European Commission logo
English English
CORDIS - EU research results
Content archived on 2024-05-28

Monitoring public opinion on Nanotechnology in Europe

Final Report Summary - NANOPINION (Monitoring public opinion on Nanotechnology in Europe)

Executive Summary:
For two and a half years the EC funded project NanOpinion undertook a multichannel activity on public engagement in nanotechnologies. The project used an innovative, multi-lingual outreach approach focusing on dialogue. Activities included surveys (available in 18 European languages), social media campaigns, face-to-face and online discussions, street labs and events in public and semi-public spaces in addition to an active web portal, an informational site for teachers and students, a student competition and wide media activities supported by four media partners. The objective was to monitor people’s opinions on nanotechnology across Europe. Partners also collaborated with schools and teachers in 15 countries, and developed education materials which are offered as a lasting resource on the project portal’s repository. With its huge network of 18 partners, the outreach numbers were rather impressive: 8,330 persons completed the questionnaire, approximately 15,000 persons were engaged in activities in public spaces and 1,556 students were engaged in school activities. More than 20 live events, debates and workshops have taken place in more than 18 countries. Media partners published 8 printed supplements in addition to 161 articles on blog posts. Radio programs dedicated to hot topics in nanotechnology, press microsites and social media campaigns attracted hundreds of thousands of additional visitors. All outreach activities fed into a common data collection.
Evaluation instruments overview (See D6.1)
Based on diverse results, both quantitative and qualitative, the project distilled recommendations for policy makers on future engagement with nanotechnologies on three different levels:
-Future potential and need for nanotechnology education
-Future outreach and communication methodologies and tools for sustainable dialogue
-Public expectations regarding research, regulation and social implications (ELSA)
The project based its policy recommendations on three main tenets:
-The public expectation regarding research; regulation and social implications of NT. There is a need to improve the way citizens are included in the definition of the policy agenda of NT research and innovation, which calls for the participation of different stakeholders: the general public and consumers, young people, industry professionals, policy-makers and researchers.
-Future communication, outreach, and public engagement methodologies for sustainable dialogue with citizens from European and associated countries. Target groups should be addressed through different communication channels (media, mass media, social media) using a wide variety of tools. Face-to-face interactive communication is generally most effective.
-Future potential and need for NT education at high school level across Europe. To ensure future NT education projects reach schools efficiently, STEM teachers should be involved as part of a network of ambassadors or representatives.
Developments in nanotechnologies must be matched by continuous communication and dialogue activities, to consider people's expectations and concerns. The aim of the NanOpinion project was to establish a science-technology-social media-based platform for nanotechnology outreach to support a transparent and continuous dialogue in Europe to continuously monitor and understand consumers' and citizens' opinion on nanotechnologies. In order to do this the following actions were undertaken:
(i) develop and/or integrate reputable surveys of outreach status and public attitudes on nanotechnology;
(ii) integrate and/or set up monitoring stations, networks and infrastructures on nano-dialogue to respond to specific needs (e.g. regulation, safety) expressed by stakeholders;
(iii) build-on an extensive tool resource base developed by previous EU FP6/7 projects
The outcomes included:
-Analysis of content developed in past FP projects that dealt with NT communication & outreach (knowledge and ELSA)
-Best practice NT outreach & communication strategies using innovative methods.
-Definition of the current state of the NT debate in Europe (“hot topics”)
-Identification of NT applications, topics, terminology relevant for the various stakeholders
NanOpinion activities took place in public space and at events not scientific in their primary purpose. They included Interactive activities, new ways of learning and participatory event dialogue activities.
The three main pillars of the project were:
-Information–a nano content hub
-Outreach–media/channel convergence
-Dialogue–interaction and dialogue
Project Context and Objectives:
The basic goal of the NanOpinion project was to establish a science-technology-social-media based platform, reinforced by physical on-site monitoring stations and street labs, for nanotechnology outreach to support a transparent and continuous dialogue in Europe to monitor and understand consumers’ and citizens’ opinion on nanotechnology and nanosciences.
Within this goal, were two main objectives:

1.Integrate all relevant stakeholder groups into a major single dialogue arena: Currently, the different sectors of society, such as scientists, school children, consumers and citizens, have separate areas for gathering information and communicating about nanotechnology and the societal issues associated with its development. NanOpinion aspired to create a holistic, informative and learning arena for discussing nanotechnology issues, encompassing the key stakeholders of school students and citizens/consumers, especially those from hard-to-reach segments. Within NanOpinion, these arenas led to an egalitarian share of information, views and opinions.

2.Establish a vivid, ongoing dialogue about nanotechnologies (between different stakeholder groups) by using formal and informal communication settings. NanOpinion used a new model of outreach and dialogue that encompassed traditional and new multimedia in addition to face-to-face interactions with citizens. Multimedia channels included the NanOpinion web portal, which served as a central hub for multiplier activities like social media campaigns, a Facebook page and Twitter feeds. An online repository of nanotechnology education resources, videos, online experiments and radio podcasts rounded out the multimedia promotions. Traditional media channels met their audiences via printed supplements. Face-to-face outreach to different target groups of the general public was done via monitoring stations in public spaces such as high streets and shopping malls, including urban and rural areas as well as reaching marginalised communities and social groups and via outreach towards European teachers via the EUN's expansive European network of schools in addition.
All of these activities had the same aim: to act as a place where the opinions of different stakeholders can be shared, discussed and voiced, therefore allowing different target groups to interact and exchange views and opinions can be gathered in order to prepare comprehensive policy recommendations for European policy makers.
In sum, to assure that all data was taken into account, partners comprehensively monitored and assessed existing knowledge, attitudes, policies, public debates as well as the impact of thematically relevant tools and programmes.
Each of the project tasks were designed to contribute towards reaching specific goals and audiences identified by the project. These tasks were arranged in a synchronised and comprehensive way.

2.2Work Packages
Each work package within NanOpinion was systematically defined to fall into a sequential order in order to provide the foundation for each task that would follow. Below is an outline of the work package and a brief description. Details of the specific activities are available in Section 3.

WP1.Review and exploitation strategy of past FP6/7 and OECD results
The majority of partners in NanOpinion have been actively involved in related other EU-funded activities and FP6&FP7 projects, and much of past resource information is already accessible to the consortium. The key objective of WP 1 was to make use of the developed tools, bringing them into a new context, and eventually incorporating them into an extensive repository. The result was an attractive dissemination environment for past materials so they could be easily accessed, effectively promoted and exploited by stakeholders.

WP2.Developing and servicing the virtual NANOPINION platform
The main objective of WP2 was to create an online platform—a virtual nano-hub for nanotechnology outreach, continuous dialogue and opinion monitoring, with a searchable repository of NT information and educational content already available in the internet and also with new materials developed within the project. In order to promote the portal social media initiatives, such as the Facebook page and twitter accounts were initiated and expanded. The portal was available in 18 languages, with expanded materials available in 8 of those languages.

WP3.Content preparation for the NANOPINION platform
In WP3, information and education content was collated and developed based on the repository and other information developed in WP1. This content was available for the NanOpinion platform and was used by the teachers in formal education (WP4) and the presenters in the science centres (WP5) and as an information and dialogue gate for the general public to provide balanced information. The content included fundamental knowledge on nanotechnologies and their applications, as well as content related to ELSA topics for students and lay public in all European countries.

WP4.Outreach and dialogue in formal training and education settings
The objective of WP4 was to conduct Nanotechnology outreach to schools throughout Europe via teacher training and school competitions and explore how to incorporate nanotechnologies into school curricula.

WP5.General public outreach and dialogue
The objective WP5 was to conduct nanotechnology outreach in informal settings throughout Europe, directed at the general public, to involve a variety of target groups, including typically “hard-to-reach” groups. This WP included the development of the dialogue material, along with the implementation and the collection of feedback, via questionnaires, from participants through running monitoring stations and streetlabs in several public venues and science festivals, where the public could access scientific knowledge and research regardless of having any prior knowledge or interest in science.

WP6.Monitoring the outreach and public attitude towards NT
The aim of WP was to continuously evaluate and monitor the public attitudes and outreach status on nanotechnologies in Europe as well as to assess the effectiveness of the actions and impact on target audiences, and to understand the processes. The monitoring activities and surveys involved both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods. A key aspect was to conduct comparative opinion polls to monitor public knowledge and attitudes on nanotechnologies.

WP7.Framing policy options & dissemination
The objective WP7 was to raise awareness of the NanOpinion activities, disseminate its results and exploit, in a sustainable way, the outcomes. This included 8 published supplements in major European media outlets, a series of published articles on microsites hosted by these channels (Guardian: 51, Mundo: 77, radio broadcasts, social media campaigns and more). TiConUno published 8 newspaper articles, 10 videos on web TV and 6 radio broadcasts.

WP8.Management and coordination
The main objective of WP8 was to provide effective coordination of the project, to encourage communications amongst partners was smooth and effective and to ensure that all partners completed their tasks on time and within budget.
The target groups and stakeholders addressed by NanOpinion came from different backgrounds and therefore a variety of channels and venues were needed in order to reach them. The core intended audience were those Europeans who do not usually participate in science debates; however, also included in the audience were researchers who could inform about nanotechnology; educators who can transform the knowledge base into understanding; pupils and students who will receive a better education and training than their predecessors and will be the future nanotechnology scientists; consumers with their attitudes and opinions that can accept or reject new technology and products, underprivileged and special interest groups such as minority groups of citizens, associations, groups connected by activities and interests; industry that receives directional input on future product developments and positioning areas of business; citizens and NGOs as citizen’s representatives who can articulate their opinions, needs, expectations and apprehensions and influence regulatory frameworks; policy shapers and policy makers who receive valuable options for framing policy responses in the light of public opinion; the media, which receives a wide range of edutainment products and regular opinion polls as well as updates on nano outreach and dialogue.
To reach these diverse audiences, the project included media print supplements and active microsites, radio broadcasts, social media campaigns, an ever changing project web portal, face-to-face Monitoring Stations and Street labs, live events, conferences, formal teacher training (both live and virtual), a student competition and more. Together they were designed to reach all audiences, overlapping where appropriate.
The four media partners published a total of 8 printed supplements, two each in Spanish, English, Italian and French. In addition to the print supplements, media partners also established and updated online microsites coordinated with the social media campaign initiated by the NanOpinion web portal.
In addition to print media, the NanOpinion project also engaged in 10 radio and pod casts, interviewing experts in a variety of nanotechnology applications.
The NanOpinion live events took place in 16 EU Member States (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain), and two Associated Countries (Israel and Turkey) in order to offer the widest geographic coverage for live events. In total NanOpinion reached approximately 14,400 participants in one form or another at its Monitoring Stations. Roughly half of these people filled in the questionnaire. In total, NanOpinion Monitoring Stations and Street labs went to 44 different locations, covering 26 cities in 18 countries.
Live events took place in Germany (hosted by BfR), UK (hosted by Guardian), Italy (hosted by TCU) and France (hosted by third party, Traces).
Participatory workshops took place in Israel (hosted by ORT) and Lithuania (hosted by LMNSC).
Spanning all of the activities was an integrated social media campaign that included the media, traditional social media such as Twitter and Facebook, and more. These activities were divided into three “rounds” Dissemination and outreach campaign, School activities, and Analysis, reporting and policy recommendations. This integration led to a strong and unified project that enabled partners to gather reliable and valid data to analyse, thus leading to effective and useful policy recommendations.

Project Results:
The success of the NanOpinion project was due to the detailed methodologies that were used in executing each of the project tasks. The mechanisms that were used were traditional print media, the web portal, social media, live events, radio events and pod casts, and the activities that encompassed the three pillars of activities (outreach, dialogue and education).

