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ERC

ScienceSquared Report Summary

Project ID: 672302
Funded under: H2020-EU.1.1.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ScienceSquared (ERC = ScienceSquared)

Reporting period: 2015-10-01 to 2016-09-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The European Research Council (ERC) is a great success – but if it is to continue that success, it must widen its base of support across the EU. It must reach beyond its scientific audience to show the broader public why frontier research matters, how it will improve lives, and why the ERC is important in making that happen. For that, directness is best: it should talk about its science - the cutting edge variety that can capture the imagination, change the world and stimulate curiosity.

Doing this requires good story-telling, a tight focus, creative communications, a multi-channel distribution network that spans media and institutions, and a sustained effort. We believe ERC=Science2 can achieve this by illustrating to large and varied audiences in Europe and beyond that the ERC should matter as the source of cool science, to students, policy makers, media, other researchers, the business community and all citizens generally, in all 28 EU member-states and beyond. As such, the main objectives of this project are:

• To promote the ERC projects and ERC grantees through a cluster of innovative, popular and high quality communications vehicles
• To set up sustainable communications channels addressing key target groups (students and young researchers, media, investors, policy-makers, public at large) to form a unique distribution network the ERC can rely on for future communications campaigns.
• To stimulate greater public interest – in all walks of life, from student to pensioner, from researcher to retailer – in the excitement of science, and to identify the ERC with that excitement. Broader and deeper public support for, and understanding of science is vital for the EU’s future, and that of the ERC.
• To build broad political and societal support for the ERC and its mission. This campaign will include activities specifically designed to draw the attention of policy makers in the member-states, and in the European Parliament.
Now moving into its second year, ERC=Science2 is a Europe-wide communication campaign which aims to spread awareness and interest in the vital research of ERC grantees beyond the science community. Using popular scientific themes such as ‘cities of the future’ and ‘music’, the 42-month multimedia campaign is designed to reach a wide public of specialists and non-specialists in Europe and afar.
In total there will be six campaigns (themes) in total. An overview of the campaigns and their launch dates:

• The Human City, February 2016
• Food, September 2016
• Longevity, February 2017
• Sensory Experience, July 2017
• Music, January 2018
• Robots, July 2018

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

During this first reporting period (October 2015 – September 2016) ERC=Science2 has successfully launched 2 of the 6 campaigns that form the core of this project. Below is an overview of the main results achieved within this reporting period.

Overview of major accomplishments during the first reporting period:

• An official website launched and regularly updated for the project;
• The successful launch of two themes, ‘cities’ and ‘food’;
• A dedicated YouTube channel with 12 videos and +2000 views;
• Interactive online content in three languages (English, Czech and Estonian);
• Established social media platforms on Facebook and Twitter with growing audiences;
• A science pop-up stand that has so far travelled to three countries (UK, Czech Rep and Estonia);
• Printed materials such as posters, flyers and postcards that have been translated into Estonian, Czech, Polish, French and Bulgarian;
• 10 events in 7 European countries (Spain, Belgium, UK, France, Estonia, Poland and Czech Rep) with 5000+ participants coming into direct contact with ERC=Science2 content.

To give a better idea of how the ERC=Science2 reached the above targets, a month by month overview is provided based on the deliverables.

M1
• Kick-off meeting with the entire consortium
• List of themes for the individual campaigns proposed by the ERC=Science2 Executive Committee

M2
• First meeting of the ERC=Science2 Advisory Board
• List of themes proposed by the Executive Committee approved by the Advisory Board

M5
• ERC=Science2 Executive Committee meet for a second time
• Launch of the theme, ‘The Human City’ at a large policy event in Brussels
• Launch of ERC=Science2 website
• Launch of ERC=Science2 social media platforms (FB, Twitter and YouTube)
• First training session for ERC grantees held

M6
• ERC=Science2 starts contacting universities around Europe for participating in local events

M7
• A training session for all of the science centers and museums across Europe involved in the ERC=Science2 project.
• The ERC=Sceince2 Advisory Board meetings for a second time
• A guide for the science centers and museums involved in the ERC=Science2 project.
• The ERC=Science2 pop-up science stand is ready to travel to major public events around Europe

M8
• ERC=Science2 is featured at EMUNI’s annual event in Barcelona, Spain
• ERC=Science2 is featured at EIRMA’s annual event in Paris, France

M10
• ERC=Science2 public event in Paris, France at Cité des sciences et de l’industrie/Universcience
• ERC=Science2 public event in Manchester, UK at the biennial EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF)

M12
• Launch of the second theme titled, ‘The taste tests’
• ERC=Science2 public event in Pleven, Bulgaria
• ERC=Science2 public event in Pilsen, Czech Republic during the ‘Science and Technology Days’ERC=Science2 public event in Tartu, Estonia with 50 workshop sessions related to the first theme on ‘The Human city’

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)

Within the 42 months that ERC=Science2 has had to communicate about the excellent research done by ERC grantees, the project has set its focus on 6 target areas.

1. Media – major titles and broadcasters, social and online media, and specialised press
2. Policy makers at EU and member-states involved in research, education or innovation
3. Industry executives in technology industries, entrepreneurs and investors, internationally
4. Post-docs, university faculty and other public-sector researchers, across the EU
5. Undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in science
6. Public at large with a potential interest in science, across the EU and some associated countries

The goal of this project is to reach each of these groups in as many counties as possible across Europe. To do that, ERC=Science2 has built its consortium and actives in many countries.
Through tight focus, high creativity and a powerful distribution network, we will attract science enthusiasts of all types to the work of the ERC. The combination of intensive and on-going online communications, in particular through online and social media, as well as local events in the country’s language will make the ERC more visible and contribute to spreading the cool science supported by the ERC funding schemes. As a result, the wider audience of non-scientists that probably never heard of the ERC before will start associating European excellence in science with this ‘other EU body’ as they associate the Nobel Prize with the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences or the Oscars with the Academy Awards.

Related information

Record Number: 198294 / Last updated on: 2017-05-18
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