How Gurgaon Based Startup Knimbus Helps Scientists Share Findings and Connect with Peers

Peerzada Abrar | The Economic Times | August 2, 2012

Melding together the features of popular social networking sites, a fledgling startup in Gurgaon has built a search and collaboration platform that aims to knock down the ivory towers confining global scientific research. Knimbus, a first-of-its-kind niche networking platform, launched by two Indian entrepreneurs, helps scientists access content, share findings and connect with peers in real time. Launched in September last year, it has already notched up a user base of 30,000 scientists and researchers.

And while Knimbus combines a host of features from popular networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, the dialogue is starkly different - there are no pet videos or posting of holiday sites. Instead, there is a range of serious discussions from developing drugs for cancer to decoding complex terms like polysaccharide hydrogels. "We wanted to democratise knowledge and spur innovation not just in India but globally as well," says Rahul Agarwalla, chief executive officer of Knimbus, who co-founded the networking site with a friend Tarun Arora after they realised that researchers in India had very low access to global knowledge pools.

It offers researchers a single window through which to access millions of articles, books and patented material. For example at the University of Delhi, Knimbus integrates over a hundred different sources of research on one platform that faculty, researchers and students can access to search and create shared projects in a secured format. In contrast, traditional academic circles require the findings of closed door research to be first submitted to science journals, reviewed by peers and then published for the benefit of other scientists, a process both expensive and time consuming...