Project Coral: Onboarding Neuroscientists to the Data Economy

Tapping into the Stream of Big Neuroscience Data through Ocean Protocol as a Vessel for Open Science and Reproducibility Principles


Proposal Wallet Address


One-Sentence Summary

I am requesting a grant to bootstrap an existing community of neuroscientists to begin working with the Ocean Protocol to unleash neuroimaging data.

Categories Describing the Project

[1] Outreach / community / spread awareness (grants don’t need to be technical in nature)

Project Overview

The field of neuroscience has generated an ocean of data, estimated to be in excess of an exabyte, collected from brain imaging studies of fish, rodents, primates, and humans. Most of this data remains siloed in individual labs - often in proprietary formats and inaccessible to the public. Recent movements in the neuroimaging community have embraced open science principles and a trickling stream of curated datasets has begun to flow onto public internet forums, making detailed measurements of the brain available in great detail for the first time.

Problem: Educating Neuroscientists about the Decentralized Web and Data Economy through Ocean Protocol

A major obstacle preventing this trickle from cascading into a torrent is the absence of incentives to share expensive and meticulously collected data on public platforms where others may take credit or abuse the data. The Ocean protocol has taken steps to remove this obstacle with the introduction of data tokens, marketplaces, and confidential cloud computing. However, the concepts of tokenization, blockchain, and the potential of a distributed web 3.0 have yet to penetrate the neuroscience community.

Solution: Educational Events, Materials and Data Bounties for Neuroscientists

I am requesting a grant to bootstrap an existing community of neuroscientists to begin working with the Ocean Protocol to unleash neuroimaging data.

The grant will make possible the creation of educational materials, monitored community forums, virtual workshops, and hack-a-thons, in addition to providing data and developer bounties. These goals are set with the purpose of onboarding neuroscientists onto the data economy through the Ocean Protocol.

This grant will bootstrap from an existing community of neuroscience data engineers, researchers, and software developers through the International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility (INCF), Organization for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM), Georgetown University Methods Lab, and the Global Brain Hack.

What is the Expected ROI?

Simple educational events will introduce neuroscientists to existing resources for unleashing their data to share and build upon with colleagues. Over time and as interest builds around the world, adoption is expected to snowball. Likewise, consumption of data tokens will be a trickle at first as we develop pipelines for tokenizing neuroscience datasets on the blockchain.

This grant will also generate critical feedback for the Ocean Protocol to understand current data needs and problems from scientists’ perspectives. Early ROI will likely be low as hidden barriers to adoption are revealed, but a large ROI > 1 can be expected as up to 20k academic neuroscience data providers around the world become activated as consumers and contributors to the Ocean Protocol.

The team has already led hack-a-thon projects themed around the neuroscience data economy and has received a warm reception from the neuroscience community!

Grant Deliverables

This grant requests funds to support:

  1. Workshops at Neuroinformatics Conferences
  1. Google summer of code projects on the data economy
  1. Corporate partnerships with Neuroinformatics Consortia and to support development of open source toolkits for the neuroscience community.


  • March 1-9 Google Summer of Code: Student/Mentor Q&A
  • April 15th - First draft of educational materials to be hosted on
  • April 19-23 Presentation at the Neuroinformatics Assembly
  • April 14-May 2 Google Summer of Code: Student/Mentor Matching
  • June 21-25 Open Science Room Workshops @ the Organization for Human Brain Mapping
  • June 7-August 17 Google Summer of Code: Open Hacking

All workshop materials, meetings, and code will be made publicly accessible on Github . Meeting events, topic posts, and tutorials will be hosted on medium. These events may be run every 4-6 weeks or more frequently as funding and open interest allow.

Team Members

Shady El Damaty , M.Sc., Ph.D.

Daniel Byington , M.Sc., M.B.A

Liliana Muscarella , MA

Opscientia is a company providing onboarding services and software infrastructure for launching decentralized autonomous organizations on distributed cloud public networks and smart contract blockchains.

The team lead is an active member and contributor of the INCF, OHBM, and Brainhack Community.

Additional Information
This grant is a first step in building a decentralized neuroscience community running self-governed, owned, and automated science activities on-chain.


Great to see your proposal in DAO Round #4 and I am crossing fingers for your important mission to build the bridges between science, Web3 and data markets. Fingers crossed for the whole team. :vulcan_salute:


Thank you Kai! We give OceanDAO partial credit for the recent traction we’ve obtained within the neuroscience community. Our work will never be done but we can rest every once in a while knowing that the word is being spread!

Our most exciting updates will start flooding in at the end of April as we make a big splash at the INCF assembly, followed by the OHBM conference.

As always, we will keep the community appraised of all our progress and make our materials available for anyone who wishes to replicate our efforts in other fields. Would love to explore potential synergies with deltaDAO if that makes sense from your end.


Absolutely, I just took that to the team so we can think about synergies and there will be a lot of opportunities ahead when we talk with the German data science community I think. :vulcan_salute:

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Deliverable Checklist Update

[x] Conference Workshops & Seminars

Our team has presented at multiple conferences and hackathons, including the International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility Conference and the Organization for Human Brain Mapping.

As part of this, we have conducted user research on token economies and the pain points for researchers working with cloud computing workflows. This information will help us perform user requirement design as we finalise our architecture for an application to support Decentralised Scientific Workflows.

[x] Training & Development

The OceanDAO grant enabled us as a team to take part in Kernel Block III.

Below are the deliverables for training and development:

  • Opscientia were chosen as one of the top projects to present in the Final Showcase.

  • We have also summarised our incredible experience in a blog.

[x] Google Summer of Code Project

The OceanDAO grant directly supported mentorship for Google Summer of Code to work on open-source projects at the intersection of Open Science and Web 3.0.

Below are the deliverables for the GSoC Project:

[x] Hackathon Spree

OceanDAO has helped us take part in multiple hackathons over the summer and this has resulted in Opscientia being rewarded for our work and helping spotlight the importance of open science to the wider Web3 and scientific communities.

  • The team took part in the ETHGlobal Web3Weekend hackathon to build a proof-of-concept of our Data Wallet. The next steps include building out the minimum viable product for scientists to use and test by the end of 2021.

  • Our blog post outlining our experience at the ETHGlobal Web3Weekend hackathon - Opscientia DAO Wins Multiple Awards at the EthGlobal Hackathon

  • The team also took part in the OHBM Brainhack 2021. Our GitHub issue explains our submission in greater detail

  • We gathered user-research feedback from 5 scientists at the OHBM Brainhack. From this, we validated current pain points around academia and data. We gathered initial feedback on our Data Wallet proof-of-concept and sourced questions and comments to flesh out our FAQ’s.

[x] Corporate partnerships with Neuroinformatics Consortia and to support the development of open-source toolkits for the neuroscience community

  • Our partnership over the summer with Google’s GSoC was a success.

  • We are continuing this work by drafting best practices for reproducible science and publishing the methods of how Web3 will help accelerate the improvement of those practices. This is an ongoing process and will help us develop functional, and user-first tools for scientists.

[x] Survey and quantitative metrics regarding attitudes toward the Data Economy, Ocean Academy, and Web 3.0

  • Further to the OHBM hackathon we carried out user-research in the community and have gathered 12 responses which have validated pain points, levels of understanding, and feedback on our vision. This further helped us to generate our FAQ’s and generate high-level user-requirements for the Opsciverse.

[x] Providing initial liquidity to publish the first neuroimaging dataset pool and applications for compute-to-data

  • This work is ongoing and initial steps have been taken to publish BIDS Apps and Shady’s brain :scream: on the gaia-x testnet.

[x] Content creation