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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, 54 followers on Twitter central social network profiles, over 7.000 followers through participants' Twitter profiles;
o Sending of electronic invitations to over 20.000 destinations amongst which 2.000 schools;
o About 2.000.000 people made aware of the Researchers’ Night and its objectives.

Locations and venues

o Athens: National Technical University of Athens, Patission Historic Complex, Averof Building;
o Heraklion(Crete): FORTH premises;
o Trikala: Koursoum Tzami;
o Patras: Esperos venue (Saint George Square);
o Thessaloniki: City Port, Warehouse C;

Types of activities planned

Hands-on experiments, shows, simulations, presentations, interactive lectures, workshops, games, competitions, demos, guided visits…

Detailed programme of activities


o Opening ceremony “Science and research for a better future”;
o Round Table Discussion “Questioning - Innovation - Development - Employment: Research within Education sector”;
o Live hands-on experiments, demonstrations, computer simulations for the presentation of research results, applications through the use of up-to-date scientific portable equipment by the Research Teams of the nine Schools of National Technical University of Athens as well as of selected Schools of Universities of Athens;
o Interaction of researchers with students accompanied by their teachers or parents - discussion of researchers with the general public visiting the event;
o Live experiments - board games for students by the Experiments’ Museum of Athens
o Exhibition of NTUA School of Architecture diploma theses performed by NTUA School of Architecture students;
o Presentation of videos about the scientific achievements and research capabilities and facilities of the nine Schools of National Technical University of Athens at the Led Wall placed at the Atrium of Averof Building;
o “The interdisciplinary contribution of NTUA to the reconstruction of the historic bridge of Plaka”: presentations of the works performed - discussion of the involved NTUA Research Teams with the audience;
o Performance of shadow theatre titled “Karagkiozis inventor”;
o Music performances by NTUA Teams (singing, chorus, percussion);
o Livestreaming for the projection of the “Street value of Science” musical performance conducted at Thessaloniki NIGHT event to Athens NIGHT event;
o Treasure hunt competition “Find the Researcher” - small presents offered to the participating students after lottery;
o Thematic corners at the Atrium of Averof Building (European Corner, Research and Education Corner, Employment and Innovation Corner, Development and Sustainability Corner);
o Drawing activities for primary secondary level students aided by NTUA School of Architecture undergraduate students (Research through students’ eyes: Drawing the exhibited research achievements under their own perspective; Becoming small engineers: Sketching the Averof Building, Drawing an imaginary robot, Visualising a recycle bin of their own etc.)Guided groups visits;
o Demonstrations, interactive games, live hands-on experiments;
o Groups visits, demonstration of interactive games and live experiments;

o Demonstrations and live experiments on:
o Single photons and interference; Is light made up of particles or waves? Well, it depends;;; We present an experiment in which light travels along two different paths and behaves as both particles and waves;
o An acoustic interferometer; One moment you hear it one moment you don't; This simple experiment explores the idea of interferometry: sometimes blocking some of the sound makes it possible to hear it;
o Optoacoustic microscopy: listening to light; Demonstration of optoacoustic imaging on phantom and plant tissue samples;
o Metamaterials: New possibilities in light control; Video demonstration of the properties and possibilities of metamaterials in light control applications;
o Observatory; Video Presentation of Skinakas Observatory;
o An in silico tour of the living cell; The visitor will be guided through the inner life of the cell in a video projection (from BioVisions at Harvard University); They will be shown how macromolecules interact and how this results in the building of subcellular structures and how these function;
o Exploring the amazing fly; The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster has been at the center of biological research for over a century; Scientists perform fine manipulations on the fly's genes in order to approach basic questions about life and disease;
o Study of human diseases in a nematode model system; The Neurogenetics and Ageing lab uses the nematode Caenorhabtitis elegans to investigate the molecular mechanisms of neuronal function and dysfunction and the pathways that control ageing;
o o The hidden life of malaria parasites; Malaria is caused by the protozoan parasite Plasmodium and is transmitted by Anopheles mosquitoes;
o o An innovative platform for analysis of mosquito disease vectors; Insects pose tremendous threats to humans in two main areas; Insect borne diseases cause severe global health problems and insects are responsible for tremendous loss of agricultural production;
o o The structures of natural antibiotic peptides at the atomic resolution; Structures of molecules at the atomic resolution help researchers understand how the molecules function;
o o Bacteriaprotein factories; How can a tiny humble bacterium produce high purity products used in scientific research (cloning tools) and biomedicine (identification of DNA samples by PCR)?
o o aDDress; aDDRess is a Marie SkłodowskaCurie Initial Training Network, funded by the European Commission 7th Framework Programme;
o o Studying microcirculation through vessel measurement in retinal images; The retina comprises an open and easily accessible window for the invivo study of microcirculation;
o BeanTable; Beantable is an augmented interactive table, which offers various educative and entertaining applications to children in the age range of 3 to 7 years old;
o o Virtual Fitting Room; Virtual Fitting Room is an interactive augmented reality system which allows users to be immersed in a “virtual mirror” where they can try on clothes and accessories;
o o Hippalus A Preferenceenriched Exploratory System The Hippalus system is a preferenceenriched exploratory system which can be exploited in a number of applications (e;g;, ecommerce);
o o OctoBot; Octopusinspired compliantbody aquatic robot; Inspired by the morphology and outstanding locomotor capabilities of the octopus, an 8arm robotic swimmer was developed, fabricated primarily from compliant materials;
o o Hobbit The mutual care robot; Hobbit is a research project of the EU's 7th Framework Programme to develop a socially assistive robot that helps seniors and old people at home;
o o Rapid Emergency Deployment Communication Infrastructure REDComm; REDComm is an advanced rapid emergency deployment communication mobile node that offers connectivity both to the general public and the rescue teams;
o o Early Warning Intrusion System (EWIS); EWIS is based on a distributed network of honeypots (computer systems exposed to cyberattacks), that collect network intrusion statistics and relay them back to a central server for storage and further analysis;
o o Ocean sound lab; Education software environment (conceived by IACMFORTH): play and learn activities, presentations of underwater sounds, basic physics, and ocean acoustic propagation effects;


