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2014-2015 Researchers' Night: The Greek events

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - ReN2014-15 (2014-2015 Researchers' Night: The Greek events)

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

The European Researchers’ Night event 2015 “ReN 201415” took place in 5 different major Greek cities, namely Athens, Greek capital, Thessaloniki, Patras, Heraklion and for the first time Trikala. These cities are spread almost nationwide and cover around two thirds of Greece’s total population ensuring a firsthand experience of ReN201415 activities from a large audience.
The consortium managing the project consisted of prestigious universities and research centres, which over the years have built extended networks that ensure maximum visibility of the events.
An intensive awareness campaign was undertaken, including TV, radio spots and interviews of highly profiled researchers at national level, spreading the messages throughout the country while; at local level, traditional communication ways of promotion were blend with innovative ones to stimulate the curiosity of local communities.
The project addressed the public at large in all its components, with a strong focus on young people and kids, in particular young people having not yet made their career choice.
In such a context, the benefits and interests of the researcher’s profession were described and illustrated thanks to the numerous researchers directly and actively involved in the activities in direct contact with the audience.
The broad range of activities offered included hands-on experiments, shows, simulations, presentations, interactive lectures, workshops, games, competitions, demos and guided visits.
The events were mainly located in central places of the cities, consequently offering the possibility of interaction between the public and the researchers; most activities related to the problems of the local community and the solutions that researchers could provide.
Target audiences
o Public at large regardless of age and scientific background;
o Special attention to be paid to schools (with assistance of local directorates of secondary education) in particular towards students facing a career choice;

Messages conveyed
o Research has a positive influence on society;
o Researchers are ordinary people with an extraordinary job;
o Being researcher might be demanding, but is also fascinating and many incentives exist (good purposes for working, excellent working conditions, independence at work, profitable profession)
o European and international cooperation are of utmost importance for research success;
o Europe cares for its researchers;

Main communication tools to rely on

Off line
o Publication of articles, interviews, announcements, advertisements in newspapers; Airing of promotional spots and interviews on radio and TV stations (3 most popular TV channels at national level, local TV stations, airing of spots on local radio stations through partners’ contacts);
o Ride with a researcher: advertising of the events on the taxis themselves and taxis drivers accompanied by researchers allowing for exchanges with “clients;
o Advertisement at public transportation (Posters and advertisements at passengers information displays)
o Street value of science: performance by a music band led by a well-known researcher, presenting a combination of talks, music, visual aids and presenting individual achievements of research projects (playing in Thessaloniki during the event itself);
o Street Theatre in local urban buses and other outdoor public spaces (Thessaloniki event)
o Dance in the streets of Thessaloniki under sounds of science
o Researchers’ Night balloons for the kids
o Visits to secondary schools explaining the research concept and its contribution to society;
o Pre-events: bicycle race, researchers and citizens being involved (one day prior to the event);

On line
o Revamping , constant updating and maintenance of project website;
o Revamping, updating and maintenance of social networks profiles;
o E-banners
o Articles/Inserts in popular websites
o Links with participants’ websites, institutional websites, EU ones and other popular ones (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn);

Promotional material
o Leaflets, posters, at both local and national levels, invitations;
o Bridge banners
o Balloons with the RN logo
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 (displayed through the European corner notably), complying with the general guidelines available at

Overview of the results
o Conception, realisation of promotional material: posters in various formats, leaflets, programmes (various sizes), banners, give away (balloons);
o Advertising in public places (cafes, stores, malls, libraries) and public transport through posters or electronic displays;
o Publication of press releases: 2 for each event (10 in total);;
o Publication of articles, interviews, announcements, advertising in written press;
o Airing of announcements, advertising, programmes and interviews on radio and TV stations, both national and local (permission of Greek National Council for Radio and Television to air the spot as ""social message""), such as Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation,Channel 3;
o Organisation of pre-events:
o ”Street Theatre”;
o “Scientific Dance”;
o Distribution of balloons in Thessaloniki, Pyrgos, Amorgos, Chios and Patras;
o Revamping, constant updating and maintenance of project website:; (detailed info, objectives, article…)
o 9.500 unique visitors on project website , 42.000 page views
o Revamping and constant updating of social network profiles (Facebook, Twitter);
o 1.804 likes on Facebook"
Clearly the Researchers'Nights will not, as such, have a measurable socio-economic impact. Nevertheless, in many cases, the collaboration that has been achieved among research institutions, universities etc of the same area is like to generate further synergies and positive impact for the territory concerned.
Many Researchers' Nights events furthermore collaborate, directly or not, with the local private sector, including small and medium size companies.
Such collaboration can facilitate the setting up of bridges between research and industry and, as such, lead to employment and innovation.
Notable examples in ReN2014-15 project were the participation in several events (i.e. Athens, Thessaloniki) of local chambers of commerce.
Additionally, in Thessaloniki, several companies participated in the event to promote the collaboration between research and private sector. «BMW Hellas» offered their electric cars in an effort to increase awareness to green vehicle technology and “Keramaris S.A.” (local SME in the food sector) presented its works, in collaboration with CERTH’s institute of Applied Biosciences (INAB), for the production of more nutrient foods.

Overview of the results

o Collection, analysis and processing of 855 feedbacks through filled in questionnaires;
Main conclusions:
o Typology of visitors: about 66 % female, 33 % male, aged 40-54 for 43 % responders, half of responders having a university degree and 86% newcomers;
o Knowledge of the event: social media followed by “Banners/posters in the city” and articles on the Internet;
o Overall positive feedback regarding the event itself (activities, interest, contacts with researchers, concrete organisation, scheduling, venues and locations, entertainment, volunteers);
o Most successful activities: interactive experiments and robots ;
o Less successful activities: speeches;
o Impact on public image of researchers and their work: Increased awareness about the societal impact of the researchers' work, in particular towards citizens' daily lives;
o Increased awareness about the importance of research activities for the progress of society;
o Impact on interest for scientific careers, in particular amongst young people: Increased interest for science and science careers expressed by visitors in particular young people, after having taken part in the Night's activities.
o 87% of the participants were aware that the EC was the main funding body of the Nights;
o Possible improvements: a longer lasting event, starting early in the afternoon and lasting until late at night.
Visitors at FORTH during the RN 2015 event
Kids after participating in one of the interactive games in Patras
Moment from the 2015 Trikala RN event
Audience gathered in one of the activities of the Athenian event
The logo of the 2015 RN
Kids are playing outdoors in one of the many activities specially designed for kids
Public watches a researcher talking about the research profession accompanied by an acro-yoga team