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We have a winner! We have awarded a prestigious Catalyst Grant to Penelope, an ‘automated manuscript scrutiniser’ that ensures the drafts that authors submit to their publishers are perfect.

Due to the high number and quality of entrants for this round, we have also decided to award two grants, the second to be announced later this month – do stay tuned!

catalyst-lightbulb-ideaThe Catalyst Grant Program helps incubator companies on the next steps of their development.Our program aims to support and invest in early stage, innovative scientific software ideas with a
n award of up to £15,000 each to the most promising ideas for novel uses of information technology in science. We have awarded more than £65,000 in grants to date. As well as the financial backing, we will provide a home for Penelope’s staff in our London’s King’s Cross office, where we can offer the expertise needed to bring the product to market.

Penelope improves scientific research by providing a commercially viable way for journals to enforce good scientific practice and adhere to mandates set by funders. The automated tool screens manuscripts for common reporting errors and helps researchers improve their work before submitting it to a journal. It suggests improvements, tells authors why they are important and shares links to further resources.

Penelope makes sure manuscripts cite their data, adhere to subject specific reporting guidelines, report statistics soundly and include all necessary sections and statements. It helps authors make their work more valuable, whilst vastly reducing processing times and costs for publishers.

James HFormer neuroscientist and Penelope founder James Harwood has also picked up an Outstanding Achievement Award from the UK’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills this year. He is also a member of the highly regarded Sirius development programme for graduate entrepreneurs.

James says:

“We are proud to be awarded the Catalyst Grant from Digital Science, especially as the competition attracted lots of really impressive applicants. The money will allow us to pilot Penelope with a handful of early adopters. The expertise and experience that Digital Science brings is equally important, and will really help us grow in the long term. This additional support, which you don’t get from traditional funding sources, makes Digital Science a unique and ideal partner for us.”

Steve Scott, Director of Research Tools at Digital Science adds:

“This year’s decision was our toughest yet, with a field of over 30 entries to consider. However, Penelope stood out and in the end we arrived at a unanimous vote. We’re proud to have an opportunity to help grow the business, now and in the future.”

The Catalyst Grant Program is an international initiative to support the innovation of new software tools and technologies for scientific research. If you want to find out more, you can watch our explainer video here and the closing date for the next round is the 31st December.