3.1 Repository
One of the major components of the NanOpinion project was to build a dialogue and communication platform that would identify and evaluate best practice examples of nanotechnology outreach and nanotechnology communication strategies on different targeted audiences, considering innovative methods and approaches. To meet this goal, the partners created a repository of the best educational and outreach material on nanotechnology available from previous projects, in particular FP6 and FP7 projects. This repository consists of all materials, guides, activities and multi-media from past projects related to nanotechnologies and includes new materials developed to address the gaps in past materials, incorporate the latest developments in nanotechnology. The analysis of content developed in past European-funded projects served as the basis for the NanOpinion online content repository was also included. In fact, more than 250 single items analysed assessment & selection. IN total, the repository enjoyed 56,799 page views. Table 5 shows a breakdown of the page views by content type. As shown in the table, hands-on activities were by far the most popular topics to be viewed and games were second.
With the participation from the four main press partners both published press supplements and active press microsites were produced. The press supplements were provided by El Mundo (Spanish), The Guardian (English), il Sole (Italian) and Courrier (French). Press microsites were produced and monitored by El Mundo, The Guardian and il Sole/TiConUno. All the articles that were written by the press were intended to inform and engage readers, not to provide a high level of technical detail. The objective of the campaign was to inform and engage the audience and disseminate the debate on nanotechnology using the different media platforms of the newspapers. In this way, a dialogue could evolve among EU citizens, providing them with the opportunity to convey their opinions and respond to the issues at hand.
All media partners featured a series of 10 opinion polls on their web platforms (a new one each month to six weeks), with the sequence of poll questions coordinated amongst all activities, including supplement topics, articles on the microsites, social media campaigns and as possible live events. These opinion polls were also posted on the project web portal and overall results were published there.
Topics for supplements, round tables and other media content were selected under the advice of the NanOpinion Editorial Board, which had overall responsibility for ensuring quality and relevance of the output, and based on relevant “hot” topics of the day.

3.2.1Press Supplements
Each media partner published two supplements for a total of eight press supplements. The Guardian, EL Mundo, il Sole and Courrier each published two supplements. Four different European languages were represented: English, Spanish, Italian and French.
The topics of the press supplements focused on the “me and mine” idea, discussing how nanotechnologies affect everyday life of Europeans. Topics ranged from nanotechnology in medicines and foods to how new nanomaterials are changing the world. For more detailed information, see Deliverable 7.2. El Mundo (Spain): Press supplement
EL MUNDO was established in 1989. Within only two decades, it became the second largest newspaper in Spain, with a circulation of 178,000 (OJD, February 2014) and an audience estimated at 1,150,000. It is the only paper that has achieved such success in such a sort amount of time in the whole of Europe.
EL MUNDO is one of the most influential newspapers in Spanish society, able to set the political agenda and become a consistently informative reference. The editor company produces, as well as the national edition, 20 local and regional editions. Since the year 2010, thanks to ORBYT, anyone can have access to all editions from any digital terminal with internet access.
Its website, is the leading Spanish language site (1st position in Spain, but also in South America), with more than 7.4 million unique users (comScore, February 2014).
For the NanOpinion project, El Mundo produced two 4-page supplements in its national edition.
In addition to the requirements in the DoW, El Mundo also sent reporters to cover events sponsored by the NanOpinon project for its print and television editions. They covered the events as science news in the regular editions, and mentioned the project and encouraged readers and listeners to attend the events and enter the portal for more information and to answer the questionnaire.
All the content produced for NanOpinion project has been considered part of the newspaper and the website, under the editorial control of the Science editor, Pablo Jáuregui. Both printed supplements have formed part of the printed edition of el Mundo. The Guardian (UK): Press supplement
The Guardian is a British national daily newspaper. It has become the world's third most read newspaper website, with 30.4 million readers in June 2012, according to industry analyst ComScore. The supplement sponsored by the NanOpinon project had a distribution of 353,288 and a readership of approximately 1.3 Million.
For the NanOpinion project, Guardian published two 4-page full colour supplements. Each of the supplements was posted on the NanOpinion microsite.
The Guardian conducted a reader survey in April 2013. Regular opinion polls have run on the microsite which was launched on 23 April 2013.
-The survey went out to the Brand Aid panel between 29 April and 6 May 2013. The total sample size was 551 respondents who read the Guardian on Saturday 27 April, of which 349 recalled seeing the supplement and 261 read it in some form and completed the rest of the survey.
-Of those who recalled seeing the supplement, 4% read it thoroughly, 15% read a few articles, 55% skimmed or glanced at it and 25% didn’t read it.
-Most people recycled the supplement (70%), with a further 3% throwing it away. 21% kept it to read later, and 6% passed it on to someone else.
-Around half (49%) said they found the supplement interesting or very interesting – this was 89% for those who ‘read’ it (read all of it of read a few articles) and 34% for those who ‘skimmed’ (skimmed or glanced at it).
-41% said it covered issues that were relevant to their daily life, and this was 74% for ‘readers’.
-38% said they thought the information in the supplement was balanced and 5% didn’t – the rest (57%) don’t know or weren’t sure. Of those who ‘read’ it the number who didn’t know was reduced but still relatively high (20%), and among this group 71% thought it was balanced and 9% didn’t.
-53% said they thought the content and the messages were clear, and 6% who didn’t – again, a high percentage didn’t know (41%). Among ‘readers’ 87% said it was clear and 6% said it wasn’t.
-42% agreed the supplement made them want to find out more – this was 75% among ‘readers’ and 29% among ‘skimmers’.
-28% agreed the supplement made them want to tell others about the issues they read about– this was 62% among ‘readers’
-Overall, 38% of respondents said they now understand the basic principles of the use of nanotechnologies in the food industry. This was 78% for ‘readers’ and 23% for ‘skimmers’.
-When asked in an open ended question what they thought were the main messages of the supplement, a fair amount of respondents (especially those who glanced or skimmed the supplement) said they weren’t sure. However, the following broad themes were picked out by some respondents:
Changes and challenges in food technology, e.g.:
-“We must look to new food sources to feed a growing population”
-“'Management of food resources in the future will be challenging and governments should act now to plan for this rather than leaving these questions to "market forces"
Positives and negatives of nanotechnology in food, e.g.:
-‘'That there are potential dangers – but also potential benefits – in adding artificial nanoparticles to foodstuffs.’
Some respondents thought the articles were suggesting this was a good thing, some bad and some that the articles were trying to present a balanced view, e.g.:
-“I am a materials scientist, currently teaching. The supplement has helped to keep me up to date. I felt from the tone of the articles that the aim was to reassure the public about new technologies & food safety.”
-“Beware of modifications to our food.”
-“'There is an argument about whether or not 'artificial' nanomaterials are safe to be added to our food.” Courrier International: Press supplement (France)
Courrier published a pair of 4-page supplements, selecting already published articles for translation into French. These supplements also appeared on a dedicated microsite. (See Figure 6)
Courrier published their supplement on 4 July 2013. It was circulated to 200,000 subscribers in France, Belgium, Luxumbourg and Switzerland with a global reach of 950,000 readers. It was uploaded on to the web site: With additional articles on the subject, the website reaches 600,000 unique visitors per month measure – Médiamétrie.Audience both for the magazine and the website is the civil society and the general public. We have a strong community of students and professors in our readership. Moebius, Nòva and TICONUNO (Italy): Press supplements and radio shows
NanOpinion content was part of 10 editions of the science radio programme Moebius, produced by TiConUno, 10 articles in Nòva (Weekly science insert in Il Sole 24 Ore). Nòva worked with startups that have nanotechnology projects. The basic idea was to understand how these young companies are aware of all aspects relating to nanotechnology.

3.2.2 Press Microsites
The press microsites of the mass media partners were launched during May 2011. In addition to professional and informative pieces about different fields of nanotechnology (health, science, medicine, industry, etc.) the microsites included opinion blog articles, opinion surveys and opinion polls.
The addresses to the media partner microsites are as follows:
-el Mundo:
-Ticonuno (which is audio): nanopinion/nanopinion_index.shtml.
-Courrier: El Mundo: Microsite
El Mundo continued its microsite about nanotechnology, which was started as part of the NANOCHANNELS project. The microsite is hosted at Since the beginning of the NANOCHANNELS project, the microsite has become a standard section of the El Mundo website ( being updated every three or four days.
Before launching the microsite, el Mundo was interested in keeping the focus of attention in ‘nano’ stories, so that it would be easier to attract the readers. It is proved that readers are quite interested in nano-science and nano-technology and Mundo published different pieces (print and web) about this kind of matters (even if this task was not included in the DoW).
Every month, El Mundo published the NanOpinion opinion polls, to engage the readers in the debate about nanotechnology and ELSA issues. Launched 1n May 2013, El Mundo has dedicated a microsite to the project ( The microsite was targeted to the general public and had a potential readership of 7.2 million unique users. Since the beginning of the project, the site has become a standard section of the main website ( The success of the microsite has been huge, with 280,264 visitors and 393,088 page views. According to the DoW, the microsite was to be live until July 2014, but due to its huge success, it was agreed with the project coordinator to extend the life of the site for two more months to allow it to continue until the end of the project. Table 7 shows the visitors and page views by month. Guardian: Microsite
The Guardian launched its microsite on nanotechnology on 23 April 2013.
The microsite is hosted on the Guardian platform
Since its launch, the microsite has been promoted across The Guardian through jointly branded –
The Guardian launched a blog on the science section of the paper’s website, as well as a dedicated microsite for NanOpinion content. The microsite was a continuation of the site that was opened with the NANOCHANNELS project. The microsite included the 10 project polls, newly commissioned articles and partner content appropriate for English audiences. Two 4-page supplements appeared in the printed edition of the newspaper, and were also available on the paper’s website.
The Guardian launched its microsite on April 23, 2013 for Nanopinion it has also incorporated the work that was done on Nanochannels. The microsite is hosted on the Guardian platform Since the launch, the microsite has been promoted across The Guardian through jointly branded – NANOPINION – advertisements in order to drive traffic from other sections of The Guardian newspaper.
Guardian – Continues to publish blogs off the science site along with new articles on the microsite and poll questions.
Blog: 73,796 unique users – 105,323 page impressions
Microsite: 21,552 unique users – 37,395 page impressions Microsite
The Courrier microsite was active starting in July 2013. They published two supplements. These supplements were compilations of articles that had been published by other sources and were translated into French. They were located in the section for technology, science and culture and tagged with the original source. Some original sources were Guardian (including the articles that were part of the NanOpinion Guardian supplements), New Scientist, New York Times, Die Welt, Washington Post, The Economist, L’Hebdo and Time magazine. Sole: Microsite
Nova designed a microsite, which is part of Meobius’s site. The microsite incorporated selected content from other media partners, as appropriate for the Italian audience. In addition, pod casts were added as appropriate.
TiConUno Moebius, the weekly science on Radio 24 (directed by TiConUno), and Nòva, the insert of science Sole 24 Ore, developed a common strategy to produce content. They used the two media in a coordinated way to address the same issues with the aim to reach different audiences and recover; therefore, more comprehensive information could be disseminated, also using a microsite that gathered input from the radio and the newspaper.

3.2.3Broadcast media
NanOpinion content was part of 10 editions of the science radio programme Moebius, produced by TiConUno. The microsite on includes a repository of their articles/radio broadcasts and of the other partners’ activities. Table 8 and Table 9 show a sampling of the radio broadcasts that TiConUno produced, and the videos they translated from Italian as part of the NanOpinion project. Moreover they filmed and edited some interviews of NanOpinion partners and others involved with the project. These video interview were published and promoted on their Nanotechnology web pages and are aimed at the dissemination of NanOpinion’s objectives, goals and spirit. For more information, see Deliverable 7.2.

3.3Web Activities
The website served as the main vehicle of dissemination of the NanOpinion project. It included links to all media partner microsites.
After the first third of the project, the portal was changed significantly. The final version of the website was finalized and prepared as a static version to be available after the end of the project, as required by the DoW. The homepage, as well as, some other sections have been redesigned as a result of the publication of the results and outcomes of the project. See below the main changes that have been done.
The DoW requires that the website be available for 6 months after the end of the project. Because the partners strongly feel that the information available on the portal is so important and useful to the European community at large, they have decided to extend the availability for at least 3 years. ZSI, the project coordinator, has agreed to host a static version of the portal during this time. If additional funding is found or made available, they may open the portal for updates and improvements or extend the length of time the portal is made available.

3.3.1 Web Portal
By the end of April 2013 the final version of the website was launched. This version was built following the steps specified in the DoW: conceptualization, architecture (expandable functionalities), graphic design and development. The NanOpinion platform included six main sections. The website also includes other sections (such as a blog, a newsletter section and a page to describe the project). For more information, see D2.1 and D2.4.

