The Mcubed program, housed in the University of Michigan’s Office for Research, distributes real-time seed funding to multidisciplinary, faculty-led teams—stimulating research that might otherwise be overlooked in more traditional grant processes. Mcubed attracted $20 million in additional grant money over an initial investment of $14 million, funding 222 research projects. However, to reach its full potential, the Mcubed portal would need to be completely rebuilt to provide much more powerful interactive functionality and virtually unlimited scalability.
The Mcubed program’s success depends entirely on its portal, allowing users to browse cubes by category and express interest in joining a project. And it manages the gamified “token” system of funding projects based on multidisciplinary researcher commitment, unlike the traditional grant-writing process. Mcubed 3.0 brought the scalability needed to take the program to researchers and donors nationwide. Symmetri Technology performed a complete website rebuild on Drupal 8, an advanced platform with an impressive new object-oriented programming architecture built on the Symphony framework. We also migrated all data from 2.0, and significantly upgraded site functionality.
By the close of the Mcubed 2.0 funding cycle, nearly 500 cubes had been awarded, representing $60 million worth of research investment into everything from public health exercise programs to infrared powered neural implants. The Mcubed staff received the President’s Staff Innovation Team Award for implementing newly developed best practices and creating new inclusive features. During the Mcubed 3.0 funding cycle, 221 cubes have already been awarded as of February of 2019.