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Catalyst Science Fund

Promega Commits $3M to
Revive & Restore’s Catalyst Science Fund

August 23, 2018

Promega makes the first corporate pledge to Revive & Restore’s recently launched Catalyst Science Fund, supporting research that will identify and develop advanced techniques of genetic rescue and bring new tools to conservation work in order to enhance biodiversity.

Read Press Release Here

JOB ANNOUNCEMENT

Program Manager  
Catalyst Science Fund
who will oversee creation, planning, budgeting, execution, and growth of the Fund.

Rapid advances in biotechnology have the potential to benefit conservation practice, yet the conservation community has been slow to adopt these new tools. Revive & Restore has identified the opportunity to catalyze innovative science-based solutions for seemingly intractable conservation problems by leveraging and adapting emerging powerful genomic and biotechnology tools.

The Catalyst Science Fund will deploy early-stage capital, in the form of grants and contracts, to transformative bio-science, bio-technologies, and proof-of-concept projects focused on solving high-impact conservation challenges. The goal of Catalyst Fund is to be catalytic, and so each investment will target opportunities to open new pathways and platforms for near-term conservation solutions.

Donate to Catalyst FundDonate to Catalyst Fund

Please note: We only accept donations of $1,000 or more to the Catalyst Fund. For other amounts, please give directly to Revive & Restore’s general operations.

Advisory Council

George Church
Harvard Medical School

Owain Edwards
CSIRO (Australia)

Anne Readel
Promega

Renee Wegrzyn
Science Advisor

1. What is the goal of the Catalyst Fund?

The Catalyst Science Fund will fund proof-of-concept science to advance the development of new biotechnology tools for conservation.

2. Why is such a fund needed?

Conservation applications of biotechnology have lagged, despite their potential to be transformative. As with any developing field, the thoughtful infusion of funding can accelerate an otherwise plodding or spotty advance. What is needed today is targeted funding for innovative science that yields effective new biotech tools for conservation. To that end, Revive & Restore has established a Catalyst Science Fund that will support research aimed at identifying and developing advanced techniques of genetic rescue.

3. How do I submit my proposal?

We are not accepting proposals currently. However, if you would like to inform us of your work in the field of genetic rescue, please send a one-page summary of your work to info(at)reviverestore.org. 

4. What are the fund's focus areas?

Funds will be allocated to drive progress across high value applications identified and vetted as ripe for achieving conservation benefits by refining and targeting emerging biotechnologies. Projects and technologies that cut-across and can impact multiple conservation challenges will be prioritized. The goal within each focus area is to progress and test technologies and solution viability, to understand and map out what additional work and progress needs to be pursued, and to understand what approaches and areas are worth “doubling down” on to drive progress and achieve demonstrable impact.

The following are potential focus areas (and examples) under consideration but The Fund will not be limited to these areas if other innovative and impactful projects are proposed:

Wildlife endangerment, novel disease, limited population size and inbreeding depression and the effects of climate change are persistent global threats to wildlife.

  • Developing genetic resistance to disease in black-footed ferret
  • Optimizing advanced reproductive technologies to increase genetic diversity.

Ocean Health, including: overfishing, pollution, invasive species, biodiversity loss, habitat destruction, ocean dead zones and climate change (coral bleaching, ocean acidification).

  • Identifying the metabolic pathway that triggers coral bleaching
  • Developing reliable techniques for induced spawning in reef building corals.

Forest Health, global trade and climate change are exacerbating the threats of pests and pathogens that threaten forest systems globally.

  • Eliminating or controlling invasive fungal pathogens for which conservation managers have no viable solutions.
  • Engineering genetic interventions for the control of non-native invasive insect pests.

Wildlife Products: Displace the use of wildlife products (that threaten species) through synthetic biology, cell culture, and bio-engineering techniques

  • Bio-engineer a replacement to the widespread harvest of forage fish in the production of oils rich in essential fatty acids.
  • The creation of synthetic baits to relieve the demand on bait fisheries.

Invasive Species – the control and eradication of non-native invasive species is a difficult and costly problem in need of innovation.

  • Precision breeding to create “dial-down” effects on problem invasives.
  • Genome editing to limit or eradicate invasive mosquitos, fish or rodents without the use of biocides.

De-extinction – modern biotechnology provides the potential to create near exact proxies of species and the development of these tools will likely create other transformative technology.