Atlanta, GA - January 22, 2019 - LYRASIS announces that the 2019 Catalyst Fund is now open for applications. The Catalyst Fund will award $100,000 for new ideas from LYRASIS members, supporting opportunities to explore innovative new projects that can impact the greater community. Awards will be determined by participants in the LYRASIS Leaders Circle. The Catalyst Fund is available to LYRASIS Member institutions. Recipients will present their projects at the LYRASIS Member Summit in 2019.
Applications will be accepted through February 20, 2019 and can be submitted online via the LYRASIS website.
The first two years of the Catalyst Fund generated 108 applications which were reviewed by 69 expert volunteers and voted on by the Leaders Circle members. Since its inception, LYRASIS has funded 12 projects totaling $300,000. This year, the LYRASIS Leaders Circle is especially interested in projects that cross organizational boundaries and engage diverse types of libraries, archives and museums in partnerships to expand the impact of innovative solutions to shared challenges. We would like to see ideas that can be developed into models for the library, archives and museum communities that solve shared problems in our field.
Robert Miller, LYRASIS' CEO says, "One way that LYRASIS serves members is by encouraging a test and try environment of experimentation, while keeping risk low for individual members. The LYRASIS Catalyst Fund allows for testing of 'small', interesting ideas. Those that are promising in a prototype mode can be vetted by the LYRASIS community of early adopters and then considered for implementation at scale. Then through our community model, governance, fair pricing, and a path forward can be developed with the end result being a program, product or service that can benefit the field at large. By working together, risk is lowered, scale can be obtained and the community benefits with higher value and lower prices for end-to-end solutions."
Each Catalyst Fund award is intended to cover the costs of a project, test or feasibility assessment that can be scaled or adopted to benefit the wider LYRASIS community. Additionally, LYRASIS is seeking Catalyst Fund ideas from members about programs or solutions they think would benefit the community, but would like to see executed by LYRASIS. Individual awards will vary based on the project scope and needs.
Bob Price, Associate Dean Technology and Digital Strategies at University of North Carolina Charlotte and Catalyst Fund recipient, states "the rate of technological change can often make a project's goals obsolete. Working with the Catalyst Fund, we were able to adapt in the middle of the project to deliver a more holistic solution capitalizing on technology advancements. We shifted from an accessibility solution to a solution focused on universal access".
The Catalyst program grew out of a series of regional Leaders Forums, hosted by LYRASIS and funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 2016. These forums reached more than 200 professionals and 150 institutions in discussions about new and evolving trends, opportunities and challenges facing archives, libraries and museums. During those forums, members and LYRASIS alike identified the need for increased collaboration, leadership and innovation. More Leaders Forums are planned for 2019. Email us if you are interested in attending.
The LYRASIS Catalyst Fund is only open to LYRASIS members. If you are interested in reviewing applications to the Catalyst Fund, which is open to anyone in the archive, library and museum community, please complete the Reviewer Registration Form.
LYRASIS, a nonprofit membership organization of more than 1000 libraries, museums, and archives supports enduring access to our shared academic, scientific and cultural heritage through leadership in open technologies, content services, digital solutions and collaboration with archives, libraries, museums and knowledge communities worldwide.