Submeta is a nonprofit group which provides supplemental funding for basic research.
We are not a traditional funding agency, and we do not accept grant proposals in the normal sense. Instead, we take an active role in exploring the work of researchers, looking for ideas which might otherwise fall through the cracks. These are often interdisciplinary projects which are not served well by traditional funding processes.
As professions become more and more specialized, it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain awareness of related work. This is particularly true for work which is relevant in ways which are not immediately obvious. By communicating with a broad spectrum of scientists, we hope to identify these relationships. Our ultimate goal is to be able to bring people together to collaborate on innovative projects.
Grants are usually small but targeted. Typically they are used to support the first phases of research which can then be leveraged for more traditional funding. They are also used to supplement travel budgets, to purchase equipment, and to sponsor small "challenge" prizes. Most of the people we support are established, with university affiliations.
Submeta is a “virtual” group; a loose affiliation of researchers and philanthropists which is in the process of self-organizing.