Crowdsourcing and R&D

Crowdsourcing is defined as obtaining services or ideas by soliciting contributions from large groups of people, typically within the online community.1 This non-traditional form of collaboration has the potential to lead to new insights and innovations in research and development. A research group from the University of Wisconsin-Madison has fully embraced this concept by making their data public, in real time, on a day-to-day basis.2 Their research objective is to study the Zika virus by measuring concentration in the plasma, urine, CSF, saliva, and feces of infected rhesus macaques to determine if infection can protect from subsequent re-infection.3 This data is available through the Zika Open-Research Portal. The researchers hope that by making the data accessible, research about this devastating disease will advance at an accelerated pace. In an industry where competition drives confidentiality, crowdsourcing could generate a new form of collaboration and take research and development to new heights.