Seán here from OpenLitterMap
I would love to know what funding models are being referred to because as far as I can tell, there are no funding models.
I have been researching citizen science on litter since 2008 and working on the OpenLitterMap methodology since 2013. Despite claiming to have the best quality citizen science data on plastic pollution (155k images all manually verified), having several paying institutional clients and several business plans with massive social, environmental and scientific potential, there is not a single resource or opportunity for people like me to develop citizen science.
I have dozens of more ideas too, but the ecosystem for citizen science just doesn't exist. Although I am about to launch my 3rd citizen science app soon, they are all significantly inadequate to realise their full potential due to the complete lack of support which should have been achieved years ago but there is nothing for citizen science startups. There is not even a shared video in the EU to teach people about how to collect data responsibly with GDPR. The whole situtation is a complete joke and totally inadequate to deal with the massive problems we are facing eg. 900 tonnes of plastic going into the oceans every hour, etc.
Many other countries around the world simply support the development of startups pioneering citizen science because its really important, but here in my native Ireland and Europe there is nothing. OpenLitterMap is now 66+ rejected grant apps in a row which is just totally boring and demoralising. Is the best we can do?
Personally I find citizen science extremely positive, exciting and compelling and I believe it is our only hope of going beyond the SDGs but the lack of opportunities for startups is extremely worrying. For example, I ran a kickstarter in 2017 and nobody even retweeted it. I launched another gofundme last October and it is stuck at 1%. Is there a citizen science community that can help develop promote open source tools for pollution monitoring? I don't see one.
I also don't see any hope of this changing anytime soon. The only hope we have is for self-funded startups working hard earning small contracts and working incrementally in baby-steps to do everything which is fine, it just takes years longer as this work ethic, passion, and ideas are completely unsupported to fix huge local and global problems of which there are many.