CORDIS - EU research results


Periodic Reporting for period 2 - RESSQUA (RESEARCHERS SQUARE)

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

The European Researchers’night RESSQUA, Researchers Square 2015 was designed to increase the awareness of researchers’ work as a solution to the numerous challenges faced by people all around the world and mainly in Europe.

The motto of the project, namely “Better Living through Science: from Social Sciences and Humanities to Maths and Technology”, was conceived in a time of crisis, where the need of joining efforts towards innovative and creative solutions aimed at stimulating youth's interest for research and science careers.
The project also intended building bridges between researchers and general public in all its components, pointing out the potential answer science represents to the current societal challenges; this was also an opportunity for collecting citizens’ reactions and concerns.

RESSQUA actually consisted of the fourth experience of European Researchers’ Night in Andalusia. The intensive awareness campaign launched aimed at reaching whether possible each and every citizen within the region.

Managed by Fundación Descubre, notably relying on its experience in managing 3 previous European Researchers’ Night projects in Andalucia, the consortium was composed of eight Andalusian universities, the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), the Ministry of Economy, Innovation, Science and Employment (CEICE), the Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research and Training (IFAPA), and two of the most important botanical institutions, all dedicated to higher education, research, Science popularization and non-formal education in Andalusia.

The project’s main objectives were as follows:
o Stimulating young people’s motivation to study Science and pursue careers in Science;
o Stressing the importance of Science for a better life;
o Bringing Researchers closer to citizens in a meeting full of Science and fun;
o Illustrating the importance of the European support and the international cooperation in the development of our region
Researchers from all participating insitutions were highly mobilised from the very start, as were municipalities. The broad range of activities offered on main busy streets and squares, museums, theatres, and historical buildings of the eight Andalusian cities, included science shows, experiments, workshops, guided tours, circuits, dating with researchers, exhibitions, debates and roundtables, conferences, quizzes, games, competitions, sports, science and food…
Target audiences
o Public at large regardless of age and scientific background;
o Special attention to be paid to families, students and young people, social and civil associations;
o Focus on young people facing a career choice;

Messages conveyed
o Researchers are amongst us;
o Researchers are ordinary people with an extraordinary job;
o Science is a way for attaining social welfare and peace;
o The future of the planet highly depends on researchers’ work;
o Investing science is investing in future;
o Union of researchers reinforces the Union of European civil society;
Towards students and young people
o Study careers in science are interesting and fun;
o The future of the planet highly depends on researchers’ work;
o Science is fun and easy since it’s close;
o Researchers are people committed to their environment;
o The future of the planet highly depends on researchers’ work;
o Investing in science is investing in future;
Social and civil organisations
o Science is a way for attaining social welfare and peace;
o The future of the planet highly depends on researchers’ work;
o Being a researcher is being an active member of the community;
o Researchers are people committed to their environment;

Main communication tools to rely on
Off line
o Organisation of press conferences;
o Press releases
o Airing of promotional spots, announcements, advertisements programmes, interviews on several TV and radio stations;
o Direct mailings to social organisations and schools;
o Visits to students, local and regional administrations,;
o Presentations and preparation of promotional/informative files;
o Public advertising (urban furniture, participants’ and sponsors’ premises);
o Display of promotional material (newsletters, brochures…);
On line
o Revamping, constant updating and maintenance of project websites;
o Revamping, updating and maintenance of social networks profiles (Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+, Divulgared)
o On line advertising campaign (banners and ads);
o Electronic mailings to participants’ network of contacts;

Promotional material
o Programmes, posters, brochures, newsletters, pictures, roll ups;
o Banners, ads, links to institutional, European and popular websites;
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 (such as stickers and T-shirts) (displayed through the European corner notably), complying with the general guidelines available at

