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For the Bold and Risky

The Wellcome Trust is setting aside a pot of funds for risky research ideas, Science reports.

In a press release, Jeremy Farrar, the director of the Wellcome Trust, says that in his time in that post, he's seen the end results of many ambitious projects, but also bold ideas that that have been considered too risky to take on. "We want to take advantage of the surprising, left-field ideas that pose the question 'what if?' and support them in a new way that complements our existing funding structures," he writes.

The Wellcome Trust announced that it would be putting £250 million ($330 million) toward its new Leap Fund initiative to fund such risky work. It notes that this fund won't replace any of its current funding schemes, nor use funds from its Primary Fund; the Leap Fund will be funded through the recently established Reserve Fund.

Science adds that the fund is to be set up as a subsidiary of the Wellcome Trust with its own CEO — it says the search to fill that position is to begin soon — and that the fund may begin its first research programs in late 2020.

The charity says the Leap Fund will "accelerate discovery and innovation."