MIRI’s largest grant to date!

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A big announcement today: MIRI has been awarded a two-year $7,703,750 grant by Open Philanthropy — our largest grant to date. In combination with the ~$1.06M Open Philanthropy is also disbursing to MIRI this year (the second half of their 2019 grant), this amounts to $4.38M per year over two years, or roughly 60% of our predicted 2020–2021 budgets.

While ~$6.24M of Open Philanthropy’s new grant comes from their main funders, $1.46M was made possible by Open Philanthropy’s new partnership with Ben Delo, co-founder of the cryptocurrency trading platform BitMEX. Ben Delo has teamed up with Open Philanthropy to support their long-termist grantmaking, which includes (quoting Open Philanthropy):

reducing potential risks from advanced artificial intelligence, furthering biosecurity and pandemic preparedness, and other initiatives to combat global catastrophic risks, as well as much of the work we fund on effective altruism.

We’re additionally happy to announce a $300,000 grant from the Berkeley Existential Risk Initiative. I’ll note that at the time of our 2019 fundraiser, we expected to receive a grant from BERI in early 2020, and incorporated this into our reserves estimates. However, we predicted the grant size would be $600k; now that we know the final grant amount, that estimate should be $300k lower.

Finally, MIRI has been awarded a $100,000 grant by the Effective Altruism Funds Long-Term Future Fund, managed by the Centre for Effective Altruism. The fund plans to release a write-up describing the reasoning for their new round of grants in a couple of weeks.

Our thanks to Open Phil, Ben Delo and Longview Philanthropy (Ben Delo’s philanthropic advisor, formerly known as Effective Giving UK), BERI, and the Long-Term Future Fund for this amazing support! Going into 2020–2021, these new grants put us in an unexpectedly good position to grow and support our research team. To learn more about our growth plans, see our 2019 fundraiser post and our 2018 strategy update.

Update: Open Philanthropy decided not to move forward with its partnership with Ben Delo. This doesn’t affect the size of the grant we received, but means that other funders provided the funds for Open Phil’s grant.