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Researchers in the Knowledge Triangle

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - K-TRIO 2 (Researchers in the Knowledge Triangle)

Reporting period: 2015-01-01 to 2015-11-30

"K-TRIO 2 consortium had already organized the Bulgarian Researchers’ Night for several years in different cities.
The public opinion surveys show the Researchers’ Night has become by now a popular event in many Bulgarian cities, the Researchers’ Night being considered a regular “Fall rendez-vous” in various cities with a lot of fun and interaction with researchers.
The project offered citizens various opportunities to interact and have fun with researchers and innovators, in several Bulgarian cities, namely Sofia, Rousse, Plovdiv, Stara Zagora, Varna and Burgas.
The project’s main goal consisted of enhancing public recognition of researchers and innovators and their role in society as well as of encouraging young people in Bulgaria to embark on research careers. In the framework of the Europe 2020 strategy, the project focused on the need for increasing the number of researchers and innovators in Europe and fostering the interest of the society and the youth, in particular, to research and innovation.
In such context, the project pursued the following objectives:
o Disclosing to the public the less known sides of life and work of researchers;
o Breaking stereotypes;
o Showing them as professionals and ordinary people;
o Highlighting the EU support in favour of researchers, their role in the Knowledge triangle and for building the Innovation Union;
o Involving citizens in debates on the contribution of researchers to European economy and society, as well as in ideas generation and open innovation;
o Fostering active citizenship position on the policy for growing research talents and making research and innovation attractive for young people.
The activities offered addressed the public at large in all its components with a special focus on young people (children, teen-agers and students) and their parents and teachers. Over 2000 students were engaged within the ""Atelier of young talents"". The broad programme included science cafés, guided visits in labs and museums, cabinets of curiosity, exhibitions, and entertainment."
Target audiences
o Public at large regardless of age and scientific background (including journalists and editors, teachers in secondary schools, entrepreneurs, generally interested adults and parents);
o Special attention to be paid to kids and young people, especially those facing a career choice(more generally kids aged 5-7, 7-11, 11-14 and 14-18 and students 19-25)
Messages conveyed
o Focused on researchers: Researchers are amongst us; Researchers are ordinary people with an extraordinary job;
o Related to the main objectives of bringing researchers closer to the public at large and stimulating young people to embark on scientific careers, as well as understanding research: Science is cool; Scientists as role models.
Main communication tools to rely on
Off line
o Publication of announcements, articles, advertisements in mainstream press – at national and local level (in Russe: Bryag and Utro, Stara Zagora Newspaper, National Business Post newspaper);
o Special rubrics in several publications: “Science” magazine, Plovdiv university press, Online Journal Educational forum.
o Airing of programmes, interviews, promotional spots on both regional and national radio and TV stations:;
o Promotion during other public events in Sofia and Plovdiv;
o Organisation of a press conference at Bulgarian Telegraph Agency (BTA) press centre in Stara Zagora;
o Specific announcements to target groups during pre-events for the competitions organised for kids and students at national (by NBU) and local levels (in Varna, Russe, Stara Zagora and Plovdiv), as well as for young innovators within the Innovation Lab and Start IT Smart Innovation Fairs;
Direct marketing:
o Distribution of flyers by students in the universities campuses, and in the city centre;
o Circulation of retro tram car from 1910 decorated with special ERN posters traveled through the central part of Sofia with NBU students directly promoted the events(free) ;
o Movie teaser based on 10 years Researchers Night in Bulgaria’ displayed in train stations;
o Distribution of posters in public spaces, such as most popular venues, schools, university buildings, main streets, public buildings, local authorities, cultural institutions, youth clubs and NGOs;
o Mailing of personal invitations to staff of partners organisations and their networks;
o Attracting the MTel Media Masters award (substituting the planned launch of the Annual Science Journalism competition);
On line
o Revamping, constant updating and maintenance of project website and announcements of partners local sites;
o Revmaping, constant updating and maintenance of social networks profiles and promotion (Twitter, Facebook, and social media such as YouTube, targeted forums and external portals, on-line media);
o Special Facebook campaign including paid advertisement;
