Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


NEWHORIZONS Report Summary

Project ID: 633402
Funded under: H2020-EU.1.3.5.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - NEWHORIZONS (New Horizons Festival)

Reporting period: 2014-05-01 to 2014-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

I.2. Summary for publication
The European Researchers’night 2014 in Rotterdam, “New Horizons Festival, A Night out in Science, Art and Music”, was all about meeting science and scientists.

The project featured researchers from Erasmus University Rotterdam and its strategic partners Delft University of Technology and Leiden University and offered visitors the unique opportunity of meeting face-to-face with scientists and taking part in demonstrations, hands-on experiments and dialogues, combined with some rare lectures by exceptional speakers proving excellent scientists and outstanding communicators. The activities mixed science with art and music with a view to offering attendees an impressive edutainment experience with numerous spectacular science presentations.

Although organising the Researchers’ night on their own for the first time, the organisers, Stichting Science Street, mainly driven by both Fred Balvert and Kuno Bakker, had been previously involved in such events (Discovery Festival 2012/2013, Frascati 2010). The project remained linked with Discovery Festival in Amsterdam with regard to the national awareness campaign and promotional actions, although each of the two projects remained separate and with a recognisable profile.

The 2014 theme consisted of “Big data, Your life in the cloud”; this related to major developments in many fields of research, where big data technologies were introduced to boost progress by quantitative approaches.
During the event, researchers from diverse disciplines, e.g. life and medical sciences, psychology, economy, ICT and philosophy focussed on applications of big data and the implications on everyday life. Some of the highlights were: a DNA ancestory test conducted by 240 visitors of the festival; The Ig Nobel show by the European Ig Nobel hub; and the presentation of the master work ‘The Tower of Babel’ in collaboration with Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and Google Art.

A total of 1.500 people physically visited the programme of activities of New Horizons: the main group of visitors consisted of the target group of people from 17 to 37 years old, the typical curious audience looking for information and experiences, which are relevant for their personal lives and for society. The event also attracted nevertheless older people curious to learn about research and its relevance to society. The total outreach of media in which New Horizons had been present is 200.000 people.

The activities took place in Erasmus University Rotterdam’s premises and in various cultural institutes as well as public spaces in Rotterdam City centre.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

"Explanation of the work carried out by beneficiaries and Overview of the progress

Explanation of the work carried out during the reporting within the whole project in line with the Annex 1 to the Grant Agreement


Target audiences
o Public at large regardless of age and scientific background;
o Special attention to be paid to kids and young people, especially those facing or about to face a career choice;

Messages conveyed
o Researchers are amongst us;
o Researchers are ordinary people with an extraordinary job;
o Come and personally meet researchers!
o Be inspired by researchers’ work and passion for their work;
o Discover that research is relevant to society;
o Research offers ways to understand and solve societal problems;
o Research offers great career opportunities; for young people;
o Research is fun;
o Research is closer than you may think: research institutes and research communities are part of the culture and economy of Rotterdam and its region;
o Europe cares for its researchers;
o European and international cooperation are of utmost importance for modern research;

Main communication tools to rely on
A new name, logo and house style were designed for the New Horizons Festival, which has been leading in all promotion together with the EU and MSCA elements. Together with Discovery Festival (Amsterdam) New Horizons has introduced the website: Because of the new name, new social media accounts have been introduced.

Off line

o Publication of articles, announcements, interviews, advertisements in national and regional newspapers and magazines;
o Publication of several press releases addressing both off and on line media;
o Airing of promotional spots on the regional radio station Radio Rijnmond;
o Display of promotional material (posters, flyers) within secondary schools in Rotterdam and its region;
o Promotion of the event with flyers during other public events such as Open Air cinema, Studium General (SG ERASMUS, extracurricular educational programme of Erasmus University Rotterdam): small interventions such as surveys, quick presentations, experiments;
o Display of posters in public spaces, of flyers in cafés, clubs, museums, libraries, tourist offices (agenda, magazines) in the framework of the promotion of cultural events in Rotterdam;
o Pre-events: pop–up presentations by researchers in tents on two central City squares: experiments and presentation of research linked to global health and dna research in the week before and during the festival. Two other central locations were for promotion and information about the festival;
o Cooperation with press offices of Discovery Festival in Amsterdam, Erasmus University, Erasmus University Medical Centre and Rotterdam festivals in Rotterdam;
o Promotion and presentations during Social Media Week in Rotterdam, which took place from September 22 to 26 in Rotterdam.
o Opening event on Wednesday before the festival in V2_ Organization for Instable Media.

On line

o Setting up of website dedicated to project (programme, background information, movies, examples of research linked to the overall them chosen i.e. big data, critical reflection about ethics and privacy issues..) linked to the national Researchers’ night website;
o Setting up of social networks profiles (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) and weekly posting of news and programme’s updates;
o Sending “save the date” notifications (websites, mails, social media accounts) to partner organisations’ existing audiences;
o Specific mailing to students of Erasmus University and Erasmus University Medical Centre through on line promotion of Studium Generale;
o On line promotion by Rotterdam Festivals; (such as festival agenda);

Promotional material

o Posters, flyers, programmes;
o Promotion animation (for big screens in city centre and affiliated festivals);
o Program app;
o Ads, banners, websites, links;
o Mention of "This European Researchers' Night projec"

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Overview of the results

o Collection and processing of feedbacks (questionnaires, on line questionnaires, face to face interviews);
o Main conclusions:
o Typology of responders: 54 % female, 46 % male, 80 % first comers, average age 30, most of visitors aged 20-30, 10 % under 20, high education level (84 % higfher education terminated or under course, 10 % high school pupils), 65 % whose occupation related to science and technology, 52 % sometimes attending science-related events, 29 % doing this regularly;
o Main reasons for visiting: curiosity (46 %), accompanying friends (30 %);
o Overall positive feedback of the event itself (activities, interest, contacts with researchers, concrete organisation, scheduling, location and venue);
o Most visitors already having a positive impression about science (interesting (4,5), exciting (3,8), important for society (4,6), easy to understand (3,3) and entertaining (3,8)) and researchers interesting (3,8), fun (3,6), inspiring (3,9), easy to understand (3,1), exciting (3,5);
o More qualitative impression:
- Actually 4th edition of the Researchers' Night in Rotterdam, with a new name illustrating the independent organisation from Discovery Festival in Amsterdam;
- Very special theme, namely Big Data, with scientists providing their views from their own research perspective and pointing out the societal implications, and artists reflecting the them often evoking ethical aspects;
- Somewhat lower attendance than expected due to the necessity of positioning the festival amongst the audience for its first independent organisation, although the intial concept was kept (hands-on, demos, face to face meetings, human interest side of the job scientsts and career prospects);
- Stronger bridge between art and science than in the previous years through the involvement of city an cultural organisations;
- For 2015, a special effort will be undertaken as for reinforcing the promotion through science teasers and demos organised throught the city.

Related information

Record Number: 186426 / Last updated on: 2016-07-12