Hypothesis Secures $1.9M of New Funding

By Peg Fowler | 5 August, 2016

Hypothesis is pleased to announce that it has recently secured $1.9 million in new funding from three prominent foundations; The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation ($1M), the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation ($395k), and the Omidyar Network Fund ($500k). This is our fifth grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, our sixth grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and our first grant from the Omidyar Network. We are extremely grateful for their continued endorsement of our mission and work.

The focus of these grants will be to further support Hypothesis’ core efforts, its continued support of the Annotating All Knowledge Coalition (the “AAK” Coalition) and in particular the evolution of commercial services for publishers and others whose customers can benefit from the advantages of an open and interoperable annotation layer over the web. A primary objective of this new funding is to establish a framework for the long term sustainability of Hypothesis.

Donald J. Waters, Senior Program Officer for Scholarly Communication at the Mellon Foundation had the following to say with respect to this most recent funding:

“Despite its importance as a source of information and a means of dissemination, the web is still a hostile place for many scholars, because it lacks basic functions necessary for them to do their work. Annotation is one of those basic functions, but thanks to the Open Annotation Collaboration, the work of the World Wide Web Consortium and, especially, Hypothesis, substantial progress is being made in providing native, easy-to-use annotation functions on the web for scholars to use as part of their efforts to help us understand the human condition. The Mellon Foundation is pleased to join the Sloan Foundation and the Omidyar Network in supporting the important work of Hypothesis.”

Rob Veres, Venture Partner at Omidyar Network, added:

“We share in Hypothesis’ belief that there is significant positive impact in collaboration and sharing of knowledge, ideas and opinions in ways that foster thought and change. We back the talented team at Hypothesis because we see a revolutionary convergence of intelligent conversation, transparent discussions and dialogue in classrooms and research labs, across communities and with governments.”

Josh Greenberg, Program Director for Digital Information Technology at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, said:

“We have been proud funders of Hypothesis since its early days, and are especially excited to help support its development of publisher-focused offerings that could broaden the reach of the Annotating All Knowledge Coalition while also helping to sustain the core service.”

Hypothesis has also received another $950k in continued support this year, $674k from the Helmsley Charitable Trust and $275k from the Shuttleworth Foundation, resulting in $2.8M in total grant awards this year. We are grateful for the continued support we have received from these two organizations!

About the Annotating All Knowledge Coalition

In December 2015 we announced the formation of the Annotating All Knowledge Coalition—an informal partnership of like-minded scholarly publishers, platforms, libraries, and technology organizations that are working together to bring about an open and interoperable conversation layer over the web for the purpose of advancing scholarship and research. We launched the coalition with ~40 organizations and, as of today, we now have 71 coalition partners. You can find a complete list of coalition partners here: https://hypothes.is/annotating-all-knowledge/#founding-members.

An AAK steering committee was formed to provide leadership and guidance for the coalition, and the coalition had its first face to face meeting in Portland, OR in April, 2016 as part of FORCE 11’s annual conference, with a follow-up gathering at the I Annotate 2016 conference in Berlin in May. We are now in the early stages of creating some test scenarios with coalition partners, for example, Europe PMC (PubMed Central) and UCSD’s NIF (Neurosciences Information Framework), to better understand what, in practice, it will take to execute on the coalition’s vision in the long-term. To learn more about the Annotating All Knowledge Coalition, visit the AAK Working Group page on FORCE11’s website.

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