The future lies in the moulding and nurturing of its young as well as entrepreneurial minds. An unbridled enthusiasm coupled with their untethered curiosity gives rise to cutting-edge innovations that define an era. Within Sri Lanka, the pandemic has highlighted the need for adequate access to resources to uplift communities. Intending to assist Sri Lanka’s young students, Hatch has become the authorised distribution partner for Foldscope with the hopes of introducing a low-cost scientific tool.
What is Foldscope?
A Foldscope is an optical microscope assembled from simple components, including a sheet of paper and a lens. Famous for being the world’s most affordable microscope, it is designed to be portable, durable, and on par with conventional research microscopes. MIT Technology Review also recognises Foldscope as “one of ten recent low-tech inventions that have changed the world”.
Foldscope is the brainchild of Manu Prakash and Jim Cybulski. The idea for the tool was born during their field visits around the world while at Stanford University. They saw firsthand the lack of proper scientific equipment in developing communities. It wasn’t a solution that costly and cumbersome traditional microscopes could fix. Thus, Foldscope was born.
The paper microscope comes at a minute cost compared to a conventional microscope. However, the practical benefits of this product are overwhelming, such as it fitting into students’ pockets while also being waterproof and more durable.
Used by curious minds in 150 countries, the Foldscope has been through various stress tests. It is a testament to this fact that Amazon Rainforest Researcher Aaron Pomerantz had this to say, “…it can get wet, crumpled up, muddy, etc., and still function. As long as your little micro-lens isn’t damaged, it isn’t too hard to slip in a slide of your material and view it.”
The promising partnership between Hatch and Foldscope
As a company, Foldscope Instruments, the company’s mission is to break down the price barrier between people and their curiosity for scientific exploration. Already it has provided affordable scientific tools to impoverished communities around the world. The list ranges from farmers in India to schools in the U.S. In doing so, they have helped advance education, health, and opportunities within these communities. As a result, Foldscope has effectively tackled and pushed the boundaries on health, education, and improved access to opportunities within similar communities.
In this distribution partnership with Foldscope, Hatch is closely aligned with its vision and ethos. Hatch strives to provide students and Sri Lankan entrepreneurs with the tools to improve their knowledge base and develop innovative products. Furthermore, the partnership is also expected to bring accessibility to affordable STEM tools and help direct the nation towards greater prosperity.
The underlying hope is the partnership between Foldscope and Hatch will empower Sri Lankan students. By removing monetary obstacles, local students can re-engage with science while embracing it as a viable future for them. Thus, creating a path towards achieving their scientific ambitions.