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Final Report Summary - COT-2 (Composites-on-Tour-2)

The aim of the COT-2 project was to confront the general public with the question whether and how science can change their daily life. In this project, composite materials served as the example of a recent, research based innovation that has strongly shaped and influenced our environment. The science behind composites were explained in an attractive and diverse way, and the growing interest of the general public in design and lifestyle will be used as an additional entrance gate to scientific innovations. The project consisted of a combined scientific and design exhibition (on show in six European design or science centres in six different European countries of which two new Member States: Hungary, Slovenia).

The project was conceived and supervised by the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and by Design Flanders (Belgium). It has partners in five other European countries: the Hungarian Design Council and Budapest University of Technology and Economics (Hungary), the Biennial of Industrial Design (BIO, Slovenia), Group JEC (Journals and Exhibitions on Composites, France), the Barcelona Design Centre (BCD, Spain) and Design Platform Eindhoven (The Netherlands).

After the avant-première exhibition in Leuven end 2006, the COT-2 travelling exhibition really started in Brussels on 16 February 2007 (till 18 March 2007). The exhibition attracted almost 500 visitors and was well covered and well received by the national press. This first exhibition was covered already in the year 1 report. From then on, the exhibition travelled around Europe for eight months, visiting six different countries.

Overall, an estimated 50 000 visitors have been welcomed to the COT-2 travelling exhibition.

The website, started the end of February 2006. Designers could register online. The website was continuously updated by the project coordinator, Design Vlaanderen, and featured news and reports on the announcement, registration and results of the International Composites Design Competition. The announcements of and reports on the workshops for designers, organised in the six partner countries. The announcements and publicity on the travelling exhibition. Moreover, the website was used for press releases, as a depository for press materials (pictures), links to the partner organisations. The high number of visitors shows that the website has had a very important function in the whole COT-2 project.

Moreover, several public events and press activities have been organised, in order to attract even more attention to the COT-2 initiative. Each time, the opening ceremonies attracted a lot of people (on the average about 150-200 people in each of the six different European locations). The exhibition was very well covered by TV reports (e.g. in Hungary, five minutes on the National Hungarian Television), radio interviews and reports in daily newspapers (in all six countries) and finally coverage in design magazines.