Impetus Grants: reflections on 2 years of going after risky aging science

A good writeup by the Impetus Grants team. If you have extra money you’d like to see used to accelerate the longevity field I thinks this group is probably one of the best investments you can make…

Started in 2021, Impetus Grants made its goal to go after ideas in the aging space that would be ignored by traditional funders. Since then, we deployed more than $24 million into science, supporting a number of of aging clinical trials, biomarkers, novel tools and model organisms.

This program wouldn’t have been possible without Juan Benet, Vitalik Buterin, Fred Ehrsam, James Fickel, Hevolution Foundation, Jed McCaleb, Karl Pfleger, Michael Antonov and Molly Mackinlay.

Benchmarking science progress together with the traditional R01 NIH grant (1-1.5 years), we reduced grant response time and accelerated aging research by more than 95% during this past year.

By far the biggest metric for Impetus’ success so far is that all projects we funded are happening much earlier than they would have happened otherwise. It is hard to put an honest number on these comparisons (we are very different programs), but here are some estimates: benchmarking this together with a traditional R01 NIH grant (1-1.5 years), we reduced grant response wait time and accelerated aging research by more than 95%. In most cases this translated into researchers getting funding faster and getting to projects sooner. In some cases, however, there were a zillion other things that delayed the project – from finding the right grad students to run studies to clinical registrations.

At least 48 new labs started working on aging because of Impetus funding.

Read the full article here:

The word “risky” is interesting. My best experimentation has been when I did not know whether something would work when I tried it. To much experimentation is comissioned only when people expect a positive outcome and not when they don’t know what is going to happen.