o Live broadcast from CERN and discussion among the researchers and the visitors;
o Exposition of ancient Greek technology presenting inventions from ancient Greece such as the road distance calculator (aka “hodometer”), “aeolosphere” of Heron, the moving automatic theatre of Heron of Alexandria (which was revived after 2000 years), …;
o Guided tours at the researchers’ stands;
o Familiarisation of local youth groups with the researcher concept: research festival;
o Research fair, research dating: stands allowing discussion with researchers and simple experiments demos;
o Demo construction by students from technical high school; assisted by their teachers;
o Demo construction from local high school;
o Tasting of dairy products and jam made in the lab using a certain technique developed by researchers;
o Interactive presentation of racing car exclusively designed and assembled by the students at the department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Thessaly.


o Presentation of recent accomplishments in health related research and health care provision;
o Innovation corner and exhibition booths, focused on research innovation, presentation of research results;
o Presentation of innovative research products and projects;
o Music corner animated by well-known DJ.;
o Interactive games (Young Researchers' brain competition);
o Drawing Competition for students from school form Patras city;

o Music concerts throughout the duration of the Night from bands consisted of researchers;
o Flying Researchers: CERTH’s AcroYoga team performing live ;
o Next generation all electric cars;
o Saxophone quarter from State Conservatory Thessaloniki;
o What is in the air? ;
o Hands-on experiments: magic of physics, experiments conducted by researchers of the Department of Physics of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki ;
o Easy trip: with video projector, experience of first hand eservices ;
o “Improve my city”, platform for managing local issues; from reporting, to administration and analysis;
o How i) clean conventional fuels, ii) clean energy from biomass, iii) clean solar fuels are produced?;
o Demonstrations: single seated racecar , electromagnetic field intensity, new materials for electromagnetic energy adsorption, DNA barcoding, socially interactive robot designed to help families and caregivers, by physically assisting people and functioning as a companion, IVUScontour (user-friendly tool for snake based contour detection on medical images) ;
o Interactive e-game for detection hands position and movement (for Parkinson’s disease research);
o Activities for younger age:
o I create the world (Digital educational platforms);
o Do you know about DNA?
o Controlling and moving robots;
o Waiting for the green light! (Interactive games for traffic education),
o Speeches on the following themes:
o Fine balance (speech on the life of a researchers balancing professional and personal life. During the speech, a professional couple was performing acroyoga exercises);
o Leading the new age to innovation;
o Internet Gaming Disorder;
o From passionflowers to soundscapes;
o The Street Value of Science

European corners
Number: 5 (one in each venue);

Athens: At the Atrium of Averof Building
Heraklion: Central FORTH Entrance
Trikala: Koursoum Tzami (Entrance of the building);
Patras: Entrance of Esperos venue
Thessaloniki: Warehouce C, at the entrance;

Overview of the results

o Offer of the activities globally as planned and described in the Grant Agreement Annex I Part B, namely:
o Dozens of hands-on experiments;
o o Cutting edge exhibitions;
o o Games and guided lab tours;
o o Speeches of prominent researchers;

o Over 600 researchers actively involved in the activities, of whom:
o 41 having benefitted from a Marie Curie scheme;
o 120 having benefitted from other EU supports, under FP 7 and/or HORIZON 2020;

o Over 16.000 visitors having taken part in the various activities offered, distributed as follows:
o Thessaloniki: 6.000;
o Patras: 1.200;
o Athens: 5.000;
o Trikala: 2.000;
o Heraklion: 2.000

Description of the current situation

o Relying on EUROBAROMETER surveys (responsible research and innovation, science and technology, Public Perceptions of Science, Research and Innovation, Public Opinion on Future Innovations, Science and Technology);

o Results of previous Researchers ‘nights impact assessment exercises;


o Short questionnaire was sent the week after the event to visitors of the Nights that have participated in the draws that were organised in all events.
o Questionnaire contained questions on public perception of researchers and research profession, of the importance of research, youth’s tendency to follow a research career, public opinion towards the efforts of the EU for supporting its researchers;
o Measurement of audience through AGB Nielsen Media research based on TV and radio spots;
o Cooperation with University of Macedonia and programme of Master administration;
Indicators and parameters to be applied

o For assessing the success of the action: number of attendees, rating of the event, participation in various activities, hits on the website, friends and followers on social networks, views of the streaming activities, videos uploaded on YouTube, number of promotional items displayed, media coverage;
o For assessing the possible impact regarding public perception of researchers: public opinion on researchers and their job, (association with “researcher”, characteristics of actual researchers, of desired researchers, interest expressed for science and research, interest expressed in science careers, typology of attendees, intention to take part in future similar events, involvement of researchers funded by HORIZON 2020, including MSCA actions;

Selection of the sample

o Method: random selection
o Absolute figures: at least 5 % of the overall attendees should provide a feedback.
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
The logo of the 2015 RN
Public watches a researcher talking about the research profession accompanied by an acro-yoga team
Audience gathered in one of the activities of the Athenian event
Kids are playing outdoors in one of the many activities specially designed for kids