San Francisco, 09/20 - The Longevity Impetus Grants program today announces at least U$26M of funding to be distributed to provide momentum for the field of human longevity. Research grants will support novel research that is likely to change the longevity field and is unlikely to be funded anywhere else. They are welcoming applications with bold ideas, and proposals to build infrastructure that would accelerate the field.
These ideas can be just what we need to avoid a demographic disaster. The world is aging, and according to Census estimates, in less than 10 years the US will have more people over the age of 65 than it does children.
There's increasingly robust evidence that treatments based on aging biology can address multiple age-related diseases simultaneously, and thus represents our biggest lever on population health. The risk of being afflicted by chronic disease increases exponentially from the age of 50, even if a person is in good health. Two-thirds of people above age 65 suffer from multiple chronic diseases.
But to do the basic research that will eventually become therapies, scientists must be able to focus on their research. Many report spending more than a quarter of their time writing grant applications, which can take months to prepare and a year or more to get funded.
Martin Borch Jensen, cofounder of the startup Gordian Biotechnology, was inspired by Tyler Cowen & Patrick Collison's successful COVID19 Fast Grants: "Their team made funding decisions in 2 weeks, and the grants have already led to both discoveries and better tools for testing". Tyler is also supporting the Longevity Impetus Grants.
The COVID19 Fast Grant program proved that new models for streamlined research funding are possible. Why not do the same for Longevity? That idea was the conception of the Impetus Grants.
A group of entrepreneurs including Vitalik Buterin, creator of the cryptocurrency Ethereum, and Juan Benet, founder of Protocol Labs, led an initial donation of U$26M to Impetus Grants. Impetus Grants is still accepting donations, targeting $50M in total distributions.
"We shouldn't wait years to test promising ideas. That is why we launched our program. We want to give out grants within 3 weeks, with no strings attached." says Dr. Borch Jensen, who also pointed out the importance of investing in broadly impactful ideas: "Impetus wants to focus grant support on challenging common research assumptions, discovering new ways to reverse aging processes, synthesizing isolated manifestations of aging into a systemic perspective, and developing tools and methodologies that can be used by anyone in the field.”
“We fund projects from all stages, providing up to $500K with a maximum of 10% overhead to the university.” punctuates Dr. Borch Jensen, who also affirms that all proposals will be reviewed by a group of expert aging biologists, mainly professors from leading universities across the country.
More details are available at the Grants website: www.impetusgrants.org
About Longevity Impetus Grants
Impetus Grants provides funding for scientists to start working on what they consider the most important problems in aging biology, without delay. Such work should not be held up by red tape: we offer grants of up to $500k, with decisions made within 3 weeks. Our review process asks "what's the potential for impact" rather than "could this go wrong". The Longevity Impetus Grants are distributed by Norn Group, a 501(c)3 public charity dedicated to advancing progress on human longevity.