3.3.2 Repository
Within the NanOpinion project, a repository of information and education content was developed and collated for the platform. The repository consisted of more than 150 items that included the best educational and outreach material generated in previous projects focused on nanotechnology, with a special attention to materials produced in previous FP6&7 and OECD projects. The repository included citations for fundamental knowledge on nanotechnologies and their applications, as well as content related to ELSA & NT topics for K–12 students and the lay public in all European countries. The content included reading material, videos, online mapping tools, informative websites, PowerPoint presentations, virtual labs, hands-on activity kits, podcasts, games, dialogue activities, virtual games and more.
The repository is located on the virtual NanOpinion platform and formed the base of the virtual nanotechnology campus for K–12 students and lifelong learning for the general public. The Editorial Board used the resources in this repository as the basis for choosing the topics for supplements, polls and more.
Copyright issues were resolved for EU projects content. For all non-FP funded projects, URLs were cited. The repository can be searched by keyword, language, content type, content focus or audience type.
One of the most important resources developed as part of the NanOpinion project is the repository. Due to its impressive nature and incredible usefulness, the partners have tried to find a way to keep the portal active long after the project is over.
To highlight the wealth of information available on the repository, each month, a new item was highlighted on the NanOpinion web portal and disseminated through social media channels
The NanOpinion repository was produced in accordance to the DoW description, hence it includes the best educational and outreach resources on nanotechnology knowledge and ELSA produced by EC funded projects (FP6, FP7) and OECD initiatives and also resources produced by the NanOpinion project (e.g. videos, discussion game, experiments) Throughout the duration of the project, AU continued to provide additional resources to maintain the repository updated. Analysis of data showed that the repository was (and still is) a very successful tool, and that the resources that have been mostly download are hands-on activities, videos and games. Table 12 shows the download statistics of the most frequently viewed resources. For more information, see The portal enjoyed 56,799 page views.
Towards the end of the project it was decided (together with the coordinator and with the partner IrsiCaixa) to enrich the repository even further, and include in it outstanding educational/outreach projects funded by non-EU initiatives (i.e. international projects; national projects, etc.) that have focused precisely in developing educational and/or outreach content in this field. Informative websites and school resources were also included. This action (not foreseen in the DoW) was done to improve the sustainability of the NanOpinion repository, even after the end of the project, since now it is a comprehensive resource. Technically speaking the resources produced by those non-EC funded projects are not uploaded in the repository (due to copyright issues) therefore only external links are provided. Each resource is explained through a summary and the same tags were used in order to make them easily accessible to the user.

3.3.3 Competition page
The IrsiCaixa team edited the competition page according to the calendar and directions from LMNSC, the coordinator of the competition. Firstly, the submission form was published. Afterwards, when the competition ended, the page was redesigned announcing the winners and publishing the chosen entries. See below two screen captures from the competition page.
BBlogging has evolved into a beneficial and efficient dissemination tool. It has largely involved the blog site on the NanOpinion portal and that of ZSI. Some 30 blog posts have been published on the NanOpinion blog during the project period. They mostly informed about the course and the current results of the project, while some posts framed NanOpinion activities into broader context.
The NanOpinion blog was a channel that gathered all the news on the project in general. This platform was integrated into the NanOpinion Portal ( and allowed users to leave comments.
A monthly newsletter was started in July 2013 and was sent it to subscribers. As of 6 June 2014, the total number of subscribers was 314. During the project, a section was created on the website, called “Previous newsletters”, where all newsletters since the beginning of the project are available online. In general, more than a half of the subscribers read the newsletter and the most clicked sections were “NanOpinion in pictures”, the tool of the month and the blog post.
The NanOpinion blog was open to anybody to post. The NanOpinion blog even received posts by students. The posts were standardized and posted by IrsiCaixa, after passing moderation.
ZSI has regularly used its own blog site ( for highlighting and analysing NanOpinion activities. ZSI has published over 20 blog posts mostly focused on NanOpinion events while containing some analytical approaches. Readers of the ZSI blog could gain an objective and vivid idea on NanOpinion as well as be inspired for thinking about nanotechnologies.
Jon Turney published his contributions on the widely read blog site of the British Council in which he made some broader reflections on nanotechnology highlighting NanOpinion activities.

3.3.5 Newsletter
IrsiCaixa prepared and sent the project’s newsletter each month to subscribers who registered via the portal. The final newsletter was sent in July 2014. The number of subscribers has grown steadily and the last newsletter was sent to more than 314 subscribers. All newsletters since the beginning of the project have been uploaded to the website and are available in the portal section called “Previous Newsletters”.

3.3.6 Opinion polls
In the framework of the NanOpinion project, opinion polls were conducted and an online questionnaire was launched. (T6.2; See D6.1 for details on methodologies and D6.4 for details on results). These polls were in the form of short statements or questions and were distributed through the NanOpinion portal and through NanOpinion microsites by the participating media partners. The opinion polls took place between April 2013 and August 2014. Results showed that the respondents were mainly willing to buy all different kinds of nano-products, but become more cautions when it comes to direct body contact with these products. They also show high awareness on environmental impact. They want to be asked about what innovations they want to be developed with nanotechnologies and they are very interested in current information on new nano-products on the market. In general, they believe that nano products will only be affordable for wealthy people. In total, 2147 persons answered the polls in different locations. In the following section the cumulated results are presented.

3.3.7 Analytics (Statistical tool)
IrsiCaixa monitored the NanOpinion portal with the tools implemented during the previous period. The main tools were Google analytics and Google Alerts.
The NanOpinion portal showed consistent growth throughout the project. During the last year of the project, the NanOpinion portal received 29,924 visits having 21,476 unique visitors. By the end of July, the number of visitors decreased coinciding with the end of the school competition, the end of live events in different countries and the completion of the school year. More detailed information on the results from social media channels, see Section 3.4.
The dips in visitors and page views, generally coincided with summertime. It is also observed that when the school year starts in September the number of sessions starts rising. Figure 17 shows that the highest points in the graph occurred March/April/May 2014, which corresponds to the launch of the competition. We could also speculate that if the project would continue this course 2014–2015, the number of sessions would have been slightly bigger than the same months in 2013–2014.
Some 8330 completed questionnaires were collected (6779 were usable after data cleaning).

3.3.8 Videos
Video A (Drug delivery and DNA nanotechnology): The video focuses on a new technology called DNA nanotechnology. This bottom-up nanofabrication method exploits the structural motifs and self-recognition properties of DNA to self-assemble pre-designed nanostructures in a bottom-up approach. 2D and 3D structures have been fabricated using this self-assembly method. Recently, the revolutionary DNA origami method was developed to build two-dimensional addressable DNA structures of arbitrary shape that can be used as a platform for arranging nanomaterials with high precision and specificity. DNA nanotechnology represents one of the latest developments in nanotechnology. It has applications for the fabrication of nano guides (e.g. wave guides), sensors (for diagnostic and imaging), logic gates, drug release, nano-motors and electronics (wires, transistors). It could lead to bottom-up electronics and DNA computing which could become the computing of the future.
The video describes the technology in simple terms, and answer simple ELSA questions like: where does the DNA used come from? Can this technology be used to create a person bottom-up? Could this technology lead to harmful living things? The video then describes some potential applications in nanomedicine, with a focus on the NanoBox created at Aarhus University.
The video was published at the start of November 2013 and uploaded on YouTube. As of October 2014, the video was viewed 1504 times.
Video B “The environmental impacts of nanosilver: an earthworms point of view”: The topic of the video is nanosilver, a nanomaterial used in many consumer products as anti-bacterial agent, and the potential impact its release can have in the environment. The story is told by a PhD student at iNANO, Yuya Hayashi, who is currently studying the effect of nanosilver on earthworms. The aim is therefore not only to show to students the type of experiments researchers are doing to answer the question "is nanosilver safe?", and the results they are getting, but also the life of a young researcher, and what it means to choose this type of career, the interdisciplinary nature of nanoscience research, and the team work that is needed to perform these types of studies. The video is available on YouTube at this link: As of October 2014, the video was viewed 1410 times.
This video can be used together with other tools developed by NanOpinion that cover the same topic, specifically:
-one of the Moodle courses (developed in Task 3.2) called "Smart food packages", covers the use of nanosilver in food containers;
-in the NanOpinion website, in the "About Nano" section, the use of nanosilver in sport products is mentioned, as well as the potential risks associated with it
Both videos were due in the second year of the project (M16: August 2013) but were delayed due to production problems. The first video (Video B) was published in September 2013 and the second video (Video A) was published in November 2013. Videos were produced for iNANO by AUTV and Science Media Lab (Aarhus University).The videos can be modified since they have a Creative Commons Non-Commercial Share Alike 3.0 license. The video scripts were provided to EUN so they can be used for translation.
In addition, TiConUno published 10 videos, mostly on web TV Triwu, ZSI produced 2 videos, IrsiCaixa published 3 videos/TV productions, STSSCZ and BfR each published 1 video. In all, a total of 21 videos were produced during the project. TCU also coordinated 6 radio broadcasts. See D7.4 for details on the videos.

3.4Social Media
NanOpinion also promoted the debate on nanotechnology via social media. Social media channels were monitored with the analytic tools presented in D7.5. The main tools we used were Facebook insights and Hootsuite analytics for twitter.
In addition to these social media venues, the partners also used their organizational and personal accounts to further disseminate the project and its goals, especially local events that would be of interest to their personal audience.
The campaign was conducted according the plans reported in D2.3 and D2.4 which defined the strategy, actions and best practices for the online communication of the NanOpinion project and laid down guidelines on how to integrate the different channels. The content strategy, as planned by the Editorial Board and described in D3.5 was followed. See also Deliverables 7.4 and 7.5 for more information.
The plan was continuously updated as the project proceeded and the partners identified actions to improve its impact. During the summer of 2013, the Content Strategy Plan was improved with revised topics highlighted in the social media channels, with “the poll of the month” and the information published in the media partners’ supplements and microsites. This allowed NanOpinion to widen and consolidate its virtual community, facilitating access to the hard-to-reach population.
The topics tackled in the Social Media channels were defined according to the Polls of the Month and the features and news published in the media partners’ supplements and microsites. A second part of the content was information on the project activities.
Because the social media channels are different, not only in their technical parameters (e.g. number of text characters, timing and frequency of publications), each channel is described separately below. This section concludes with the general recommendations.
Twitter was used as a recruiting tool to the wider the community as well as for exchanging information and having direct contact with the users. It also allows users to have access to specialized information platforms.
As this account was a continuation of the NANOCHANNELS account (FP7-Nanochannels), the baseline for the campaign was 461 tweets, 461 followers and a following of 1118 others. Figure 20 shows the growth of the NanOpinion Twitter account.
The number of followers of the NanOpinion account has kept increasing steadily. The number of new followers increases more quickly than the one in Facebook, even without paying any kind of advertisement. This is the channel that definitely worked better.
The Twitter account grew steadily as the project progressed. It is interesting to highlight that some of the new followers are profiles related to the topics of the different polls, that is, the project approached some interested communities via social media and that our Content Strategy is successful. In addition, the Twitter account was mentioned and retweeted quiet often by some prominent profiles on nanotechnology such as @Nanowerk.
Two of the most successful posts refer to multimedia tools, which are included in our repository. There is another pair of posts referring to the competition, which reinforces the idea that the competition has had a real effect in boosting the engagement with our channels. Finally the last one is on a video of general Nano info.
The findings for Twitter:
-Popular in the EU
-Hashtags allow the community to gather around event/project etc.
-Spread easily to other languages

3.4.2 Facebook
Facebook was used as a recruiting tool, as well as a channel to disseminate information. Most of all, it became a platform to interact with the community that “liked” NanOpinion’s Facebook page. The NanOpinion project made use of the FP7-NANOCHANNELS account in order to preserve the number of followers gained from this project; however, the design was updated and customized to match the NanOpinion look and feel.
The Facebook page also became a key player in the pilot competition (D4.3). Posts concerning the call for the NanOpinion competition were promoted. In addition, students voted for their favourite submissions via Facebook.
The paid campaign in Facebook was carried out by ORT in coordination with the IrsiCaixa team. Although the number of fans in the Facebook page did not increase remarkably in the number of fans as a result of this campaign, but it had a huge impact in terms of reach, that is, the number of people who saw some of the published contents. Another positive result is that the NanOpinion virtual community was engaged as they not only was the posts, but also “liked” and shared them. For more information on Social Media, see Section 3.4.
The number of fans shows a sustained growth pattern, with a peak coinciding with the weeks where students could vote for the winner of the school competition. At the beginning of the reporting period our Facebook page had 922 fans and now it counts with more than 1130. See below the number of new likes that we have received daily to our page.
The number of fans increased steadily during the project. From May–June 2014 the number increased significantly coinciding with the launch of the competition and the paid campaign.The reach was constant. However, there was a peak from April to June, when the paid campaign started. The main contribution of the paid campaign was to increase the reach.
The main conclusions for the Facebook page are:
-High ROI (return of investment): huge reach with little to medium effort, especially with a paid campaign
-Reach to youngsters
-Easy access to hard to reach group
-Access to wide variety of countries and languages
-Very little comments or discussions
-Need to refer audience to the blog for discussion
The following figures show the outreach of questionnaire and explain the composition of the respondent group. Hard to reach people could be reached as well.

