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Photonics4All Report Summary

Project reference: 644606
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Photonics4All (EU-wide outreach for promoting photonics to young people, entrepreneurs and the general public)

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

This project responds to the ICT-26-c call which focuses on the EU-wide outreach for promoting photonics to young people, entrepreneurs and the general public. The project's acronym is Photonics4all and its duration is for two years. Within the framework of the proclaimed International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL 2015) by the United Nations this project shall mainly improve the public image of photonics and increase the public awareness of the importance of photonics, especially regarding current societal challenges like health and well-being, safety and security etc.

The uniqueness of Photonics4all is, on the one hand the development of new promotional tools and, on the other hand the delivery of various 'outreach' activities. The main goal of Photonics4all will be to raise awareness of, and to arouse the interest of the mentioned target groups in photonics technology. Activities and events will occur in many European countries in order to achieve an EU-wide outreach. Tools will be developed as part of the project and used in the many promotional activities which will be conducted during the project.

Strong European collaborations, based on cluster activities, shall increase the interest of young people, entrepreneurs and the general public in Photonics and thereby generate more qualified workers and young academics, stimulating the development of more innovative photonics applications and an increased awareness. The project will be served by an excellent consortium of 8 photonics related partners (OND, OV, EaPS, PhAu, TUD, UoS, ILC and CNR) from 8 different European countries. In addition, the coordinator of the project represents an organisation which has a great expertise in managing European projects (SEZ). Thus this project will be carried out by 9 European organisations with excellent connections to relevant networks.

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

"Photonics4All achieved all significant planned activities during the first half of the project (M1-M12, January 2015 - December 2015). As such, our project was able to achieve relevant RESULTS understood as 'more direct, short to medium term changes in a situation' according to the official definition in Horizon 2020.

With regard to 'Outreach for young people', our consortium was able to achieve important results. First of all, by developing a first prototype of the Photonics4All app, our consortium now offers an easily & for free downloadable tool. This app provides users with a basic introduction to Photonics via an attractive educational tool for mobile devices for potentially hundreds of thousands of young people. Secondly, Photonics4All conducted the Photonics4All game competition throughout the whole of Italy; 31 students registered for the competition and created outstanding games. Thirdly, the Photonics4All team made photonics more popular by organizing a competition among French students leading to an original 'ThinkPhoton!' flash game fascinating even more young people. We also created the Photonics4All video "The stolen cup" with its heroine Max the Photonics Detective and her friend ‘Lux’. The heroine's actions speak for themselves and the video manages to convey the excitement of photonics without needing words. The video provides an excellent tool to spread photonics across Europe (and world-wide). The video is being promoted during different outreach events & occasions. Next the project partners changed the focus of existing children universities in many institutions to include strong elements of photonics education during multiple events. Last but not least, our team organized workshops to train several dozens of physics teachers from all over Europe on how to teach optics and photonics in inspiring ways – to improve teacher’s skills and confidence.

With respect to the 'Outreach for Entrepreneurs', Photonics4All partners successfully achieved the following results: We developed the draft publication of two brochures 'Study Photonics' and 'Create Business in Photonics' in order to promote an overview of start-up companies and study opportunities in photonics. Plus, we increased the chances of success for photonics start-up companies by delivering a Entrepreneurial boot camp in Vienna. Additionally, our consortium demystified innovation procedures in photonics thanks to several innovation workshops in Germany for business members and by finalizing the 'Open Innovation Methodology' for the photonic sector.

Concerning the 'Outreach to the general public', our project could generate equally important changes to its audience on the short to medium term. Photonics4All has created a prototype of the OmniLight Laboratory. This tool provides educational speakers and lecturers with an extraordinary & versatile tool to fascinate audiences across Europe with photonics. The project consortium also created five different types of intriguing and innovative photonics brochures for town councils of all participating countries in this project. The brochures were disseminated widely amongst the general public at many different events, fascinating people with life enhancing photonics applications. Furthermore, the partners raised awareness of photonics by conducting the manifold Photonics4All Campaign in Italy, France, the Netherlands, UK, Sweden and Slovakia. Aside from that, the project started not only to implement but also to systematize the promising concept of science slams.

