Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

To support policy engagement with open and low-cost hardware to accelerate innovation in and lower barriers to scientific research

  • Amount $600,141
  • City Washington, DC
  • Investigator Alison Parker
  • Initiative Open Hardware
  • Year 2021
  • Program Technology
  • Sub-program Exploratory Grantmaking in Technology

Open hardware refers to the licensing of the design specifications of a physical object in such a way that the described object can be created, modified, used, or distributed by anyone. Open hardware sensors or other instruments present an attractive opportunity to expand the frontiers of scientific research by dramatically lowering the costs of instrumentation. They also present an attractive opportunity large-scale federal infrastructure projects. This grant supports Alison Parker at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, who is leading an effort to bring open hardware approaches to scale through government agencies. Parker’s team will engage federal audiences through workshops and roundtable discussions to stress the opportunities that are presented in pre-production, co-creation, customization, and collaboration through open processes. The team will also produce white papers exploring flagship programs within the U.S. government related to low-cost and open hardware, strategies for integration of low-cost and open hardware into federal investment in science through procurement and grants, legal analyses of intellectual property as a barrier to integration of low-cost and open hardware, and topical policy issues.

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