3.4.3 YouTube
The NanOpinion YouTube page took over the profile of the NANOCHANNELS project and customized it with NanOpinion’s look and feel ( It was used mainly as a repository of videos. Still, by the end of the campaign there were 20 subscriptions. Other partners and teachers who worked in the project published videos on the project too. There were a total of 2481 views.
The two videos produced for the project had 1353 views (drug delivery system and DNA nanotechnology) and 1163 views (Video on the environmental impacts of nanosilver), respectively.

3.4.4 LinkedIn
As LinkedIn is focused on the professional lay public, and the focus of the NanOpinion project was the hard-to-reach public, this social media venue was not stressed and no real activity took place. Still, in order to feed the LinkedIn profile, the project also joined to IFFFT, which is an automatic online feed tool that connected the NanOpinion Facebook and Twitter pages to LinkedIn.

3.4.5 Google+
Under the project three Google+ accounts were established. Only the NanOpinion outreach account Ecsite established was active, and it was used for Monitoring Station hosts to share their experiences. The account has 21 members and on the Google+ page 33 posts were uploaded with text and pictures or videos.

3.5Physical On-Site Monitoring and Engagement Stations

3.5.1Monitoring Stations
The Monitoring Stations concept was developed to collect the nanotechnology opinions of “hard-to-reach” groups throughout Europe. The Monitoring Stations were a core element of outreach and data gathering activities, and were implemented by three different project bodies; the ECSITE members, which are NanOpinion’s third parties, British Council local offices, and NanOpinion consortium partners. The NanOpinion consortium worked hard to ensure the widest EU representation possible and recognised the importance of including both large and smaller EU countries. For specifics on Monitoring Stations, see D5.2.
Monitoring Station events were implemented at 18 locations across Europe by the ECSITE network partners, British Council local offices, and NanOpinion consortium partners. The locations were specifically chosen to include places not usually associated with science outreach in order to engage the audience of interest to the project. Each Monitoring Station event engaged the public with nanotechnology information, demonstrations of current products that use nanotechnology, and a questionnaire designed to capture their understanding and opinions of nanotechnology. Large eye-catching stands (Monitoring Stations) were used to attract people’s attention, and staff (Facilitators – on average 5) facilitated the interactions and discussions. Once engaged, people stayed for an average of 20 minutes.
The main objective of the Monitoring Station was to collect the opinion of citizens on nanotechnology, as well as raise their awareness of the subject and provide them with information and materials on nanotechnologies. Monitoring stations are physical objects. They are large mushroom-like stations, equipped with tablet devices, a team of experienced facilitators, a set of products made with the help of nanotechnology, and a kit with experiments (see D5.2 for more information on what is a Monitoring Station).
The different elements of the Monitoring Station had varied success. Weaknesses and strengths were highlighted early on leading to the development and improvement of the Monitoring Station. The changes implemented led to a richer engagement experience reflecting the desire of the public for this. Greater learning experiences were observed in the participants and deeper discussions were generated.
It was originally envisaged in the DoW that the Monitoring Stations could function as a stand-alone system where people access the information about the project and nanotechnology, as well as the questionnaire, on the online portal via the tablet devices. However, due to the lack of usability of the tablets and the way in which participants became engaged and wanted to gain the information, the Monitoring Stations relied on the facilitators (who were often nanotechnology experts) and nanotechnology demonstrations.
The estimated numbers of questionnaires collected at Monitoring Stations and the proportion these represent of the project total, as well as the number of people engaged that did not complete a questionnaire, show that the in terms of quantity the Monitoring Stations were successful. The level of engagement achieved, and the number of hard-to-reach that completed the questionnaire, shows that the Monitoring Stations were also successful in terms of quality.
Three key lessons regarding successful science engagement were learned from the Monitoring Station events:

1.To engage people with science/technology and understand what their opinion is, it pays to get out there and talk with them face-to-face
2.People are much more engaged when you show them how the science is relevant to their lives, through the use of live demonstrations of applications
3.The choice of venue for engagement makes a difference; people are much more willing to be engaged when they expect it, i.e. at a festival style event, science themed or not; different places and events can attract different sections of society.
With regards to the Monitoring Stations, partners concluded that too many goals were put into one activity. For the project to develop real ‘labs’ where people could get a more in-depth experience and debate on nanotechnologies, which would last for a couple of hours, different locations needed to be chosen. Public spaces are not as people usually rush and are not prepared to spend much time. For example, something like pop-up labs in empty shops could have worked really well. However, the so called Monitoring Stations+ were very successful in providing a short, engaging experience on nanotechnologies and capturing opinions.

3.5.2 Street Labs
The main purpose of Street Labs was to create a space for dialogue between the scientific world and the ‘hard-to-reach-public’ in conventional and mundane spaces. Street Labs were always linked to Monitoring Stations, and as the project progressed, the two concepts became very similar (see D6.2 for more information on how and why the concepts and definitions of both Monitoring Stations and Street Labs evolved and changed). For details on Street Labs, see D5.3.
There were a few obligatory elements that each Street Lab was supposed to have. These were:
1.Street Labs helped attract the hard-to-reach audiences and involve them in discussions; Monitoring Stations involved these same audiences in the data collection process which was an important part of the project. Thus Street Labs always hosted a Monitoring Station.
2.Each Street Lab had to have a catching, innovative, entertaining outreach activity that attracted this hard-to-reach audience. This catching activity aimed to get the initial attention and interest of the audience. Often this catching element was the Monitoring Station, due to its striking design. Other examples included activities such as a surgery performed on a bear with a hockey glove in the Czech Republic, or science busking and a piece of drama in Italy.
3.Each Street Lab had to have a dialogue activity, which was one of the key aims of Street Labs. This activity aimed to involve the audience in a discussion about nanotechnology. Often the theatrical Discussion Game, which was developed within the project (see D3.3) was used as a dialogue activity. The game was developed specifically for Street Labs taking into account that visitors and passers-by do not have much time and the activity needs to be quick, catchy and entertaining all at the same time. That is why theatrical techniques were used. In some cases the game was adapted to fit within the topic better. For example, in Portugal they concentrated on the topic of energy, so the characters of cyclists were used instead of tennis players.
4.Street Labs had to provide some interactive elements that helped introduce the products, topics or nanotechnology in general to the hard-to-reach audience. The focus was on the “interactivity” where the audience could learn or experience nano not only by reading a poster or a brochure, but by interacting with a multimedia station, a product, etc. In most cases the products and experiments provided together with the station were demonstrated by experienced facilitators.
5.Each Street Lab had to include an opinion-collecting mechanism to collect audience opinion on nanotechnology on-site. Often opinion boards were placed with a couple of simple questions, where people quickly mark their answer with a magnet or a post-it. It was also a good way to initiate instant discussions. Questions 7 and 14 from the live event questionnaires were suggested for the opinion boards (How interested are you in further information regarding nanotechnologies? After having visited this event, do you feel now more … ?)
When developing the detailed concept for each Street Lab the main question organisers had to think about was how to bring the hard-to-reach groups to start thinking and discussing nanotechnologies (including controversial issues). According to the involved target groups Street Labs could focus on one or two selected topics. If the location and involved target groups were general, then Street Labs could also cover a broader range of topics and be more general. It was the case for most countries.

3.5.3 Monitoring Stations Evolved into Street Labs
The main difference between Monitoring Stations and Street Labs was to be that that Street Labs had activities or elements that facilitate dialogue either between visitors and facilitators or amongst the visitors themselves.
In the end, Street Labs and Monitoring Stations became very similar. One reason was related to the fact that some incompatible goals were supposed to be reached by Street Labs. On the one hand, Street Labs needed to go to the ‘hard-to-reach’ audiences; that is, outside science museums, science festivals or other places established for science communication. Street Labs needed to take place in the streets, in public spaces, parks, shopping malls and other public places. In other words, places where people usually pass by, where they do not go for the purpose of a specific event. So, if passers-by were the main audience, the activities had to be short. Long discussion games and scientists/artists discussions were not feasible. On the other hand, within this quick experience participants had to fill in the questionnaire, have an experience of debate or discussions or participate in some demonstrations of nano-products. All of these interactions were supposed to provide data for analysis in WP6.
Including participation through the online NanOpinion portal and on-site monitoring described in D5.2 and D.5.3 a total of 8330 people completed the questionnaire. Some 82 % (6884, with 5368 eligible for assessment) of these responses came from face-to-face encounters.
The gender baance of participants was effectively equal but over 25% of questionnaire respondents were between 20 and 35 years old and over 40% are still in education. The vast majority of all questionnaire responses have been a result of direct interaction with our monitoring station facilitators, and 20% of all participants claimed to have not heard anything about nanotechnologies before.

3.5.4Live events
Live events took the form of interactive seminars and workshops. See D 7.4 for detailed descriptions. Guardian (UK)
The Guardian seminar, “The Future of Food Manufacturing,” was held on 9 October 2013 at the Guardian offices in London. The seminar was well attended by over 50 people who participated in a robust debate. The write-up published in the Guardian and uploaded to the microsite simultaneously. A detailed description was given in D7.2. BfR (Germany)
From 3rd to 5th of June 2014 the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) conducted three focus group discussions with German consumers. The participants discussed about nanotechnology as well as nanoproducts and their labelling. The three groups consisted of 8 to 9 participants and were composed differently. One group consisted of eight women, one of 9 men and one of 4 women and 5 men.
All three groups discussed the same topics. At the beginning participants discussed what they have heard so far about nanotechnology and which experience they had, if any, with products which were based on the application of nanotechnology.
Subsequently a number of different products were presented to the participants. Some products openly advertised the use on nanotechnology while other did not. Participants discussed the perceived benefits of nanotechnology concerning the individual products and spoke also about whether, and if so, how product labelling of nanoproducts should look like. At the same time participants views about the EU labelling obligation for nanotechnology in cosmetics and food were discussed.
The discussions of the three groups were recorded on video and are currently subjected to a qualitative content analysis. Here a few short first impressions should be delineated.
Overall the male and the mixed gender group showed a positive attitude towards nanotechnology and its applications in consumer products while in the female group a skeptical attitude dominated. In all groups an initially neutral to positive attitude was qualified as soon as information about possible health risks from nanoparticles was provided to the participants.
Concerning product labelling a majority called for distinct labelling for the sake of consumer’s free choice. A minority of participants were of the opinion that distinct labelling was not necessary. The minority argued that it was not clear why nanotechnology should be so different in comparison to other substance groups which are not distinctly labelled either. All groups did not understand that the EU labelling obligation for nanotechnology in cosmetics entered into force before the labelling obligation for nanotechnology in food which participants apprehended as more important.
All groups were surprised how many applications of nanotechnology in consumer products already exist and how many times one comes across nanotechnology in everyday life and that it is not science fiction anymore. TiConUno
TCU organized, held and recorded a Round Table based on Nature’s comment “Make Nanotechnology Research Open-Source” (the video recording has been published on France
On 6 October 2014 during Fête de la science, a national event, two workshops were organized by Traces within the framework of the NanOpinion project. They were held at a science centre belonging to the ESPCI ParisTech, the industrial chemistry and physics higher education institution of the City of Paris, France. A total of 26 high school students from lycée Camille Sée in the 15th arrondissement of Paris participated. The students who participated were in grade 11 oriented to science and between 15 and 17 years old. They were invited through their math teacher, who had participated in previous events organised in the science centre. They had little previous knowledge of nanotechnologies and showed interest in the topic, but since they came with their class, the levels of participation varied. Discussions in smaller groups helped involve all participants, who then started to express their thoughts better. The workshop structure drew on parts of the Participatory Workshop scheme (especially the quiz and the examples for nanotechnologies in products) and elements from the Theatrical Discussion Game developed within NanOpinion (the discussion continuums), with input from Traces.
Students were generally more sensitive to advantages than to potential problems, especially for some products (i.e. for T‐shirts: nothing is negative, just the price). Discussion about food packaging made them conscious that it was not as simple as they initially thought. They showed more concern about what could go inside their body. They also tended to just repeat the advantages that were already mentioned without further analysis. They made comparisons to products they already knew, like Febreze (a spray that takes smell away from fabric) or a sponge for the nano T‐shirts, but did not make any reference to opinions other than their own. It is interesting to note that some of their arguments are located both on the advantages side and on the problems side, usually with the same wording. This allowed the facilitators to stress the ambivalence of technology and to consider who benefits or suffers from the same characteristic of a product.
The discussions in small groups were followed by a closing exercise with the entire group, leading to further discussions. Price was an important issue even though it is never mentioned during the product presentations. The students connected it to how hard it must be to work at such a small scale. They were concerned about the possibility for anyone to access products using these technologies. Why some products are developed rather than others (profit, progress…) was tackled.
Crosscutting topics involved:
-effects on the body and health (it could create new diseases,
-you cannot know before you test it;
-it can go in your blood,
-no, it’s on your skin
-it can go through, it is so small it can go everywhere)
-environment and recycling (where does the sunscreen go when we swim in the sea? It could be eaten by a fish and then you eat the fish)
-marketing and safeguarding private life (a pirate can get to the information from the salad packaging chip)
-aesthetics, practicality…
The variety of these topics made them conscious how transversal the impact of nanotechnologies can be in our lives.
The students wanted more information before deciding whether these products should be available. Comparisons with GMOs and testing on animals were drawn as were differences between personal desires and what is desirable for society, current and future needs. Who should be included in the discussion of these issues was also raised, and the example of the 2010 national debate on nanotechnologies in France was discussed. Participants were then asked which products using nanotechnologies that they thought would be worthwhile. Some did not want any. Others suggested medical applications, for which there was a consensus that it was a good thing to continue.

