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Digital Science Catalyst Grant Awarded To Dutch Startup, Writefull


By Alex Jackson September 7, 2016

Application aiming to improve academic writing awarded Catalyst Grant

London, UK, Wednesday 7th September 2016: Digital Science, a business division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Group and a leading global technology incubator focused on jumpstarting innovation in the research community, announced today that Amsterdam-based IT startup Writefull has been awarded a Catalyst Grant.

The Catalyst Grant is an international initiative to support the innovation of new software tools and technologies for research. The program supports and invests in early stage ideas in the novel use of information technology in research, with an award of up to $25,000 for the most promising ideas to aid science and further education research.

Writefull is an application that helps researchers and academics to enhance their writing.

Founded by Juan Castro (PhD in Artificial Intelligence) and Alberto Villar (MsC in Machine Learning), Writefull promises to help users write with more confidence by allowing them to check words and phrases against databases of correct language, such as Google Scholar and Google Books. Using Natural Language Processing to extract patterns in written language, it  offers accurate grammar corrections and sentence replacements specific to academic writing.

Writing strong academic texts is challenging, particularly for non­-native speakers of English who make up the majority of researchers worldwide. A great deal of time can often be lost on editing and checking writing. Writefull, speeds up this process allowing researchers to work more efficiently.

Writefull can be used in a researcher’s own working environment, as it operates in any writing tool such as Overleaf, Microsoft Word and Gmail. Users select a piece of text, hit the shortcut key to activate the Writefull window, and choose one of its many options.

The team plans to use the Catalyst Grant to offer writing feedback tailored to the writing conventions of various academic disciplines. This way, researchers will get writing help that is fitted to their own field of study (such as medicine and law).


Juan Castro, Co-founder of Writefull said:

“We are pleased to have been offered a Digital Science Catalyst Grant. Writefull is already helping thousands of researchers every day, but we do have clear ideas on how to improve the app. Throughout the development, we have kept in touch with researchers in different fields. This has taught us what they really need from a writing app. We’re happy that with this grant we will be able to use their feedback to bring Writefull to the next level.”

Steve Scott, Director of Portfolio Development at Digital Science adds:

“Writefull has the potential to become the everyday tool for researchers in any field. While solutions exist to help users with English grammar, Writefull’s focus on good language usage is what struck us as unique. Extend that to their ability to offer guidance within a specific field of English, such as academic writing, and you have a very powerful offering indeed.”

Writefull joins two other companies who have also been awarded Catalyst Grants.

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