Shuttleworth Flash Grant: an opportunity to fuel our Open Source project

2017 Open Source Developments

Last July 2017, we finalized a successful crowdfunding campaign via the Ulule platform: https://www.ulule.com/aquapioneers/ which enabled us to #OpenSource the design/fabrication/user process of our first product: the Aquapioneers kit: http://aquapioneers.io/aquaponics-kit/

Since then, we’ve shared all this open knowledge (Digital Design + PDF User manual) on the largest open source platform “Github”, where people can download these files free of charge:  https://github.com/aquapioneers/Aquapioneers-Kit-Barcelona-Design

From this first milestone, we started to see people around the world downloading and making the aquapioneers kit like Lorenzo, from the Green Lab in London. He wrote a really insightful blog article about his experience on http://wiki.greenlab.org/2018/05/23/aquapioneer-aquaponics-kit/

Amazed by these first feedbacks, and willing to support and funnel all of these contributions in one single place (might be reviews, debugging, sharing tips, etc), we felt the need to create a community forum. But creating a forum and animating it, has a cost …. and the 2017 budget from the crowdfunding campaign was already allocated to other developments.

2018 Open Source Development

Late 2017, we were nominated by Aaron Makaruk from the Open Source Beehives project (https://www.osbeehives.com) in collaboration with the Shuttleworth Foundation https://www.shuttleworthfoundation.org (an institution that promotes an open knowledge society) to receive a flash grant (worth $5,000.) to continue our open source developments. Flash grants are an interesting funding model since you don’t need to apply for them. Rather, you get nominated by current fellows, and then selected and approached by the Foundation for funding. The grant amount is smaller than actual fellowships, but it comes with very few strings attached: furthering open knowledge (which is the foundation’s core mission) and being transparent about how the money is spent.

With this unexpected help we were able to bring Susan on board of the Aquapioneers team at the beginning of February 2017 with the following tasks:

We are deeply grateful to have received this grant, which considerably helped to kickstart and develop  our growing Open Source community.