Forming an opinion
Two quick summary exercises asked the students give their opinions.
-Students generally agreed with: “Research should always take ethical consequences into account.” “Research should only be conducted once concerned parties approve it”. There was less agreement regarding ethical questions.
-Would you use products that contain nanoparticles? The results showed that most of them would.
-How should nanotechnologies products be regulated to balance innovation with safety? Most students leaned towards strict regulations. Opinions were split in the first group since those in favour of freedom voted for complete freedom for researchers. They were more balanced in the second group.
There were a total of 12 face-to-face and 13 online teacher training sessions from 7 October 2013 to 16 January 2014. Participants included 468 teachers and 16 teacher coordinators. They were trained by 15 teacher trainers and 22 experts, scientists and partners.
The network of Teacher Coordinators in Europe reached 1556 students in 15 European countries and dedicated a total of 265 hours. Detailed reports from Teacher Coordinators on the different type of tools developed to teach nanotechnology included experiments, videos, Moodle courses, virtual game, discussion games. A wide dissemination campaign was organised at the European and national levels to reach out to teachers.

3.6.1 Target population
The program was aimed towards high school students in grades 9–11. In order to allow the lay public have access to the mini-courses, special programing was enabled as part of the Moodle system. A unique feature was prepared especially for this project to allow anyone to use the LMS, including the quizzes and other features of the Moodle.

3.6.2 Teaching place
The teaching and learning took place in a computer room (allowing individual learning in an online environment) or at home with a combination of frontal classroom sessions.

3.6.3 Course Content
According to D1.3 and the latest research, pure science is not the main interest of the lay public and applications, especially products that the public can find today or in the near future, are much more appealing and interesting. Therefore, we decided on a shift in the division of the mini courses content. Instead of dividing the content into basic knowledge and properties of NT, NT applications, products and everyday life and NT ELSA issues, and then debating NT the dilemmas, we decided to work from the “me & mine” approach. The same scientific knowledge as well as ELSA will be discussed but the point of entry for the students will be different. The entrance to each module will be by presenting a daily problem that the students can relate to (the odours in the classroom after a sports lesson, a parent dealing with side effects of cancer treatment etc.). After understanding the problem, a product or application that can solve this problem will be presented and the scientific knowledge will be taught. At the final stage of the module a discussion on the ELSA topics will be included after presenting the students with arguments from different angles.
In order to work from this approach and to maintain accurate scientific knowledge and include diverse and wide NT principles, we chose the following modules and organised them into three mini courses.
The content is available at:
The three mini-courses contained a total of eight modules and were translated into 11 languages:
1.Nano outdoors
-Improved sports gear
-nano coatings
-Solar panels
2.Nano Indoors
-Air filters and purifiers
-Flexible electronics
-Food sensors

3.Nano inside Us
-Tissue engineering
-Drug delivery & Theranostics
The modules were modular and divided into independent parts. Each teacher was free to choose which of the modules to teach. Before starting the courses, each student went through a pre-test of basic knowledge. At the end of the learning process (at every module) the student went through a post-test in order to measure the change in knowledge.
Each of the eight modules was based on the same concepts and structure. The first concept was focused on a self-learning process in an online environment with additional teaching methods such as animations, videos, discussions, demonstrations and laboratory activities.
The second concept focused on the point of entry. Each module began with a problem from our daily life, e.g. bad odours, spoilt food. Such entry point helped the students relate to the learning materials and understand NT issues close to them.
The third concept was that by understanding the different products/applications to solve the problem at hand, we can learn and understand the benefits of nanotechnology.
A fourth concept was that NT is related to more than one discipline. In each module the student dealt with materials/concepts from chemistry, physics and/or biology. The final concept is that each NT solution/application incorporates in itself many aspects. There was no right or wrong answer, good or bad idea. Each solution included both to show students that as part of society, they have to understand and be aware of the dilemmas and decide when/where to use them and when/where not to. We need to address circumstances.

3.6.4Live Teacher Training
The aim of the training activities was to introduce teachers to Nanotechnology teaching, the NanOpinion portal and the educational tools developed under the project. For more information, see Deliverable 4.2.
The first in-person training was given at European Schoolnet to prepare the teachers in charge of coordinating the educational activities in their country and provide training themselves. The rest of the training was provided at national level in the language of the country by the Teacher Coordinator and partner located there. An extra training was given in English as part of the programme of the conference of a partner project, Pathway1.
The face to face workshop structure was as follows:
1.Explaining to teachers the objectives of the NanOpinion project and the formal education outreach programme
2.A basic introduction to nanotechnology done by a professional science communicator.
3.Introduction to NanOpinion and the portal.
4.Training on the educational tools
The training activities were launched in April 2013 with the 16 Teacher Coordinators workshop to prepare them for the upcoming school year 2013–2014. The aim was to make sure they could plan their programme well in advance. They were prepared to use and train other teachers with the NanOpinion tools and promote the project at national level.
The main content of the training at the European and national levels were: an introduction to Nanotechnology and the aim and method to integrate the topic in STEM teaching, the NanOpinion project and the portal, the teacher guidelines, the Moodle courses, the two hands-on experiments, the two videos, the virtual experiment and the discussion game.
The national training were kicked-off on 7 October 2013 with the in-person training performed in Israel and closed with the online workshop run for 52 Turkish teachers on 16 January 2014. In total 468 teachers were trained. The 16 Teacher Coordinators and 19 experts and partners were involved as moderators, trainers and lecturers.
The 12 face-to-face workshops were given in 10 European countries (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Israel, Lithuania, Spain, and Turkey). The first in-person training was given at the European Schoolnet premises to prepare the Teacher Coordinators.
The rest of the face-to-face trainings were provided at national level in the language of the country, moderated by the Teacher Coordinators and partners located there. An extra training was given in English as part of the programme of the conference of a partner project, Pathway. In addition to the 16 Teacher Coordinators of the NanOpinion project, in total, 291 teachers have been trained in person. There were 22 experts in education, science teaching and nanotechnology involved in the face-to-face trainings.

3.6.5Virtual Teacher Training
The 13 online trainings started with the two additional trainings given to the Teacher Coordinators, as follow-up to the Brussels training. The aim was to give updated information on the educational tools developed for the NanOpinion project that were not finalised when the first training was provided and to train them on the functionalities of WebEx and how to run properly an online training.
In addition, there were 10 national online workshops moderated by the Teacher Coordinators in their languages for teachers of their country (Austrian, Bulgarian, Danish, Finish, Greek, Italian, Romanian, Spanish, Turkish and English). The workshops for teachers were supported by European Schoolnet and in some cases NanOpinion partners based in their country. In addition to the 16 Teacher Coordinators of the NanOpinion project, in total, 177 teachers have been trained online. 15 experts in relevant disciplines were involved in the online training of NanOpinion.

3.6.6Teacher Moodle
The NanOpinion partners believe that the next generation of customers, voters and policy makers are today’s K–12 students. For these reasons, three mini courses were developed for 9–11 graders and the lay public. The mini courses dealt with daily problems such as avoiding waste of food, dealing with bad odours or addressing drug side effects. From this starting point, the NanOpinion project addressed the solutions and the way they are learnt best, as well as the scientific principles of nanotechnology. The interdisciplinary nature of NT was presented by learning about more than one scientific discipline in each module. A special emphasis was given to ELSA issues. In each module, areas of controversy and various other aspects were presented. The final stage of each module included a student discussion/debate (face-to-face or online forum). For more information, see D2.2.
The teaching modules ( were at introductory, intermediate and advanced levels. A total of eight teaching modules were developed and translated, for a total of up to 60 hours of learning. Overall, 31 non-English modules were produced: translated, designed, programmed and launched. The Moodle enjoyed 40,000 page views, which included 425 registered users and 890 guests. The pages were translated into 11 languages.
In each mini course, there were two to three main modules. An additional module of basic NT understanding was built to help students and the lay public fill knowledge gaps. The content was presented in a variety of ways, from animation, videos and texts to interactive questioning, quizzes and discussion groups.
The learning modules were built on the Moodle 2.4.3 platform and included the benefits of the learning management systems built into the Moodle system. A special feature was programed in order to allow the lay public to enjoy all the features these modules can offer. In order to assess student progress, pre- and post-tests for the mini courses were included, in addition to a quiz for each module. A wide and comprehensive teacher’s guide was built in order to help the teachers implement these modules. A face-to-face teacher training session took place in Brussels on 11–12 April 2013.
The main goals of the mini-courses were to help students:
-Gain knowledge of the fundamental concepts, knowledge of phenomena and principles in nanotechnology.
-Learn commercial applications and significance of nanotechnology for the individual and society.
-Foster critical thinking skills and have a meaningful debate.
-Generate interest (based on knowledge) in nanotechnology.

3.6.7Teacher kits
The Teacher guide was used to encourage and inspire more teachers to integrate nanotechnology knowledge in their classes. EUN developed the teachers’ guidelines to accompany the educational tools provided by NanOpinion. The concept was created by EUN and the specific ideas of activities by the Teacher Coordinators. Five of them worked on these guidelines and EUN integrated the various parts together to make homogeneous guidelines. The guidelines encourage teachers to apprehend nanotechnology as an interdisciplinary subject and think out of the curriculum box. It included two parts that were published on the public portal in January 2014.
The first part of the teacher guide consisted of a document called “Activity Sheets”, which were based on short exercises. The exercises in the activity sheets were designed to treat a specific theme or question with a short activity that can be easily organised within a lesson.
The activity sheets consisted of 5 guidelines that covered most of the NanOpinion educational resources. The themes of the activity sheets were air pollution, smart materials for smart green homes, nanotechnology for health, solar panels, and nanotechnology and the environment
The second part of the Teacher Guide consisted of a series of kits developed to encourage teachers to use creative approaches and resources like ICT tools, social media, group activities, collaborative work and storytelling.
The kits were presented in a PowerPoint format. The descriptions were easy to follow and not time consuming for the teachers. The proposed activities were designed to last anywhere from one class session to a full quarter or a whole semester. Each included at least three NanOpinion tools.