Overview of the results
o Conception, realisation of promotional material, such as posters, programmes, roll ups, photocalls, postcards, T-shirts, stickers, brochures, canvas and banners displayed in libraries, shops and restaurants of the cities;
o Graphic and audiovisual coverage of the activities , production of 73 promotional videos and news, official acts, app for IOS and Android
o Public advertising:billboards, citylights, display of promotional material in street, public spaces, both static and dynamic (bicycles);
o Advertising in public places and public transport : panels, bus stops, buses, shopping malls, buildings' facades, street marketing…
o Direct promotion during other public events;
o Airing of annoucements/advertising /programmes/interviews on radio and TV stations: national and regional stations, media partnership with regional TV station RTVA, broadcast of national programme;
o Invitations sent (popular and institutional websites, municipalities and region capitals, media, schools, associations of parents/students, , various associations, chambers of commerce, public services and foundations…;
o Mailings and phone calls to institutions, opinion leaders, researchers from participating institutions;
o Pre-events:
o Visits:regional/local institutions, educational institutions, teachers centres, associations;
o Meetings with institutions and companies ;
o Organisation fo 9 press conferences;
o Publication of press releases and press notes displayed to Andalusian cities prior to the event;
o Setting up and dissemination of a general press dossier and of 8 specific ones for each province involved;
o Publication of 299 on and off line articles, interviews, announcements, advertising in the main newspapers of the cities;
o Revamping, constant updating of the project website (national) and Andalusian (ERN features, characters, schedule, witnesses, news, programme…);
o Links with popular and institutional websites notably those of participating institutions ;
o 145.136 visits to website of which 72.338 on the Andulisan one, 514.073 page visited, of which 297.073 on the Andalusian site;
o Revamping and constant updating of social network profiles, Facebook, Twietter, Flickr, LinkedIn (announcements and detailed information, public advertising, banners);
o 381 likers on Facebbok, over 10.000 friends, 451 followers on Twitter, hashtag used over 6.100 times, over 78.300 page views, 73 video uploaded on YouTube;
o Annoucement of the event in on-line agendas of universities and participating institutions; as well as scientific, leisure and cultural guides and institutions;
o Sending of newsletters;
o About 2.9 million people made aware of the European Researchers' Night and its objectives.

List of locations and venues involved
o Almería: Rambla Federico García Lorca and Patio de los Naranjos, Delegation of the Andalusian Government in Almería;
o Cádiz: Casa de Iberoamérica;
o Córdoba: Royal Botanic Garden of Córdoba, Duque de Rivas Gardens, Auditorium University of Córdoba, Institute for Advanced Social Studies, Andalusian Patios of Córdoba, several bars around the city;
o Granada: Paseo del Salón and premises of the participating institutions;
o Jaén: El Corte Inglés square (shopping mall) and Former College of Magisterium;
o Huelva: Plaza de las Monjas;
o Málaga: Plaza de la Marina, Rectorado, Alborania Museum and Eduardo Ocón auditorium;
o Seville: Plaza Nueva and City Hall.

Main types of activities planned
Science shows, experiments, workshops, guided tours, circuits, dating with researchers, exhibitions, debates and roundtables, conferences, quizzes, games, competitions, sports, science and food…

Detailed programme of activities
Common elements to all locations
Theme: ‘Better living though science: from social sciences and humanities to maths and technology’.
Common structure: micro talks by researchers or entrepreneurs for registered attendees, workshops, leisure activities, general presentation of the event (at the same time in all locations), synchronised ceremony shared on social networks;
Common type of activities: as described above;

o Researchers’ Festival: exhibition of several project results by university researchers;
o Workshops: insects as an alternative emerging food, robots and drones, Recreational mathematics, Caring water. Emerging technologies for the efficient irrigation water use, Mobile app applied to our local productive environment…
o Physical Activity and Sport Sciences;
o 2015 : International Year of Light;
o The Calar Alto Observatory and the International Year of Light;
o Geo-spatial data acquisition at different scales: Terrestrial Laser Scanner and Very High Resolution Satellite Imagery;
o Automatic, Robotics and Mechatronics for all;
o Water treatment and reuse through solar technology;
o Healthcare for immigrants and International Cooperation in Health;
o Micro talks: energy, agriculture, migration, research, communication…

o 15 Scientific workshops for children: Have fun with science; Potassium magic; Curiosity killed the ... invertebrate!; Can we do science? Yes!; Assistance strandings of cetaceans and sea turtles; Pirates and shipwrecks, etc.
o Micro talks (at least 8 meetings): Healthy marshes to adapt to climate change; Salt and hypertension; Underwater archeology and knowledge of shipwrecks; A window to learn more about pain, etc.
o Scientific tastings: wine and seaweed tasting, tasting of cosmetic products made from winemaking and winery wastes.