o Announcement of the Researchers’ Night on the sevezral Internet pages( such as “Darik News”, “Ruse Info”, “Ruse Plus”, “Ruse Portal”, newspaper “Utro”, “Ruse Free Spirit City”, “Kmeta”, “Bulgarian telegraph agency”, “Our Net”, “Topnovini”, Darik news website, Stara Zagora municipality, Stara Zagora TV, BTA Stara Zagora, National Business Post, Stara Zagora News, Cherno more, Moreto, Puls, Medical News, Monitor, Varna Utre, Varna 24, Kmeta, Vesti, Nakratko, Planeta, Forum-Varna, Telegtraf, …);.
Promotional material
o Production of posters, leaflets, flyers, displayed through public places and in particular in schools and universities by all partners, including associated partners;
o Production of dedicated printed materials by NBU and JIC in collaboration with USB;
o Ads, banners on on-line media and social networks by BC;
o Mention of ""This European Researchers' Night project is funded by the European Commission under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions"" on all promotional material displayed;
o Promotional gadgets ensured by BC for all partners (displayed through the European corner notably), co"
Description of the current situation
o Previous existing studies and surveys;
o Public opinion surveys during the previous impact assessment exercises;
o Ex-ante and ex-post surveys related to public opinion on researchers, their profession and the awareness on research contribution to economy and society ;
o Poll;
o Survey especially targeted at young people (up to aged 30), including students of universities and high level secondary schools;
o Face to face interviews;
o Event satisfaction survey;
Indicators and parameters to be applied
o Qualitative: elements allowing the assessment of the public opinion on researchers and their job (associations with the word ""researcher"", characteristics of ""actual researchers"", characteristics of ""desired researchers""), interest expressed for science and research, interest expressed for science careers, typology of attendees (age, gender, occupation, background…), intention to attend similar events in the future and involvement of researchers funded by Horizon 2020 actions in the activities of the Night;
o Quantitative: number of attendees, rating of the event, participation in various activities, number of hits on website, number of friends and followers on social networks, number of promotional items displayed and media coverage…number of responses expected, interviews, quantitative evaluation of public satisfaction, number of visitors at locations of the event, total number of visits on project web page, total number of “Likes” on a Facebook, total number of recorded face-to-face interviews, articles in largest main daily newspapers, articles in daily newspapers and local magazines, posters received, audio and video contributions about the Researchers night and coverage and survey results among the youth;
Selection of the sample
o Method: random selection;
o Absolute figures: 620 respondents total at all locations
Main conclusions:
o Typology of visitors: 25 % aged between 20 and 25, 16 % aged 16-19, biggerst student group in Stara Zagora, biggest university student group in Varna and Plovidv (medical universities, 60 and 53 %), strong presence of researchers amongst attendees, although decreasing compared to previous years, 88 % newcomers in Sofia, Plovdiv and Burgas;
o Knowledge about the event: social networks (although somewhat decreasing form previous years) and word of mouth (families, friends), very mow impact of traditional media( 4-5 %);
o Overall positive feedback about the event itself (activities, interest, contacts with researchers, concrete orgnaisation, schedule, locations and venues);
o Most popular activities: exhibitions, science cafés and demonstrations;
o Wish of a certain part of the audience (15-20 %à) for a longer-lasting event;
o Some limited critics about venues and audio visual equipment in Sofia and Plovdiv;
o Some wishes for a deeper and more active involvement of the audience in debates and discussions;
o General consideration of the Reseacrhers' Night as a tradional fall appointment;
o Further efforts to be undertaken regarding the organisation of large media campaigns.

Overview of the results of the action as well as their exploitation and dissemination
Quantitative data
o About 20.250 of visitors during the 2 events;
o Over 3,5 million people made aware of the Researchers'night and its objectives
o 9 different types of activteis offered each year;
o 1.397 researchers actively invled in the activities of which:
o 32 having benefitted from Marie Curie scheme;
o 274 having benefitted from support under FP 7/HORIZON 2020;
o European corners organised during the two events;
o Number of European corners organised: 12 (6 each year);
Qualitative data

General impact of the action:
o On public image of researchers and their job: From the collected replies related to the perception on Bulgarian researchers the overall impression is that people believe that researchers are ""smart"", ""intelligent"" and ""hard workers"".
o On public im"