“DISTILLED NANOIDEAS” was an interactive contest for school teachers and their students who had been working on nanotechnologies in the classroom and who wanted to communicate their conclusions through art. The competition opened on 31 January 2014 and closed on 1 May 2015.
The main objective of “DISTILLED NANOIDEAS” was to promote a meaningful dialogue about nanotechnologies present the Ethical, Legal & Social Aspects (ELSA); to use tools developed by the NanOpinion project and available from the repository; and to engage students in active creation of tomorrow's world.
The competition invited teachers to work together with their students with a minimum of one tool developed by the NanOpinion project ( and educational tools on nanotechnology available from the multimedia repository (
The class project was articulated around one or several of three topics:
-My opinion on nanotechnology, in general or a specific aspect.
-Nanotechnology around us. What kind of nano materials can be found in nature? How are these aspects implemented in modern products? How do they work?
-Invent your own product! Explain how it will work, how it is relevant to nanotechnology.
The competition was open to school teachers (secondary and higher education) and their students. The group could consist of 2–5 students, led by their teacher, who submitted the entry. The competition was divided into two categories according to age:
-13–15 year old students
-16–18+ year old students
The competition was disseminated by all of the project outlets, including banners on the website, social media, the Moodle educational learning system, the teachers' system of communication (Basecamp), partner newsletters, at live events and more. In addition, the teachers acting as national coordinators promoted the competition to ensure participation in their country.
Round 1 – European expert evaluation
A first evaluation round was conducted by a group of four experts composed of NanOpinion partners, education experts and experts with in-depth knowledge of nanotechnology. This panel analysed all 117 entries, with a distinction between the two age groups. Only 21 entries were chosen to advance to the next round.
Round 2 – European Grand Jury evaluation
The Grand Jury included the advisory board and members of the NanOpinion consortium, a team of 19 experts (different specialists in nanotechnology, education and relevant aspects). From the shortlist, the jury awarded one winner per age category.
Additional Round – Public evaluation
After all works appeared online, the public became an evaluator and via Facebook, chose the work they liked best. Votes were tallied by counting the number of “Likes” each project received. The winning entry received more than 2183 likes and 134 shares, and many entries obtained over 100 likes.
The three winners (one from each category) received a NanoTool Kit Box, valued at €150–€200. The teacher of each winning entry was invited to attend the Scientix conference at the EUN facilities in Brussels.
A certificate of participation was sent by email to the participants whose entries advanced to Round 2.

3.6.9 Experiments
In collaboration with a research group led by Dr. Pau Gorostiza from the Institute of Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) and with the support of iNANO, Aarhus University for content and images two experiments were designed for teachers to use. First the script was designed and then the storyboard, showing all the content and images that will appear in the virtual experiment. The development of design and programming of the virtual experiment was supervised by IrsiCaixa, ORT and AU ensured the accuracy of the information and data contained in the experiment. For more information, see Deliverable 3.4.
The experiments, in particular experiment A were extremely popular and successful among teachers. One of the experiments (Experiment A) was used inside an article for a scientific publication that AU prepared.
AU is the leader of this task that involves developing two new “hands-on” experiments and one virtual experiment for schools and science centers (leader of this task is IrsiCaixa). The experiments should exemplify some nanoscience basic concepts, and show practical applications of nanotechnology. During the third period of the project AU developed the experiments, following also the advice and requests of some NanOpinion teacher coordinators.
Experiment A: The general concept behind many novel drug delivery systems is to “trap” the drug inside a capsule, which acts as a carrier to deliver the drug at the target, in some cases passing through the cell barrier and reaching the inside of the infected cell. The capsule has a protective shell that prevents the capsule from being dissolved before reaching the target. In addition, some biomolecules can be attached to the outer shell, which are specific to the target. This experiment exemplifies a drug delivery system, and how release can be controlled based on the media used. The experiment involves the self-assembly of alginate microspheres and the use of media with different acidity to control the release of a dye entrapped in the microspheres. The coating of the microspheres with a nanocoating prevents the release all together. Through these experiments teachers can show students the process of self-assembly (a key fabrication method in nanotechnology) and discuss controlled drug delivery, one of the most important applications of nanotechnologies to the medical sector.
To make the most of this experiment, teachers are encouraged to use it together with the NanOpinion Moodle minicourse called “Drug Delivery & Theranostics”, where students can see some practical applications of controlled drug release using a core-shell nanoparticle (
Experiment B: Thin films with nanoscale thickness are interesting novel materials that are being investigated in “smart” windows (for instance electrochromic and thermochromic thin films) and in biosensors (for medical detection, food monitoring, etc.). In this experiment students will produce electrochromic thin films of Prussian Blue having different thickness through electrodeposition. To perform the synthesis, they will build a graphite counter electrode. A simple extra laboratory activity (which can be done as a separate, free-standing laboratory activity) is suggested to further demonstrate that this nanomaterial is conductive, as oppose to other allotropes of carbon like diamond. This activity can be used to illustrate a fundamental concept in nanoscience: the nanostructure of a material can affect its properties in unique ways. In the second part of the experiment, the students study the optical properties of the thin films (absorbance) and verify a fundamental law in optics, the dependence between film thickness and magnitude of the absorbance. In the third part of the experiment the students verify the well-known electrochromic properties of Prussian blue thin films.
To make the most of this experiment, teachers are encouraged to use it together with the two NanOpinion Moodle minicourses called “Smart Surfaces” and “Smart Food Packagings”, where students can see some practical applications of different types of surface nanoengineering and nanocoatings (
The teacher and student documents for Experiment A and B are also uploaded in the NanOpinion repository.
Virtual Experiment: According to the DoW, the Virtual Experiment was to be developed by IrsiCaixa (PCB) with support from AU. The virtual experiment was developed by IrsiCaixa in collaboration with a research group led by Dr. Pau Gorostiza from the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), and with the support of iNANO, Aarhus University for content and images. In the Virtual Experiment students were able to get to know and work with a Scanning Tunnel Microscope and to build a molecular transistor in the same manner as Dr. Gorostiza does in his research line.
The NanOpinion virtual experiment allowed students to learn the operational principles of a fundamental instrument used in nanoscience and to try themselves to “move molecules”. Students used a virtual Scanning Tunnel Microscope (STM) with a specific application in mind, i.e. to create a nanosized molecular transistor for an innovative product—a new type of mobile phone—much smaller than current available ones. The experiment was based on research being performed currently in the field of transistors for electronic devices used in daily life, like mobile phones, radios, televisions and computers. In the virtual experiment students were able to learn about and manipulate a STM, and also how to build a molecular transistor.
For more information, see D3.4 “NT lab experiments” The document is uploaded to the NanOpinion Moodle platform. The teacher and student documents are included in the deliverable as Appendixes. These documents have a Creative Commons license, specifically Creative Commons Non-Commercial Share Alike 3.0; therefore, teachers and other users are allowed to modify them or create new documents from them. This applies to all text and figures with the exception of some images that come from scientific journals, for which reprint permission was requested and obtained by AU (free or subject to charge). These images are clearly indicated in the text, as well as their copyright details.

3.7 Data Collection and Monitoring
As the key idea of WP6 was to monitor and evaluate processes of nanotechnology perception in Europe as well as to launch NanOpinion dialogue outreach activities, its main objectives relates to two main objectives of research.
Firstly, a major research goal was to indicate and evaluate the levels of knowledge and awareness on nanotechnologies of the general public (with special focus on “hard to reach” people), as well as to gather their opinions on nanotechnology and attitudes on specific nano-related applications.
Secondly major line of monitoring and evaluating activities focused on a wide and versatile range of outreach dialogue activities in which general public, “hard to reach” groups as well as education institutions were actively involved. Different types of dialogue activities were carried, out mainly using platforms such as live events and workshops organized at Monitoring Stations and Street Labs, various online channels and round table events held by NanOpinion media partners.
The different modes of outreach activity were also assessed by qualitative data to indicate strong and weak points, highlight best practices and evaluate effects and results of respective forms of dialogue.
At the more specific level, the objective of NanOpinion outreach activities—to be monitored and evaluated in WP6—could be structured into several main tasks (operationalised into measurable indicators) as follows (D6.1 Evaluation strategy):
-Take the debate to the outdoor arena, involving the public and a “hard to reach” audience in a trustworthy and informed dialogue
-Collect and understand citizens knowledge of NT
-Collect and understand citizens opinions on NT
-Collect and understand citizens attitudes towards NT
-Increase the dialogue with educational institutions on NT
-Build a vivid dialog about NT
-Create a virtual NT information and discussion platform
Both quantitative and qualitative instruments were applied in monitoring activities. Among the quantitative instruments, besides the crucial (online) questionnaire, there were also activity assessment questionnaires, opinion polls and social media statistics. The main instruments for qualitative assessment were reports from participatory workshops, usually held at Street Lab locations.
While the questionnaires collected quantitative data on NT-related topics, the participative workshop delivered qualitative data based on deeper insight and interactive dynamic of opinion forming.

Online questionnaire
The questionnaire covered all aspects identified as most relevant for NT opinion forming: NT awareness, opinions and attitudes, variables influencing NT opinion and demographic data.
The questionnaire method respected proved survey experience and was focused primarily on concrete fields of application and consumer products while avoiding abstractness.
Distributed in 18 languages, the questionnaire was originally called “online” questionnaire – but practice showed that the majority of copies were filled in by paper and pen formats at live events (and subsequently converted into digital form by organizers) as tablets appeared not to be the most suitable tool for the purpose (D6.3). In total 8308 questionnaires were collected, which roughly corresponds with genuine expectations of 200 questionnaires per each live event.

Opinion polls
Ten short statements or questions were distributed through the NanOpinion portal and through media partner microsites. The opinion polls were realized according the initial plan. Ten questions of the month were published via the NanOpinion online channels: the NanOpinion portal, the media microsites and different social media. The opinion polls were mainly designed to reveal the differences amongst the countries as well as to show whether opinion polls are a suitable tool to stimulate online debate. The opinion polls took place between April 2013 and July 2014. Although the polls remain open, they will not be monitored. The last polls were monitored in July 2014. Results showed that the respondents were mainly willing to buy all different kinds of nano-products, but become more cautions with regards to direct body contact with these products. Participants also showed high awareness of issues related to environmental impact. They wanted to be asked about what innovations to develop with nanotechnologies and they were interested in current information on new nano-products on the market. In general, participants felt that nano-products would only be affordable for wealthy people. In total, 2147 respondents answered the polls in different locations. All polls will be left open, in case someone who accesses to the static portal wants to vote. The results were not monitored, however, after July 2014.More detailed information is available in D6.4.
Monitoring Stations/Street Labs
The street activities proved to be the main entrance points for collecting questionnaires – 83% of respondents filled the questionnaire during these events. (also see D6.2. and D6.3) However, the questionnaire was available basically at all NanOpinion communication channels, the NanOpinion portal, the media microsites, the educational workshops and all partners web sites.
The local organizers of Monitoring stations and Street Labs compiled live events records (e.g. discussion game played at the Street Labs). These reports described the nature of live events, summarized their results, and added some ideas for their advancement. The records also documented the artefacts produced and used at Street Labs (e.g. post-its).
The aim of the reports was to gain some insight into what kinds of outreach activity are suitable to attract broader public attention and invoke debate. The core of analytical description was involvement of public into live dialogues: what topic stimulates and provokes people most, what are their hopes and fears regarding NT. To structure and standardise their observation and written reports, the organizers could make use of the observation and assessment templates that offered a list of main points to be followed: level of interactivity and participant involvement, reactions, new topics, reflections, best practice, recommendations.
All outreach activities – not only Monitoring Stations or Street Labs but also school events, media debates, focus groups – were monitored and used for the major outcomes of D6.4. Thus all these reports proved valuable sources of monitoring data.

Participatory Workshops
The purpose of the participatory workshops was to continue the nanotechnology dialogue in a more structured way and to provide deeper understanding of key issues discussed in the NanOpinion project through interactive assessment and dialogue. The workshops were intended to amend a qualitative dimension to quantitative data collected in online questionnaire.
During the project, 10 participatory workshops—held in Estremoz, Perugia, Rome, Pilsen, La Coruna, Istanbul, London, Vilnius, Tel Aviv and Barcelona—were organized with 10 participants in each, on average. The participants learned in live debate how opinions and attitudes can be changed via interpersonal communication. The moderators of the workshops then filled in reporting template to provide detailed information (D6.2 – Dialogue report).
In some cases, it was difficult to include hard-to reach people to the workshops. The majority of those interested were science-curious people. This is not necessarily a negative fact – to try to attract hard-to-reach people does not mean to repel more knowledgeable and interested ones. On the contrary, it may show the quality and attractiveness of the workshop.
In general, participants enjoyed the workshop methodology, using visualization and interactive formats and nano-products enriched events that made it more attractive and entertaining. Under guidance of competent moderators, they became active actors of group dynamics as for nanotechnology-related opinion forming – a new unique experience for most of them. Some moderators recommended stressing the explaining risks and benefits of nanotechnology products (D6.2).

