The primary source for this market analysis comes from an article in 2016 from Forbes magazine. Svetlana Dotsenko acknowledges the boom of the educational technology industry, but notes that the markets of various edtech that facilitates the establishment and collaboration of research projects – especially at the higher education level – have been largely unexplored. In support of her call to exploit these relatively untapped markets, Dotsenko provides the following evidence:
- Near $70 billion in funding donated to U.S. universities in 2015
- Researchers and faculty members spend as much time engaged in administrative tasks as they do in actual research
- Correcting “administrative inefficiencies” associated with the duties of researchers and faculty members could clear the way for focusing on more productive activities, which, according to the article, could be worth “trillions of dollars annually” in potentially reclaimed work hours.
Dotsenko argues that harnessing the potential of technology in research would make it possible to streamline the acquisition of human capital and formation of research teams, provide practical, effective platforms for collaboration between researchers and contributors, and allow for a more efficient ways to manage research projects.
An example of the potential market described is Project Lever, of which Dostenko is the founder and CEO. Project Lever is a service that matches university students to professors and researchers based on research topics and fields of study. Students are able to find quickly the professors and researchers who are involved in any given field, and can consult or plan research – or even choose courses – based on those findings.
Another example of potential market opportunity is the emergence of the virtual laboratory. Several links in the Dotsenko article document the rise, relevance, and benefit of virtual laboratories for high school and postsecondary classrooms and researchers, particularly at a time when STEM subjects are receiving seemingly extra attention and funding.