access science.
The Accelerating Science Award Program (ASAP) seeks nominations of people who have used, applied, or remixed scientific research — published through Open Access — in order to realize innovations in science, medicine, and technology. Nominees may include teams, individuals, or groups, such as scientists, teachers, researchers, social services, technology leaders, entrepreneurs, patient advocates, policy makers, public health workers or even students. The idea is that the nominees should have used scientific research in transformative ways.
The nomination period runs until June 15, 2013 and the winners will be announced in Washington, DC, in October 2013 during the Open Access Week. The prizes are quite substantial – three winners will each receive $30,000.
What are the broad aims of the Accelerating Science Award Program? As we can read on the official website:
The ASAP Program seeks to build awareness and encourage the use of scientific research — published through Open Access — in transformative ways. The program illuminates how the unrestricted exchange of information can advance science and medicine, and benefit society. The ASAP Program also aspires to encourage a new generation of individuals to embrace the application of scientific research published through Open Access.
The Accelerating Science Award Program is a very interesting initiative; not only because the winners of the competition may receive a substantial prize, but above all because the program is sponsored by well-known organizations, institutions and companies. Their participation will ensure the promotion of the program itself and of Open Access, which needs good publicity to increase the awareness of the model among scientists and the general public.