So a bit of actual feedback (after giving it a bit -a bit- more thought).
On the good side first. I am one of those people willing or trying to do research from the outside, I’m not part of the academia and not planning to join it any time soon. So actually having an affiliation that doesn’t require me being a phD student or a professor or ‘formal’ researcher would be probably great. (Although even better would be to actually have the time/money to do proper research, and with a bunch of people).
Having said that, what I find problematic relates first to the need to sort of centralize Gosh in order to do what you propose, in a country, in a group of people. That means centralizing power in decision making and influence. Even more problematic to do so in a Global North country such as Germany. One of Gosh’s strengths is its decentralized nature, the fact that there isn’t a group of people commanding what the rest do or can do. And the second reason (I’m sure there are more) relates to focusing on doing ‘science as usual’. I mean, the Manifesto is clear in that the purpose is to do things differently. In that sense, we should look for visibility and reputation for the community and open science hardware in general (even if not done by community members) and not to try increase the reputation of individual academics/researchers: “We move science toward communal, accessible, and collaborative practices, and away from territorial, proprietary, institutional, and individualistic practices”. I mean, if we do good stuff, if we work hard and effectively, and partner with the right people/groups, we should (OSH) get more visibility.
And lastly (for now), I have the feeling this possibility was discussed and eventually dropped some time ago. I’m not sure if in GOSH 2017 in Santiago or last year in China. Maybe someone else remembers…