We recently discovered an amazing organisation called Seeding Labs and wanted to share it with you here on the blog.
Seeding Labs is a non-profit organisation dedicated to providing lab equipment and resources, including training and access to key influencers in their scientific field, to enable talented scientists in developing countries to conduct life changing research.
In countries routinely afflicted with problems such as food shortages, extreme weather events and disease, scientific research might not immediately be seen as an important beneficiary of charitable support. However, localised research facilities can be a crucial and effective component in creating the kind of sustainable and diversified economies that will help developing nations lift themselves out of poverty, and cope with such challenges.
Seeding Labs has recently been recognised for its outstanding contribution to global science and development, being named as one of the world’s top 10 most innovative not-for-profit companies by Fast Company. Founder & CEO Dr Nina Dudnik was also honoured with the John F Kennedy New Frontier Award in 2014.
Nina Dudnik established Seeding Labs after returning to the United States from a Fulbright fellowship in Africa. In the USA she observed the routine discarding of functioning equipment, whilst in Africa she had been working with highly skilled scientists who lacked access to even the basic tools of scientific research. Dudnik identified the mutually beneficial opportunity for an organisation that could successfully connect this vast supply with this overwhelming demand.
Seeding Labs has so far provided over $2.5 million worth of surplus and donated equipment to ~15,000 laboratories and scientists in 22 countries. They also run training and fellowship programs, supporting students and researchers in their work, developing treatments for tuberculosis and malaria, expanding access to clean drinking water, training doctors, improving crops, and much more.
In this article for the Wall Street Journal, Dudnik discusses Africa’s 'scientific deficit' and how the right scientific tools could have enabled West African scientists to mobilise an appropriate public-health response to Ebola much sooner thus reducing the impact of the crisis.
Looking ahead, Seeding Labs anticipates tripling the organisations current impact by shipping equipment to 45,000 recipients by 2016. The company is supported in this goal through equipment donations from universities and corporations and a recent $3 million grant provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
We can’t wait to see what might be achieved in the coming years, as a result of Seeding Labs work.
By Frances Coles