In regard of the 'Dissemination & Exploitation' of the project, we as a consortium achieved two important results. We developed a detailed plan for the entire duration of the project to ensure the proper dissemination & exploitation of all developed tools. Then our team collaborated on concrete actions/occasions with other running photonics related initiatives such as GoPhoton and/or Light2015 and as such created significant synergies to the"

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)

IMPACT is understood in this reporting as 'the wider societal, economic or environmental cumulative changes over a longer period of time' in accordance with the Horizon 2020 definition of the EU. Photonics4All is conceptualised in line as a project whose outputs and results are of such nature that they entail an important impact.

The unique idea of Photonics4All is to exploit (a) TOOLS developed during the project lifetime through suitable (b) ACTIVITIES also foreseen in the work plan for three different target groups (1. young people, 2. entrepreneurs and 3. the general public).
After the first half of the project, Photonics4All partners organized and participated with the projec tools in more than 100 events reaching almost 300,000 people in 10 different European countries (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, Sweden, The Netherlands, UK). As such, our consortium generated significant impact for all three target groups as described in the following.

1) Photonics4All could increase awareness and recognition of photonics by more than 80,000 YOUNG PEOPLE and probably lead so to more qualified academics for the engineering/scientific sector. This impact is demonstrated by the fact that:
1a) almost all Photonics4All tools dedicated to youngsters have been developed.
1b) the entire impact planned for all related outreach activities has already been generated.
• Photonics4All provided the prototype of an APP (D1.1). Its dissemination is planned to take place in the next period through continuous communication channels (Facebook, google play, twitter, photonics21 & Photonics4All website...), at appropriate events such as children universities and also through the EU-funded project RespiceSME (in which SEZ is also co-ordinator).
• Additionally, our consortium conducted the COMPETITION for a GAME (D1.2) very successfully with more than 30 pre-registered students promoting it at more than a dozen of events reaching almost 10,000 people. The game will also be promoted in the upcoming months on-site (schools) and through the project's communication hub.
• Furthermore, Photonics4All partners have conducted the COMPETITION for a QUIZ (D1.3) being disseminated at more than 10 events to more than 2,140 persons. Plus, the quiz was promoted via social media: on Facebook by Max and on Twitter which led to 273 clicks. Additionally, OV disseminated the quiz competition in its newsletter ‘Les Echos du Réseau’ with 12,130 subscribers and the results were published in the second edition of the project newsletter with currently more than 260 email contacts. Further dissemination will be part of the second year of the project (children universities, Photonics21 Annual meeting etc.).
• In addition an entertaining Photonics Animation VIDEO (D1.4) with more almost 400 clicks on YouTube (on 31/12/2015) has been developed and spread on Facebook etc. For the next period, the challenge will be to show it as a teaser in cinemas or film festivals before children movies.
• Moreover, Photonics4all has already excelled all expectations regarding the special further educational training WORKSHOPS for teachers (D1.6) reaching more than 1,380 teachers in Austria (5 cities), Italy (4 cities), UK (London) and Slovakia (Bratislava). Thus, in total, far more than the 1,000 teachers foreseen in the proposal could be trained and sensitized for photonics and this in even more than the planned 10 European cities. Ideally, each of these trained teachers can reach 50 children him-/herself which would lead to an impact of 69,000 children. The latter also outnumbers the planned figures for the total project.
• Photonics4All partners have conducted two CHILDREN UNIVERSITIES (D1.5) and plenty of further photonic lectures for children with more than 1,970 participants in total. These events have taken place in Italy, UK, Germany and Austria.

2) Our project could increase awareness and recognition of photonics by almost 200 ENTREPRENE

Related information

Record Number: 186595 / Last updated on: 2016-07-14