Case Study: AI-assisted synergy – research funders collaborate for maximum global impact

5 February 2024

I have used ChatGPT to create a series of case studies to help illustrate my ideas recorded in my article ‘The promise and perils of AI in shaping tomorrow’s think tanks and foundations


Several leading research funders, each with their individual objectives, have embraced AI to optimise their strategies. Recognising a shared interest in global education policy reform, these funders aim to harmonise their efforts using their AI avatars, creating an unprecedented level of collaboration.

Challenges faced

  • Diverse funding priorities: Each funder has distinct goals and target outcomes, leading to potential overlaps or gaps in funding.
  • Lack of real-time collaboration: Traditional communication channels might delay the sharing of updates, leading to missed synergistic opportunities.
  • Strategy alignment: Ensuring that all parties, including beneficiary organisations, align their strategies to maximise collective impact.

AI-driven collaborative solutions

1. Real-time communication through AI avatars

  • Instant updates: As soon as one funder’s AI identifies a potential grantee or project, other funders’ AIs are notified, allowing for immediate collaboration or support.
  • Dynamic feedback loop: AIs continuously exchange data on project progress, challenges faced, and outcomes achieved, ensuring all parties remain in sync.

2. Strategy harmonisation & gap analysis

  • Shared data pooling: The AI avatars collaboratively analyse data from all funders, identifying overlaps and gaps in funding. They then suggest adjustments to optimise resource allocation.
  • Predictive analysis: By analysing historical data, the collective AI system can anticipate future educational policy challenges and propose preemptive solutions.

3. Beneficiary collaboration enhancement

  • Think tank strategy synchronisation: AI avatars of beneficiary organisations (like think tanks) can “converse” with the funders’ AIs, adjusting their strategies to complement each other and amplify their combined impact.
  • Customised recommendations: Based on the broader goals of the collective funder group, AIs provide think tanks with tailored suggestions to refine their approaches or explore new avenues.

4. Outcome & impact assessment

  • Collective reporting: AI avatars consolidate impact reports from all beneficiary organisations, presenting a unified view of the collective achievement on education policy reform.
  • Feedback mechanism: Beneficiary organisations receive AI-driven feedback on their performance, enabling continuous improvement.

Outcomes enabled by AI collaboration

  • Optimised resource allocation: By identifying overlaps and gaps, funders ensure that every pound spent has the maximum possible impact.
  • Unified vision: Despite their individual objectives, funders can rally around shared goals, presenting a united front in advocating for global education policy reforms.
  • Enhanced think tank performance: With AI-driven guidance and feedback, think tanks can refine their strategies, leading to more substantial, more lasting impact.


The seamless collaboration between research funders, facilitated by AI avatars, represents a new era in philanthropy and advocacy. By integrating their efforts and leveraging AI’s analytical prowess, these funders not only optimise their individual strategies but also drive collective progress in global education policy reform. This model sets a precedent for other sectors, showcasing the power of synergy in the age of AI.