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H2020

CLoSER Report Summary

Project ID: 722749
Funded under: H2020-EU.1.3.5.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - CLoSER (Cementing Links between Science and society toward Engagement and Responsibility)

Reporting period: 2016-05-02 to 2017-02-01

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The CLOSER project, selected to organize the ERN in Piedmont and Aosta Valley, has started treasuring the capitalized experience of the 10 past editions: it has built on the results achieved along this thrilling journey and move forward, also on the basis of the European agenda defined by H2020 in relation to the science and society issues.

The main objective of the CLoSER project is to enhance researchers’ public recognition generating trust in science and making the whole society acknowledge the need for taking responsibility and taking part in the public debate on research and innovation.
The public at large in all its components, whichever their age and scientific background, will be offered the opportunity of discovering the “human face” of research via direct exchanges and discussions with the researchers, thus understanding the impact research and innovation have on their daily lives.

In order to achieve this main objective, the specific objectives of CLoSER are:

o Bring researchers, citizens, schools, policy makers, and industry closer to one another, making use of Responsible Research and Innovation values to engage them all in a dialogue about the relevance of science in society and the importance of taking responsibility;
o Tackle and challenge existing stereotypes about researchers and research, highlighting their necessary role in the knowledge society;
o Strengthen researchers’ awareness about the importance of communicating with the public at large and the need for reinforcing their communication skills, supporting them to gain/develop these abilities through training, tools and new formats;
o Actively involve the public in the event through citizen science projects, outreach activities and public debates mixing entertainment and educational aspects to increase their knowledge as scientific citizens and their trust in science and researchers;
o Increase the interest of young people in science and the attractiveness of scientific careers by bringing researchers close to young people, through specific activities tailored on young girls’ and boys’ interests;
o Enhance the innovation of the proposed activities with a specific support of those proposed by researchers;
o Point out the European support in favour of researchers and research, and stress the importance of European and International cooperation in research (European Stage for Research and Innovation);
o Make citizens reflect on the relationship between science and society, exploiting the mainstream media and social network capacity of reaching a wider audience to promote the event at local and national level (in conjunction with other Italian projects);
o Share good practices and most effective activities towards the achievement of the objectives between the cities involved in the Consortium and other ERNs across Italy.

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

AWARENESS CAMPAING (WP1) / Overview of the results:
o Design of a new Logo and Visual identity;
o Conception and realisation of promotional material and public advertising: (municipal billboards, posters, promotional cards, programme maps per each city,…);
o Re-design and development of project website http://nottedeiricercatori.piemontevalledaosta.it/, including a research filter to be used by people during the event in order to search activities;
o Re-design and development of national project website http://nottedeiricercatori.it/;
o Revamping, constant updating and maintenance of social network profiles according to editorial plan on the social networks (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr), including the Ambassador campaign and the Human Face of Research project;
o 4.100 likers on Facebook;
o 450 followers on Twitter;
o 91 on Instagram;
o 44 on YouTube;
o Links with popular and institutional websites;
o Publication of banners on linked websites (starting from those of the partners);
o Publication of announcements and articles on linked websites;
o Promotional gadgets (T-shirts and 1 special gadget) displayed through the Infopoint, complying with the general guidelines available at http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/communication/services/visual_identity/index.en.htm
o Setting up of a dedicated press office that led to the publication of over 30 articles in newspapers and magazines, plus interviews on local TV and radio shows;
o Publication of announcements and advertisement in national and local newspapers: Giovani Genitori, La Repubblica, La Stampa;
o Publication of several press releases delivered to a series of media amongst which the most popular ones;
o Elaboration of a Researchers’ Night 2016 kit addressing specifically SMEs (booklet of presentation and coordinated headed paper);
o Local media relations and local awareness campaign conducted by local partners in compliance with general rules established at overall project level.
o About over 500.000 people made aware of the Researchers' Night and its objectives through all the online and offline tools mentioned above.

ACTIVITIES DURING THE NIGHT (WP2) / Overview of the results
o Offer of over 150 activities as planned in Annex I part B to the Grant Agreement, including:
o Exhibitions, prototypes tests;
o Games and plays;
o Hands-on experiments;
o Science shows;
o Debates and informal chats with researchers;
o Presentations and lectures;
o Scientific treasure hunts;
o Thematic workstations;
o Conferences;
o Theatre performances;
o Guided tours and Special openings of research labs and science museum;
o Radio podcasts (Ondequadre and Radio 6023);
o Video Interviews (UnitoNews);
o 6 European corners;
o Over 2.500 researchers involved in the implementation of the activities, amongst which:
o 150 having benefitted from Marie Curie schemes;
o 500 having benefitted from another EU support;
o Over 80 local institutions involved in the event (industry, research centres and foundations, policy makers, stakeholders, CSOs)
o Over 35.000 attendees having taken part in the activities offered in the various venues and locations, distributed as follows:
o Torino: 20.000;
o Alessandria: 4.000;
o Aosta: 3.000;
o Asti: 2.000;
o Biella: 1500;
o Cuneo: 3.000;
o Verbania: 1.500

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 ASSESSMENT / Overview of the results:
o Collection, analysis and processing of 350 online (filled in on tablets and smartphones in Torino) and 500 paper questionnaires;
o Collection and processing of 200 online questionnaire addressing researchers;
o Main conclusions:
o Typology of visitors: mainly young people, balanced gender representation, as each group involved ensured the presence of both females and males (schools, families, groups of young peoples), involvement of researchers from various disciplines ensuring the interests of both girls and boys, men and women, various backgrounds (from people with scientific background to curious citizens to students coming from different typology of schools), coming from all over the two Regions, as the Night was held in the most important cities of Piedmont and Aosta Valley;
o Overall positive feedback on the event (activities, contacts with researchers, interest, locations and venues, concrete organisation, scheduling, accessibility of information…);
o Increased knowledge of researchers mainly recognized by the public, considered as curious for 48% , smart 28% , and expert 24%;
o Enhanced public recognition of researchers’ work societal impact;
o Increased interest for research careers amongst young people;
o Interviewed people generally interested in similar future events;

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