Michigan Tech News

Superior Ideas: A New Funding Tool for Michigan Tech Research

Last Modified 4:05 PM on Mon Jun 15, 2015

By Jennifer Donovan

October 11, 2012—

Anyone familiar with Michigan Technological University knows that it is a hotbed of superior ideas. A new initiative by the same name—Superior Ideas—was unveiled today at the University’s Board of Trustees meeting. 

Superior Ideas is a crowdfunding web site, where anyone can contribute any amount to help support research projects, David Reed, vice president for research, told the Board.  Crowdfunding is a relatively new phenomenon enabling a large number of individuals to pool small contributions to support projects in which they share a common interest, he explained.

Using an existing crowdfunding site, John Vucetich, associate professor in the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, raised more than $10,000 this year to help support the ongoing wolf-moose predator-prey study at Isle Royale National Park.

“This is a way to leverage interesting ideas,” said Reed.  “It can help people get started, do a discrete piece of research or collect data that will enable them to get more funding.”

Initially, Superior Ideas is featuring nine Michigan Tech research projects, including a sleep apnea study by Jason Carter, chair of kinesiology and integrative physiology and associate dean of the College of Sciences and Arts; Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering Adrienne Minerick’s analysis of infant teardrop nutrition; and development of safer heart bypass grafts by Feng Zhao, assistant professor of materials science and engineering. More research projects will be added over time.

The Board previewed the Superior Ideas web site, now in beta test mode. The web site provides information about each research project, including why the research is important and what a donation can help the researcher do.  The web site can be seen at www.superiorideas.org.

In other business, the Board:

Michigan Technological University (www.mtu.edu) is a leading public research university developing new technologies and preparing students to create the future for a prosperous and sustainable world. Michigan Tech offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering; forest resources; computing; technology; business; economics; natural, physical and environmental sciences; arts; humanities; and social sciences.