o Science fair ‘Little big investigators meeting’: students and teachers from primary and secondary schools exhibiting their projects and experiments related to science and environment;
o Scientific wine tasting “with your five senses”;
o Fair of the inventiveness: outreach workshops by 17 scientific teams from participating institutions, including a Kid’s corner and the European Corner;
o Gala ‘The Rythms of Science’: researchers and artists share the stage to pay tribute to Science;
o Gathering of 3 researchers in different scopes, with citizens to explain their projects while a cook is preparing the typical Cordoban “perol” to be later tasted by the participants;
o Debate ‘The Ring of Science: Can humanities be scientific?’;
o 12 micro talks between research groups and citizens at emblematic Patios of Cordoba and bars (social studies, botany, biology, archaeology, medicine...).

o Workshops and experiments in the Kids’ Corner;
o Workshops and experiments by the University;
o Workshops, micro talks and observation with professional telescopes remotely “from Granada to space”;
o Workshops and experiments by the Estacion experimental del Zaidin;
o Workshops and encounters with scientists in the participants’ premises;
o Workshops and experiments by the University (Campus Universitario de Melilla);
o Micro talks in participating institutions' premises of the (Centro Andaluz de Medio Ambiente, Estación Experimental del Zaidín, and BioBanco del Sistema Público Andaluz).

o 7 workshops and experiments: Math on the Street, The Marsh: An amphibian threatened ecosystem, Ciencia terapia, Microalgae: applications, etc.
o 4 micro talks and scientific tastings;
o Kid’s corner;
o Train route through the historic heritage of Huelva;
o Motostudent;
o Home experiments providing scientific explanations.

o Workshops (10) adapted to several ages and topics (Science and sport, ‘Detectives of food’, ‘Making geometry with soap bubbles’, ‘Paint light and shadow in science’, etc);
o Science shows for young kids: storytelling, literature…
o Theatre and magic;
o Exhibitions (4), on various research topics;
o Micro talks (5), such as ‘High energy astrophysics: the violent Universe’ or ‘How does that sound? Our memory for faces and names’;
o Scientific show and reward ceremony for scientific disseminators.

o Workshops and scientific experiences;
o Micro talks (groups of 15 people talking with researchers about problems, hopes, interests or science topics);
o Round tables / Debates dedicated to several gender issues, especially about the participation of women in science;
o Researchers’ hobbies show: singing, playing, making music, performing funny monologues…;
o Scientific tour: Alborania Museum.

o Workshops on various topics by participating institutions;
o Quizzes, science questions game (elaborated by CSIC), for assessing one’s scientific knowledge while having fun;
o Competitions: drawing (launched in the previous works in schools) and final exhibition of the artworks during the night;
o Science shows and demonstrations by participating institutions;
o Roundtables and discussions with researchers about their activity and its potential societal benefits;
o Music by groups including researchers;
o City tours: 4 different tours guided by researchers, discovering geological, historical and cultural heritage;
o Coordination and synergies with the XXVI race of Sevilla, joint activities reinforcing the idea of health and sport for growth;

European corners
Number: 8, one in each location;
Location: always in a frequented area of the city involved;
o Display of information about EU programmes and policies;
o Presentation of research results of EU-funded projects;
o Witnesses by researches having benefited from EU support (MSCA or others);
o Permanent presence of personnel likely answering all audience’s questions (Europe direct, European project officers from universities, documentalist…)
o European Researchers' Night MSCA roll-up (entrance of the event) complying with the following content and format requirements: 200 X 85 cm, and the mentions: ‘European Researchers' Night’, ‘Marie Skłodowska-Curie: an inspiration to follow’;
o An image provided by the European Commission;

Overview of the results
o Offer a total of 424 activities as planned in the Annex I part B to the Grant Agreement, namely:
o 236 hands-on experiments, science shows and workshops;
o 95 debates and microtalks with researchers;
o 58 hands-on experiments and workshops designed for kids;
o 10 guided visits;
o 2 competitions;
o 23 entertainment activities;

o Active involvement of 1.335 researchers, of whom:;
o 27 having benefitted from Marie Curie schemes;
o 88 having benefitted from another EU support;

o Attendance of 64.000 visitors having taken part in the activities offered, of which
o 10.000 in Almería
o 2.500 in Cádiz
o 8.000 in Córdoba
o 10.000 in Granada
o 4.000 in Huelva
o 5.500 in Jaén
o 9.000 in Málaga
o 15.000 in Seville.

