What if the public could easily find the results and products produced from government-funded grants?

Finding Grant-Funded Results and Products

Each year, the US government issues billions of dollars in grants to individuals, universities, research bodies, and more to perform everything from cutting edge scientific research to actual performances–in the form of artwork and museum exhibitions. Grants that support both scientific and non-scientific endeavors result in a wealth of valuable outputs and products, from research papers to masterful artwork. But finding, enjoying, and using these outputs and products isn’t easy, which makes them less valuable than they otherwise might be. When these products and outputs are undiscovered, it not only denies the public access to this wealth of value, but can also result in unnecessary duplication in new grants requests because applicants and even other agencies are unaware this work has already been done. Within the government grant space, 10x is seeing a growing appetite for a holistic review of the entire grants lifecycle. But the grants landscape is incredibly complex, diverse, and agency-dependent, so 10x is taking on one slice of this problem with this project: by investigating ways to make grant products and results more discoverable.

Why this matters

This project matters because everyone in the country should be able to benefit and enjoy the valuable, tangible products that are produced by grants funded and supported by taxpayers. And this project doubly matters because such a system for enabling this discovery does not exist. We believe the right time for 10x to help reimagine ways for uncovering the wealth of value produced by grants is now.

And as an added benefit for grants management and oversight bodies, we believe that creating a central capability for locating grants products could lead to a more complete picture of a grant’s life cycle by linking existing data on where funds were spent with what ultimately was produced from them.

What we did

Over the course of Phase One, our project team conducted desk research and interviews to better understand and validate that the problem statement submitted to 10x is timely, worth solving, and ripe for innovation. At the end of Phase One, our team outlined what the next phase of work will need to look like to reach success, including questions that need answering and current considerations and limitations that will be overcome

How we did it

Our team interviewed 14  experts across five agencies to learn about the scope of the problem and the demand for a solution. In addition to interviews, our team researched a number of existing projects and related organizations doing similar work to understand the impact that creating a centralized database could have on making grants products discoverable, as well as to understand the potential limitations and barriers to success for future efforts. 

Where we are today

This project has completed Phase One with a “Yes” recommendation for Phase Two and the 10x leadership team agreed. This project will contribute to work that 10x has already funded in the grants space, and builds on the current momentum for more GSA involvement in the federal grants lifecycle.

Next Steps

Awaiting Phase Two kickoff. Given the huge variety in agencies that issue grants, coupled with the diversity of what a “grants product” really looks like, scoping this project will be a big challenge. As a result, our project team recommended that we narrow the scope of this work to arts and humanities agencies. We already have some interest from a few arts agencies, and we’re optimistic we can make a large impact in this smaller federal community.