+1 to additional sources of kernals and/or RP
The old way was to grind beacons.
Beacons are nerfed so:
+More/Better loot on TAPs
+More/Better loot on NPCs in general, or certain spawns (rare/caravans/reds)
+Provide new ways to get RP
I see so many new players see the industry system, get excited, and then crushed when they realize the kernal grind is hopelessly long, and involves them skilling into high-end PVE combat to do it.
Even with the corp research tree, they still want to bonuses. This gives indy players a goal to work towards, but at this moment in time its not a goal, but an impossibility for many.
And to add to Rugerx's solution and make it easy to see an implementation: put kernals in the syndicate store!
Tokens->kernals. Maybe even just NIC; there is your nic sink! Boom inflation problem solved.
I do like the daily assignments more, because this draws players back to the game with regularity, and rate-limits the kernals one could earn over time, so its not easy to just drop 10bil nic and have your research done.