Description of the current situation
o Relying on the last edition of the international study on scientific culture funded by Fudnacion BBVA in 2011;
o Andalusian population average about information/involvement in scientific issues and careers (FECYT, 2010);
o Previous impact assessment exercises in the framework of previous Researchers night’s events;

The main conclusions of the impact assessment stem from the preliminary analysis of data obtained from the following sources:
o Rough estimates of the number of participants in the activities;
o Postcard self-administered questionnaires to participants;

Indicators and parameters to be applied
o Qualitative: public perception of researchers and their work: associations with the word “researcher”, characteristics of actual and desired researchers, interest expressed in science and research, enthusiasm for research careers, typology of attendees, will to attend similar future events…;
o Quantitative: number of hits on website, unique visitors, page views, pages per visit, average visit duration, geographical distribution, number of friends/followers on social networks, attendees, completed blogs and visits, number of press articles, number of promotional items displayed;

Selection of the sample
o Method: random selection.
o Absolute figures: 5% of the attendees at overall level provided a feedback.
o Collection and processing of 6.550 feedbacks from attendees through on line and off line questionnaires;
o Collection and processing of 452 feedbacks from researchers having conducted the activites.
Main conclusions:
o Typology of visitors: wide age range (35,4 % under 19), average age 29, 59 % male attendees, most attendees accompanied, 54 % of families, 44% with friends, only 7 % alone attendees;
o Overall positive feedback regarding the events, with 58 % of very positive assessment and 34 % of good ones;
o Increased public participation compared to previous editions;
o Increased researchers' participation compared to previous editions, with 1.335 researchers actively involved, of whom 51, 98 % male and 48, 02 % female;
o Increased knowledge of science and researchers (94 % responders);
o General intention expressed to take part in future similar events (97 %).

The ‘Researchers Square’ (RESSQUA) project was designed to make citizens understand the importance of Science in their daily lives and to face the challenge of building bridges between researchers and people. The consortium indeed won the challenge of increasing the impact and visibility of the European Researchers’ Night in the cities; as such, it reached better results and awakened scientific vocations in young people; it also contributed promoting female and under-represented minority students’ participation; the citizens had the opportunity discovering the 'human face' of research through direct exchanges and activities, and approaching Andalusian researchers who have contributed with their work to the development of Science and stimulate interest in our society for research and for whom building it every day.

In order to reach these objectives, the consortium planned a schedule full of interactive and fun activities (workshops, meetings, Science fairs, performances, theatre…) to bring closer the scientists to the Andalusian families and the general public, trying to attract students to STEM careers. ‘Researchers Square’ bet for bringing Science out of the labs, by organizing a Science Fair, including workshops, micro talks, storytelling, city tours, tastings, etc.

The programme also included a lot of activities for young people, with a view to attracting them to scientific careers in a different way, namely a direct contact between the scientists devoting their lives to research and those who must choose his career in the coming years. The number of activities organized by the institutions in the consortium increased, exceeding 400 during each of the two-year celebration of the Night.

The ‘Researchers Square’ project aimed that one in three citizens in Andalusia were aware of the European Researchers Night through the awareness campaign. The agreement with Radio Television of Andalucía (RTVA) as collaborator of the project and the broadcast of the national show 'La Ventana' (Cadena Ser) from Cordoba to mark the European Researchers' Night in 2015 (estimated audience: 1 million people) ensured the coverage of the event. In parallel, contact with mass media through interviews, press conferences, notes, reports in popular science blogs, a coordinated presentation, radio and television appearances... successfully achieved the objectives with more than 2,5 and 2,9 million people made aware of the ERN.

For the first time, in addition, the consortium had the strong support of local institutions and municipalities in all cities, ensuring their involvement and support to bring the Night to their cities. The support from major public and private institutions of every city hosting the event allowed Researchers' Night to promote a model change in particular through the main street activity.
Participating universities and research centres encouraged the participation through their own tools for internal and external communications, with the help of participating researchers.

As a result, a greater number of researchers got involved in the activity, so that the participation of researchers increased tenfold in Andalusia. The event aimed at involving 1.854 researchers in the activity in the period 2014-15.The participation however registered 2.510 representing an increase by 35,38% .

Regarding the attendance, holding activities in the main streets of eight Andalusian cities multiplied the impact of previous years, moving from 7.741 people in 2013 to 51.700 in 2014 in 2014i and 64.000 in 2015. In total, the number of visitors during period 2014-15 reached 115 .700 people, 8,94 % over the objective set up in the proposal and ten times higher than the attendance gathered in the previous two years.

Equal opportunities in access to science were promoted by the consortium. Women scientists had a very active participation in the event, since they represented 47,25% of researchers involved in ERN, while the female participation in 2012 only reached 37%.