Policy recommendations workshops
Specific instruments included two interactive internal workshops held at consortium meetings in Tel Aviv and Prague where the participants themselves became producers of new knowledge.
The aim of the Tel Aviv workshop was to analyse experience gained in the previous NanOpinion outreach activities and thus to upgrade dialogue and outreach in the following phases of the project. Participants worked in pairs and in groups while identifying success drivers as well as barriers of outreach activities. In the second round of the workshop, participants were instructed how to apply a specific heuristic model invented by the Swiss astronomer Fritz Zwicky oriented on creative structuring and re-structuring various problems and relationships. The NanOpinion outreach activities were separated into individual items which, were then re-configured in various imaginative ways. In this way new approaches and horizons were opened.
The Prague policy recommendation workshop was conceived as the initial step towards a production of the policy recommendation report and a brochure targeted at policy makers. It aimed at creating a series of recommendations focusing on major NT-related issues regarding research, regulation and social implications as well as education and dialogue.
All these actions resulted in data analysis, deliverables and reports that allow drawing a large range of recommendations around three axes:
1.The public expectation regarding research; regulation and social implications of NT
2.Future communication, outreach, and public engagement methodologies for sustainable dialogue with citizens from European and associated countries
3.Future potential and need for NT education at high school level across Europe
For more detailed information, see D6.4 and D7.6.
Results are also published at:

Potential Impact:
4.1Demographic Outreach
The NanOpinion project was designed as a communication project. One of the key tasks of the NanOpinion project was to develop and support dialogue. Outreach and dissemination activities included live (“outdoor“) events in the form of Monitoring Stations, Street Labs, live teachers workshops (and other educational enterprises), participatory workshops, etc. As such, these activities were analysed in deliverables submitted in WP4 and WP5. The same applies to social media dealt with in WP3 (D7.5).
Support of nanotechnology dialogue was a substantial part of NanOpinion project. The role of media was to enable and stimulate audiences to express their opinion on nanotechnology issues. The main platforms were microsites of printed media, web sites of various other media formats – including radio or web TV – and the respective social media (FB, Twitter) where readers and listeners had space to have their say about presented materials. Details can be found in D7.2 and D7.4
The summary numbers for dissemination activities in the whole project show a vast range and variety. Printed supplements published in media with circulations of hundreds of thousands and microsites visited by hundreds of thousands of people indicate a large audience. See Table 1 for the total number of NanOpinion dissemination activities carried out during the duration of the project.
Several NanOpinion dissemination practices emerged from our review as ´good practices´—the pillars of NanOpinion dissemination performance. These are the following: synchronisation and synergy between channels, networking, blogging, ´academic´ activities, branding and videos.
WP7 focused on media activities and then on dissemination activities carried out by all other NanOpinion partners alongside their main NanOpinion commitments. This covers all information that moves beyond the internal area of the NanOpinion project and reaches public space, as articles, blogs, lectures, presentations, videos, various press and web items, etc., in which NanOpinion is described or cited. However, separation of individual work packages, e.g. that of WP2 and WP7, is only methodological. In reality what is desirable is overlapping and synergy of web and social media activities with dissemination of actual events.

Regarding the quantitative dimension of dissemination, the overview in the previous chapter offers the following picture:
-mass media still deliver the largest audiences – hundreds of thousand through paper supplements. Visits and views on their microsites also reached hundreds of thousands. Trusted media brands remain a strong driver of internet traffic.
-media portfolio used was diverse, reflecting the increasing complexity of the media ecosystem, and the fact that audience preferences often differ, between publics, age groups, or countries. Accordingly, our work embraced almost all media formats – paper, web sites, radio, web TV, face-to-face debates. This increases the organisational and management burden for dissemination in a project targeted at generating public discussion on an unfamiliar topic, but helps getting response and thus results.
-dissemination engagement of non-media partners was also continuous and strong in outputs, with a large number of articles, blogs, presentations, videos, radio and web TV broadcasts, social media posts and referrals that were broadcast beyond NanOpinion partners and displayed in public sphere
-Dissemination material (Poster, leaflets, cards) was provided as indesign templates, and easily adoptable to any project language. Therefore a wide use and distribution of promotion materials was guaranteed.
The project confirmed the importance of synchronization of dissemination activities between channels to maximise impact. The key role here was played – as planned – by the NanOpinion web portal. In this sense, the portal worked properly. It informed about all relevant outreach events and offered linkages to all dissemination channels. When a new paper supplement appeared, the number of views and visits on the NanOpinion portal increased (D7.5 – Social Media Campaign Report).
For media partners, the synergy task meant to synchronize their “traditional” and “new” formats, paper and digital activities. All media partners coordinated NanOpinion activities in newspapers with those appearing on their microsites, social media also being integrated. TiConUno properly used its diverse portfolio – newspaper, radio, web TV and their websites – for sharing and mutually reinforcing its outreach effects. Besides that, TiConUno media made content accessible from other media partners so serving as another relevant NanOpinion communication hub.
Networking: Ecsite, EUN and BC proved able to mobilise their networks – third parties – to participate actively in dissemination work. That represented a lot of communication work for NanOpinion partners, to motivate third parties, not only to arrange Monitoring Stations and Street Labs but also to inform the public about them. The result was a great number of press releases, news and web infos, radio and TV broadcasts in national and local media.
Blogging evolved into beneficial and efficient dissemination tool.

Under “academic” dissemination activities we understand articles, lectures, presentations, workshops, seminars – certainly not activities addressed to and consumed by “hard-to-reach” people. However, audiences at these activities were the science community and multipliers – mostly teachers and students – but also interested people in general who gained knowledge from their environment.
The Branding campaign was detailed and extensive–thanks mainly to ZSI. The logo, brochure, leaflets, cards, flyers, all branding activities on web platform and websites endowed NanOpinion with an attractive and distinct identity. This carry-over will last into the after-life of the project, with the continuation of the NanOpinion web portal.
Video has recently become a major communication tool in outreach activities towards the general public. So it was also in NanOpinion. Basically all partners produced and published some videos, largely featuring Monitoring Stations and Street Lab events taking place in their countries. An extraordinary role was assigned to video presentations in all NanOpinion educational efforts. Most often they were available on general channels as YouTube or Vimeo.
The topics tackled in the Social Media channels were defined according to the Polls of the Month and the features and news published in the media partners’ supplements and microsites. A second part of the content was information on the project activities. More information about social media can be found in D7.5.
Facebook is a viral way of spreading content. Although only 202 posts were published during the campaign, each of the posts reached people who, in time, spread them to others. Over all, people were exposed to the NanOpinion content over 1 million times (see Table 15). These numbers demonstrate the power of this tool: with an effort of writing only 202 paragraphs one can reach millions of readers. Obviously, it also depends on other parameters such as timing and visuals, call for action, etc. The number of people who engaged with the content, by clicking to read, sharing with others etc., was 17,494 people with only 38 giving negative feedback. See Figure 23 for division of nanotopics posted on Facebook.
Twitter was used as a recruiting tool to the wider the community as well as for exchanging information and having direct contact with the users. It also allows users to have access to specialized information platforms.
As this account was a continuation of the NanoChannels account, the baseline for the campaign was 461 tweets, 461 followers and was following 1118 others
Until August 8th, towards the end of the campaign, there were over 1121 new tweets.
The NanOpinion project established a much wider audience and added, during the campaign, 900 new followers.
The NanOpinion YouTube page took over the profile of the NanoChannels Project and customized it with NanOpinion’s look and feel ( By the end of the campaign the cannels has 20 subscriptions. We used this channel as an online repository of videos. The only video uploaded to the channels was NanOpinion's events in Lithuania. A playlist of 7 videos uploaded by other partners showing the project activities are published in the YouTube channel. Other partners and teachers who worked in the project published videos on the project too. There were a total of 2481 views of the videos uploaded to YouTube.
The two videos produced for the project have 1353 views (drug delivery system and DNA nanotechnology) and 1163 views ( environmental impacts of nanosilver).
The purpose of the videos was educational and not advertising. Yet, an overall total of almost 5000 views for 13 videos can hardly be treated as a viral phenomenon or regarded as a wide spread of information on this channel.

4.3Project Outcomes
The NanOpinion project was designed to deliver new insights and recommendations on the question how to promote a broad social discussion of nanotechnologies. The aim of NanOpinion was to investigate how opinion on this new generation of technologies is shaped, and how to successfully launch public debates and dialogs, especially among hard to reach groups, and enhance education.
In order to do so, NanOpinion launched a multi-channel approach for the engagement of the general public. Street Labs and Monitoring Stations were organised to engage a broad public audience in discussions and dialogs. To target young people, school activities including teacher trainings and online learning mini-courses for students were launched. Via international media channels like newspaper supplements, radio programmes, media micro-sites and videos, the broad public was addressed.
To complement these rather conservative channels, a virtual platform was established and supported by social media integrated tools such as Facebook, Moodle and Twitter. This web gateway compiled a repository of carefully vetted materials on risks and benefits of nanotechnologies, along with a blog, online questionnaire, links to media micro-sites and polls.
By developing and performing all these outreach activities for the general public, a whole range of different organisations supported this work:
-Science centres,
-Education networks,
-Schools and universities,
-Newspapers and media,
-Cultural institutions,
-Research institutes,
-Science communication agencies,
-Governmental institutions.

The project achieved all required activities and implemented even more activities than foreseen in the DoW as summarized again in brief below:
The teacher Moodle offered 60 hours of learning in 11 languages. There were 40,000 page views from 425 users and 890 guests.
The Environmental Impacts of Nanosilver video ( had 1410 views. The Drug delivery and DNA nanotechnology video ( had 1504 views.
Two simple hands-on and one virtual experiment that can be performed in a teaching laboratory (for schools or science centres) that cover fundamental and applied concepts of nanotechnologies were developed. The hands-on experiment (Controlled drug delivery) was translated into 9 languages and the “Smart” thin films experiment was translated into 6 languages.
The outreach included printed media supplements from four major media outlets and accompanying media microsites. The languages of the media were English (Guardian), French (Courrier), Spanish (el Mundo) and Italian (il solé 24 ore). In addition to print media, 10 radio programmes were hosted and pod casts were made available.
The network of Teacher Coordinators in Europe reached 1556 students in 15European countries and dedicated a total of 265 hours.
A successful social media campaign included Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. The Twitter account ended with 1422 followers. The Facebook page had 1121 likes, 1,050,504 Post impressions and 17,494 engaged users.
For educators, a Moodle platform was prepared to include lesson plans and teacher guides. It was translated into 8 languages and was added to the Scientix translation options. The network of Teacher Coordinators in Europe reached 1.556 students in 15European countries and dedicated a total of 265 hours.
Dialogue -interaction and dialogue included live events such as round tables, panel discussions, workshops, street events. Opinion polls and questionnaires were introduced at all monitoring stations, on the portal, via social media and during other live events. Dialogue also included the NanOpinion student competition and school events in addition to discussions via social media
The student competition received 117 entries from14 countries and included pictures, drawings, poster poems, PPT presentation and videos. The aim was to inspire students & STEM teachers to envisage better future combining state of the art nanoscience, arts and creativity.
A total of 44 events took place in 18 countries and 23 cities. More than 14,000 people took part and more than half completed questionnaires. NanOpinion events took place in city squares, shopping malls, libraries, a zoo, community centres, university campuses and during music festivals, food festivals, film festivals, sports events, art performances, and Christmas events. 83 % of respondents of the online questionnaire could be reached at these events.
See below the number of respondents per month (peaks can be seen according to monitoring stations activities). The first peak was in May 2013 and is related to the Monitoring Stations in Lithuania. The highest numbers of questionnaires throughout the whole project have been collected in September and October 2013, whereas the extremely successful activities in the Czech Republic and in Aarhus, Denmark are highlighted. The last peak followed in March 2014, where a lot of different activities, were going on, e.g. in Italy and in Romania.
The numbers of respondents increased continuously during the outreach activities (never stagnated) accordingly. See below the increasing numbers per month. The raw sample size comprises 8308 cases. 233 cases were deleted because they were not members of the target population (i.e. they were younger than 14 years of age). 236 cases gave implausible information and were therefore deleted from the sample. 1060 cases were deleted because of incomplete or missing data in the main questionnaire modules. The statistical analyses were done with the 6779 remaining cases (82%) which provided valid information for the main variables.
In six countries we could reach more than 500 respondents. More detailed analysis could be carried out. Visualised results can be seen at: and in the annex of D6.4.
For additional detailed information and analysis see D6.4.

Did we reach our hard to reach target groups?
•Yes, to a certain extent, because:
-One fifth of the people we met in the streets had never heard about NT (in some countries up to one third).
-They stated that they were not interested in science news as their primary source of information.
-Most of our respondents were met directly at a monitoring station in a location which was not related to science centres or science events.

