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UK neobank Science Card collaborates with UCL Mechanical Engineering to generate research funding for neurodegenerative diseases




About Science Card
Press release

UK neobank Science Card collaborates with UCL Mechanical Engineering to generate research funding for neurodegenerative diseases

Science Card is creating a unique science funding infrastructure by collaborating with UK universities to enable users of its socially-conscious e-money current account app to directly support research projects in vital areas like healthcare, climate change and computing

25 January 2024 - London: Science Card (, the home of Britain’s first e-money current accounts dedicated to accelerating science and innovation, has today announced the launch on its platform of a groundbreaking research project on neurodegenerative diseases, in collaboration with UCL’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. This project will be showcased for funding on Science Card’s platform, which - when it officially launches in early 2024 - will be the first to enable people in the UK to directly contribute to impactful scientific research through everyday spending.

In the UK, over 1 million people are living with a neurodegenerative condition, which includes demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's. Demyelinating diseases occur when the protective covering around nerve fibres, called the myelin sheath, is damaged. While progress has been made in understanding neurodegenerative diseases, there are currently very few approved treatments and government commitments to double the level of funding to dementia have been recognised as being essential to helping address the scale of these diseases and the challenges they place upon our health system and economy.

The research, undertaken by UCL’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, focuses on developing a novel technology that uses artificial fibres to mimic neuronal extensions, enabling new scientific discoveries in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases to be unlocked, and allowing researchers to test potential treatments more effectively. In the long-term, the research project has the capacity to make a significant impact on reducing clinical trial costs and expediting study timelines, and it has the potential to become an integral part of healthcare diagnostics around the world.

Emad Moeendarbary, Professor of Cell Mechanics and Mechanobiology at UCL - who is leading the research project - said: “Neurodegenerative diseases pose an unprecedented challenge to our society, affecting millions of lives and placing an immense burden on families and healthcare systems. Despite advances in neurodegenerative research, a substantial gap in translational funding persists, resulting in numerous therapeutic strategies stalling at the drug development stage and failing to reach the clinic. With the aid of Science Card, funds will be directly allocated to our research project, which will not only fuel new levels of innovation but will also instil a newfound sense of confidence within our team, knowing that our research will be completed without any interruptions or delays that are usually caused by funding concerns. This streamlined approach expedites the financial support we need and allows us to focus more efficiently on our research endeavours, driving progress and innovation while fostering breakthroughs that hold the potential to transform lives and address pressing global challenges.”

Science Card has partnered with Professor Moeendarbary to provide an overall funding target of £499,955 to this specific research project. Customers signed up to Science Card’s free e-money current account and Mastercard debit card will be able to support the project within its app, through direct contributions as well as round-ups from their everyday spending. The Science Card platform is the first of its kind in the UK to enable people to directly contribute to scientific research through their everyday spending. 

Daniel Baeriswyl, CEO and Founder of Science Card, added: “While studying for my PhD I witnessed first-hand the missed opportunity to have a profound impact on peoples’ everyday lives due to academic funding constraints, which is why I created Science Card in the first place; to bridge the worlds of finance and innovation and ensure a more efficient flow of funds to groundbreaking research. This particular field of research is something I’m extremely passionate about, and I can’t wait to showcase the project to our UK customers when we launch in just a matter of weeks. With Professor Moeendarbary's pioneering research in mechanobiology, I’m confident the project is in the best possible hands to drive real progress in neurodegenerative research and unveil cures and treatments that can halt the progression of these diseases.”

Science Card presents an innovative solution to bolster STEM research in the UK. By bridging scientific research’s funding gap, Science Card aims to boost technological advancements, retain talented scientists in the country, and transform the current challenges around funding into an urgent opportunity for progress and growth.

Science Card is an online e-money current account which customers access through an app, which, with its Mastercard debit card, allows them to use it as their primary spending account. Features include real-time transaction monitoring, spending controls and customisable vaults. Within the app, customers can view and choose which scientific projects they may wish to support with contributions, as well as see Science Card’s total funding for all projects. Science Card enables its customers to engage with, and learn about, the work they support: through detailed information and updates about individual research projects, transparency on progress and milestones, and access to insights from researchers. Science Card has also committed 10% of its profits to its sourced scientific research projects.

Initially launching in the UK with a targeted 30,000 customers, Science Card’s goal is to fund a £300,000+ research project in the first year. Future plans include expanding to Europe and the US through partnerships with top universities, aiming to reach over two million customers and fund millions in scientific research by 2028.

About Science Card

Science Card was founded in 2021 by deep tech entrepreneur Daniel Baeriswyl PhD, with a mission to build a financial ecosystem that accelerates innovation in science and technology, and will directly help build a sustainable future. Science Card’s fully-featured e-money current accounts and Mastercard debit card will enable its customers to become part of a movement to create a sustainable world, simply by carrying out their normal daily transactions. Science Card will bridge universities and banking, providing funding to scientific research and innovation from both its own profits and derived from its customers’ use of their accounts. With a particular focus on climate, healthcare and computing, the Science Card app also enables its customers to explore and engage with scientific research projects in these fields. Science Card successfully closed its pre-seed round in February 2023, and will be available to UK customers in early 2024.

About Professor Emad Moeendarbary

Emad Moeendarbary, a renowned mechanical engineer, is revolutionising the field of mechanobiology with his groundbreaking research. With a passion for understanding the mechanics of life, Emad has garnered international recognition for his contributions to the field. Supported by prestigious fellowships, Emad conducted influential research at top universities and currently holds the esteemed position of Full Professor in Cell Mechanics and Mechanobiology at University College London. Emad's laboratory focuses on exploring the biomechanical behaviour of living cells in relation to cancer metastasis and nervous system pathology. Employing cutting-edge microfluidic technologies, his team engineers microenvironments that replicate in vivo cellular settings. Additionally, they utilise advanced mechanical measurement techniques to study cell and tissue mechanics. Emad's work has significantly contributed to the scientific community's understanding of the intricate mechanics of life.

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