The project ‘Researchers Square’ was identical for 2014 and 2015.The strategy chosen by the consortium for 2014 and 2015 however established a scope for flexibility in the 2015 event, according to the results of the first celebration. The results of the initial impact assessment were implemented in the organization of the second event

After completion of the event, the consortium partners held a meeting in order to evaluate the results of the two-year project and propose improvements for the next editions. Likewise, the institutions intend developing a joint document from the impact assessment report of the activity, in order to use the data obtained in ERN to raise awareness of the importance of knowing and recognizing the work of the Andalusian researchers.

The consortium meeting and the joint document from the impact assessment will constitute the key document to improve the organization of the event in 2016 and 2017.

The consortium of European Researchers' Night in Andalusia will also try improving the results obtained in these two years with the new two-year project through a more relevant choice of venues. Following a period of rapid growth, the next step for the organization of 'Researchers Square' is to improve some qualitative aspects that will enable a better experience for both participants and researchers involved in the event.

In this regard, the activities have already been celebrated in the main streets of the eight Andalusian cities, although the consortium still has a greater effort to undertake in some cities, with a higher concentration of activities in the busiest areas.

As for the type of activity, RESSQUA offered a greater number of interactive activities, of which a large part specifically addressed children or the whole family. The consortium will face during the next two years the challenge of further increasing the number of interactive activities as well as those addressing the general public in a unique place similar to European Corner. The organization will organise most of the activities addressing lids and young people during the first hours of the celebration, leaving the adult activities for the last few hours.

The variety of the consortium and the huge research capacity within the participating institutions allowed dedicating an important place to the scientific celebrations, such as the International Year of Light in 2015.

Efforts of the consortium will mainly regard the women's participation in the events, as well as the active involvement of researchers having benefitted from Marie Curie schemes and from FP 7/HORIZON 2020 in the activities offered.

A further effort also needs to address a major accessibility of the events to people with disabilities.

Clearly the Researchers' Nights will not, as such, have a measurable socio-economic impact. They nevertheless can have a certain influence about the relationships between research institutions, universities etc. operating in the area and having cooperated for the project, likely to go on after it and generate further synergies and positive impact for the territory concerned.

The RESSQUA Researchers’ Night, which involved some companies, including small and medium ones operating in the area, also contributed facilitating the setting up of bridges between research and industry and, as such, lead to employment and innovation.

Specifically, the project included the participation and support of several large companies such as Cosentino and Puleva (through Puleva Nutrition Institute), which showcased their work in R & D to develop and apply to its production, with the presence of researchers who developed their career in Andalusian universities, and the active participation of Parque Tecnológico de Ciencias de la Salud de Granada (PTS), a place for the development of pharmaceutical, life sciences and food industries.

In addition to the setting-up of the first industrial plant of the Spanish pharmaceutical company Rovi and the participation of the company Pfizer in the project GENyO, the Andalusian Center of Excellence for Research into Innovative Medicines is also present in the Park, a collaborative project run by the Andalusian Ministries of Health and Finance, the University of Granada and the pharmaceutical company Merck, Sharp & Dohme (MSD). Rovi, Novartis and Ferrer International have set up the Alentia Biotech platform, aimed at building a flu vaccine production plant.

In the field of e-Health, the Telefónica R+D Center of Excellence specializes in the development of advanced systems, platforms and services to apply ICT to healthcare, and companies like Inves BioFarm, Abbott, Vircell and institutions like the Functional Foods Research and Development Centre (CIDAF) design and develop their implementation.

Along with this, the European Researchers’ Night added the presence of spin-offs arising in Andalusian research centres as well as small and medium enterprises engaged in outreach and science, such as Dicsa Science and Innovation, Triana Sci & Tech, Ciencialia, Seabery, Sombradoble, ArqueoEduca or Fun Science Fun Science.

RESSQUA Researchers'Night also contributreed to strengthening the links between scientific and non-scientific population through the active participation of institutions such as Andalusian Centre for Viticulture Research (CAIV), the Institute of Electron Microscopy and Materials (IMEYMAT), the Institute of Biomedical Research in Malaga, the Andalusian Nanomedicine and Biotechnology Center. Indeed such institutions strengthen the presence of science among the general public through their daily work.

The involvement of research platforms and associations dedicated to popularizing science through interactive and participating activities, such as Hablando de Ciencia or Empyria without a doubt contributed to the same result.