4.4Recommendations for the Future
The following recommendations of the NanOpinion project are targeted at policy-makers working at different levels (local, regional, national and European) on various policy agendas.
Based on the activities and outcomes shown above, and all data analysis, the project concluded with a list of recommendations. (For more details, see D7.6 and the policy recommendations booklet).
The NanOpinion project organised a set of activities to monitor opinions of citizens about research and innovation involving nanotechnologies (NT). The opinion monitoring was carried out within outreach and public engagement activities around several strands which were complemented with the development of a public portal, which offers a repository with existing and newly developed educational resources and with other materials and engagement tools. In addition to developing tools and resources, NanOpinion organised communication, outreach, dialogue and engagement activities (workshops, Monitoring Stations, Street Labs) (also see D6.2. and D6.3.) formal education actions and monitoring outreach activities (a survey questionnaire in 17 languages, opinion polls, monitoring station and Street Lab). All these actions resulted in data analysis, deliverables and reports that allow drawing a large range of recommendations around three axes:

1.The public expectation regarding research; regulation and social implications of NT
2.Future communication, outreach, and public engagement methodologies for sustainable dialogue with citizens from European and associated countries
3.Future potential and need for NT education at the high school level across Europe

1.The public expectation regarding research; regulation and social implications of NT
Inclusion of citizens in the definition of the policy agenda of NT research
-Policy-makers and decision makers at various levels should make sure more time and money is invested to engage and include people in the definition of the policy agenda on NT research. Special attention should be given to target groups affected by the NT research field or innovation through an increased dialogue with CSOs.
-Knowledge must be created at an early stage among citizens, starting by educating young people.
-Industries should improve their communication strategies as most consumers are concerned about the way industries communicate about the process and outcomes of the production of NT products.
-At the level of policy-makers, it is recommended that policy-making is done by taking advantage of the wisdom of the crowd. In other words, there are certain scenarios in which knowledge gathered from the many can exceed the accuracy or completeness of that provided by the expert few. These complementary approaches have overall the aim to improve the democratic validation.
-More funding is necessary to facilitate dialogue with the general public on regulation and social implications.
The current awareness of citizens in Europe towards NT and related policy-recommendations
-People have to be encouraged and empowered to feel confident to build and express their own opinion and to influence the directions of Research and Innovation.
-People should be addressed by their understanding of Ethical, Legal and Social aspects of NT according to their experience knowledge and common sense.
The current knowledge of citizens in Europe towards NT and related policy-recommendations
-Informal education settings and school systems need to play an essential role to raise awareness on NT towards the general public.
-Outreach and engagement activities that target all citizens with a special attention to less well-educated parts of the population need to be organised.
Inclusion and engagement of citizens in NT research and innovation processes
-Tools that facilitate participation of citizens (e.g. discussion games) should be developed and methodologies to set the research agenda should be designed. These tools should facilitate the collection of qualitative data about citizens’ opinions for a more in depth understanding.
-Significant budget and time should be invested to engage hard to reach citizens in activities organised in public places where they are spending time.
-Specific dedicated activities for females or elderly (hard to reach group) should be designed in order to engage them into the public dialogue.
Expectation for labelling of nanoproducts
-People should be informed if NT is applied in a product, application or treatment. Different levels of information shall be provided from simple seals to comprehensive sources for further information.
Expectation for independent testing of nanoproducts
-Authorities and regulation agencies should prove their trustworthiness.
-Approved labels by independent institutions should be applied for consumer products with information on their functions, properties, price, availability and impact.
Include citizens in the debate related to societal, public health and environmental implications related to NT
-NT and food needs to be addressed carefully when it comes to public engagement.
-Exposures of NT and nanoparticles related to the human body have to be treated with special care.
-Long term studies on environmental and health impacts have to be undertaken and information must be published.
-Scepticism has to be considered seriously and addressed regularly when environmental aspects, sustainability, and societal aspects (e.g. affordability) are concerned.

Addressing NT Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI)
-The various stakeholders concerned by NT Research and Innovation must be engaged with a combination of participatory governance, reflections, inquiry-based education, opinion forming, decision-making and participatory techniques.
-Young people must be better introduced to RRI and teachers should be trained to teach all aspects of NT (ethical, legal, social and scientific).
-The general public should be engaged in an empowering way to better involve them in all aspects of NT debates and outreach activities. The way their view can have an impact on the shape of future RRI policies should be highlighted.
-Researchers and industries should rely on facilitators like science communicators to engage both policy-makers and the general public in the NT research in a responsible way.
-It is essential to include the general public in the process and outcome of Research and Innovation. This way, labelling, regulation and information provided to the public on NT products will be developed taking into account societal values.

2.Future communication, outreach, public engagement methodologies for sustainable dialogue with citizens from European and associated countries
Communication methodologies for future outreach activities on NT
-Since diverse target groups prefer diverging communication channels, different media and channels for further information have to be provided to ensure a broad communication that reaches all targeted people.
-Aiming for information, reflection and awareness of NT, a neutral position of the communicators and materials that provide balanced information is needed.
-Balanced (including risks and benefit) information has to be provided on official sites to raise people’s interest and their ability to receptiveness in nanotechnology.
-To reach the broad general public, reliable but easily accessible information in mass media is needed.
-Face-to-face contacts and participation in interactive and discussion formats like nanOpinion workshops should be prioritise to give citizens the opportunity to build an informed opinion.
Social media tools for future outreach and communication activities on NT
-Social media channels could be used to provide sound and balanced information provided by labelled serious sources. “Nano-App” graphically simple, user-friendly, but regularly updated device with accurate and actual information for continuous usage could be implemented.
-It is recommended to create an overview of social media infrastructures for electronic public debates in the targeted countries.
Actions recommended on communication, outreach and engagement activities related to NT
-Emphasise debate and collaborative learning to help develop opinions.
-More investment and support to produce videos and infographics materials to disseminate in various channels
-Provide more reliable and easily accessible information in mass media (TV, daily newspaper…) and social media
-Investment in permanent network of stakeholders engaging citizens in live dialogue and reflection activities on research and innovation agenda
To trigger debate and collaborative learning to help citizens form their opinion
-Invest in the engagement of hard to reach citizens through dialogues in venues were they normally spend time for daily activities (malls, parks, libraries, waiting areas in hospitals...).
To invest in publicly engaged science, a collaborative participatory research.

3.Future potential and need for NT education in high school level across Europe
Aim of NT education at secondary level
-The outcome of NT education should be that students understand how NT is relevant to society.
-NT education should be based on an interdisciplinary approach involving peer-to-peer and Inquiry Based Science Education methods.
-At secondary school level it is appropriate to focus on NT in the three main areas of science, in chemistry, physics and biology.
-Funding and time should be dedicated to the development of teaching materials for physics.
-The possibility to tackle NT in non-scientific topics is recommended, especially to form the soft skills of students.
-Bringing current and relevant research to the classroom should be supported to as it is a motivating factor that can bring young people closer to science.
-NT education at secondary level should inspire young people toward employment opportunities within the scientific research field and European industry area.

The main challenges for NT teaching in Europe and related recommendations
-Teachers should be trained on the relevance of NT subject not only for young people but for the general public/consumers.
-Stakeholders within the NT research field should be encouraged to help bring more interest toward the NT research area.
-Policy-makers should help bring NT into the school system by ensuring teachers training on NT. This effort should be ongoing and make sure the teachings are up to date on the newest developments in the NT research field.

Recommendations to ensure future nanotechnology education projects reach schools efficiently
-STEM teachers should be encouraged in their voluntary participation in NT education initiatives with rewards, certificates, money for consumables, training and resources.
-Teacher training should be supported with collaboration with NT science researchers to allow direct insight into the status of current research.
-Policy-makers should support the NT approach by allowing more flexible curricula and in a way that allows teachers to implement NT and in a creative way in their teaching.

Recommendations to funding programmers to support successful secondary school NT activities
-Funding programmers should support teachers training opportunities and make sure funded projects integrate already existing teacher network at European, national and regional levels.
-It is important to support financially and formally (special certificate, titles) teachers willing to integrate extra curricula lessons and activities.
-NT education activities should also consider reaching the general public/consumers with assignments and workshops in mixt teams (children, grown-ups and experts) to investigate different subjects together.
-Funds should be invested to support collaboration between industries, academia and the education sector to provide activities and tools for schools.
-Policy-makers can support secondary school level participation through funds based on the requirements mentioned above and/or through tax incentives to institutions and industries that support NT educational activities. They should also have a key role to facilitate participatory governance.

Actions recommended on potential and need for NT education at secondary school level across Europe
-Create a European NT online hub with e-courses and e-activities with support for learning and online moderation.
-Invest in the collaboration between education, industry, research, academia, policy-makers and CSO.
-Focus on school activities that combine hands-on experiments, multimedia, school competitions, and tools for reflection and channels for participatory governance.

4.5 Conclusions
NanOpinion, which began in May 2012, was a 30 month project to investigate how opinion on this new generation of technologies is shaped, and how to inform public debate, especially among hard to reach groups, and enhance education. The results inform recommendations about future discussion and regulation of NT.
The project included surveys, social media, school activities and public engagement activities built around specially designed street labs and monitoring stations. Our analysis draws on 8,330 questionnaires, as well as data from workshops attached to the Street Labs, and reports from teachers and monitoring stations. The project also built a web gateway to a repository of carefully vetted materials on risks and benefits of NT, along with a blog, online questionnaire, links to media microsites and polls. And other strands of the project developed new materials for use in schools, including online curriculum modules and virtual experiments, and ran teachers’ workshops. This effort yielded a wealth of data to help plan future public engagement on NT and manage their regulation.
The initial message presented in this report is based on NanOpinion results from the outreach and engagement activities (Monitoring Stations and Street Labs) showing the attitude of people towards NT, this way demonstrating the urgent need for more public and civil engagement in the NT topic.
NanOpinion messages shaped for policy-makers in this report are formed as recommendations on the need and the models to engage, inform, educate and engage citizens on NT.
Public engagement in NT will serve policies leading to better competitiveness, attractiveness of regions including the environmental dimension. It will also enable job creation. In order to create good recommendations key stakeholders should be engaged in the formulation process through group discussions at workshops or conferences.
NanOpinion has been a very good pilot to test a methodology to facilitate participatory governance of NT. The reflections have also focused on what is the right impact of innovation. They are extremely diverse, and feature prominently in EU research strategy. Yet few citizens know much about them. The NanOpinion project delivered new insights and recommendations on this question.
The recommendations stress the importance of continuity of projects like NanOpinion and similar activities to pursue the outreach and engagement efforts. The recommendations are thus focusing on what policy-makers can do to support NT outreach activities to the general public.

In the case of NanOpinion, it can be summarised as:
-Funding to maintain the platform.
-Funding for having the NanOpinion Monitoring Stations to continue travelling, stimulating introductory dialogues and participatory workshops and collecting data of people’s opinion on NT.
-Funds for translation of educational resources and for new outreach resources and materials.
Hard to reach citizens respond to introductory dialogues in venues were they normally spend time (malls, parks, libraries, waiting areas in hospitals, airports, or at work). An eye-catching stand helps draw people in, but give-aways and additional information are also essential. Facilitators are important. Their number, background, attitude, performance and understanding of the target group are decisive.
Education policies must support a more flexible STEM curriculum, and support teachers with training, and with access to NT science researchers. Teachers need a minimum background and training in NT. Rewards, certificates, and money for consumables can all help. Formal education serves well to launch public engagement if materials are adapted to curriculum needs.
The experience from the NanOpinion project suggests there are many opportunities for improving stakeholder involvement in discussion of NT in the future. The public and consumers have to be engaged in the Research and Innovation process, and in the debates on regulation, social implications and labelling. We need regular monitoring of people’s opinion as NT develops. Public concerns include wishing for assurance that there can be an NT exit strategy.
We know that reflective and consultation methodologies help citizens form their opinion, and can inform policy-makers and help design future programmes. They facilitate real participation in the Research and Innovation system. Public engagement activities prompt reflection and seeking more information, and thus are a good start to public discussions. They need time and money to organize. Participants also need time to focus on the topic.
Public engagement should thus not only offer punctual consultation activities but rather continuing programmes. It needs a sustainable information and dialogue hub and ongoing public activities.

List of Websites:
The following addresses are directly connected with the project.
Web portal:
Major results of the project are also published at: