Pan-European partnership and government funding helps change the way research is done
- Support from European funding program helps startup become the transformational force in academic research
Financial and ideological backing from EUREKA Eurostars, an R&D initiative funded by the European Community and the UK’s Technology Strategy Board, has helped rapidly establish Mendeley as a serious player in the academic industry.
Mendeley is one of the world’s largest research collaboration platforms, helping millions of researchers and scientists organize their research, collaborate with others online, and discover the latest papers in their subjects. Through the use of collaborative filtering technology seen on sites like Last.fm, Mendeley learns about users when they add documents to their personal libraries – it then recommends related articles that may have been missed, and helps connect them to people with similar interests.
The Eurostars project brought together Mendeley with the Estonian Technology Competence Centre in Electronics-, Info- and Communication Technologies (ELIKO) and Austria’s Competence Centre for Knowledge Management (Know-Center). Building on their complementary fields of expertise, the three organizations collaborated with one another to produce a number of Web 2.0 services for researchers that operate efficiently at large scale. The services leverage the wisdom gained from crowdsourcing in combination with exploiting modern semantic technologies (e.g. Latent Dirichlet Allocation) to produce novel tools that provide researchers with information on the impact of their research – in real time.
The resulting technological improvements and subsequent funding received from Eurostars and the UK Technology Strategy Board have allowed Mendeley to create a database of more than 225 million indexed documents, and signup over 1.6 million users from across academia and industry world-wide. It has now become the largest crowd-sourced academic research database in the world.
EUREKA Eurostars is the first European funding and support program specifically directed at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) working in R&D. Since 2009, the UK funding body, the Technology Strategy Board has invested over £3 million into projects as part of the Eurostars program.
Eurostars stated that Mendeley is “…definitely one of the best projects that has ever come out of the program.”
Dr Paul Rübig MEP, said of the partnership: “The intergovernmental network EUREKA and the innovation project Eurostars are very successful ways to strengthen research and development within small and medium enterprises. The Eurostars project is an ideal model for the future financing of SME’s. Mendeley is a success story which highlights the excellent functioning of the program.”
Graham Mobbs, European Operations Manager from the Technology Strategy Board added: “The Technology Strategy Board is delighted to support Mendeley through the Eurostars program, which is directed at such innovative, research-oriented SMEs. The success of their MAKIN’IT project shows how pan-European co-operation and collaboration can create the environment for vital, growth-creating, technology innovation to flourish and help commercialize innovative new products and services.”