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While NFTs (non-fungible tokens) became the Internet’s equivalent of a virtual trading card in recent years, technology brand ScieNFT found a new way to leverage the power of blockchain in the name of academic research. With up to 5 million academic papers published yearly, there is a growing demand for publishing solutions. 

More than just a talking point on one’s curriculum vitae, published research is a necessity for career advancement in many areas of science and medicine. And ScieNFT’s founding team knows the demand for academic and scientific research all too well. With deep roots in the scientific and technology communities, founders Dr. Arash Rafii Tabrizi, Dr. Robert Walters, and Fekry Aiad combined their almost 30 years of experience to leverage new technology to support age-old publishing methods. 

Offering an open-access publishing platform, ScieNET empowers researchers to quickly transform their research, publications, and academic content into traceable digital assets using NFT (non-fungible token) technology. The platform also creates a digital marketplace allowing science and healthcare professionals to trade those assets as part of a unique publishing solution that helps contributors be financially rewarded for their contributions to the scientific community. 

According to the company’s chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder, Dr. Arash Rafii Tabrizi: “Our team is at the beginning of this movement. Traditional publishing houses are like record labels. Instead, ScieNFT can be like a streaming service for scientists, putting them in control of their research and work.”

Rafii is a Pr of who left after 14 years of leadership at the Weill Cornell Medicine to found and run ScieNFT. With more than 120 published works under his belt, Rafii understands both the challenges and opportunities when it comes to publishing research and educational assets. In addition to his work with ScieNFT, Dr. Rafii serves as a board member of the French Society of Predictive Medicine and the French Society for Gynecologic Oncology.

He met his co-founder, Fekry Aiad, in 2020 when the pair were introduced through shared development projects, including a social media app. Working as ScieNFT’s Head of Product, Aiad is an experienced fintech product designer who drove product design and development for brands such as Bosta, SOLO fintech, and Elves. He founded FekryLab in 2021 to empower novice designers as they start careers in product design. To date, Aiad has mentored more than 300 young professionals.

They would meet Dr. Robert Walters that same year, connecting with ScieNFT’s future chief technology officer by way of an introduction from an early investor. Walters is a Caltech-educated physicist as well as an experienced entrepreneur and veteran in the blockchain sector. In addition to founding the nanophotonic spectroscopy company Integrated Plasmonics in 2010, Walters previously headed product development for a cryptocurrency start-up and a drone hardware and software developer.

“We have a very complementary and in-sync team to get the company’s vision to the next step,” affirms Aiad. Besides a close working relationship, the three founders have also bonded as friends, he says, and spend plenty of time together despite being a remote-first team. 

The founders envision a future where scientific breakthroughs are immortalized as NFTs, offering researchers both recognition and reward. This transformation in digital publishing hinges on the decentralized storage of science to ensure the authenticity and traceability of every piece of knowledge.

ScieNFT is working to introduce a fresh chapter in scientific publishing, underpinned by a founding team whose exceptional expertise and camaraderie can help establish a new standard in how researchers showcase their expertise. Learn more about the company’s open-access preprint server at scienft.com