CORDIS - EU research results

CRO-EU-REKA! Research For Innovation, Innovation For People

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - CRO-EU-REKA (CRO-EU-REKA! Research For Innovation, Innovation For People)

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

The CRO EU REKA project was organized in Zagreb and Split, the two largest cities in the Republic of Croatia, on September 2014 and 2015.

The main theme of the European Researchers' Nights consisted of "Research for Innovation, Innovation for People".

The main purpose of the event consisted of highlighting the importance of innovation and creativity processes in research for the benefit of the society towards young people, pupils and students.

The consortium, composed of Society University of Split, and Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing at University of Zagreb brought successful researchers with high innovation track records closer to the public at large, especially
pupils and students in Croatia.

The main messages of the project related to the importance of innovation and creativity in scientific research leading to new discoveries and applications for the benefit of the society. The project also aimed at stimulating pupils and students to understand importance of science and at encouraging their interest towards science and research as an attractive career; from a more general point of view, it also intended to enhance public recognition of researchers and their work in Croatia.

The event was organized in the two largest cities in Croatia (namely Zagreb and Split) relying on a unique swap of 10 central Eureka modules between the cities, the planned modules having been "exchanged" between the two cities in 2015.

The numerous activities offered during the Night proved particularly well-suited for a wide audience and included different competitions, many modules with science shows, scientists animators, exhibitions, projections, stands and many other interactive and entertaining activities.

Target audiences
o Public at large regardless of age and scientific background;
o Special attention to be paid to kids and young people, especially those facing a career choice;

Messages conveyed
o Researchers are amongst us;
o Researchers are ordinary people with an extraordinary job;
o Importance of innovation in scientific research, promoting novel applications for the benefit of society;
o Researchers are not born genius;

Main communication tools to rely on

Off line
o Publication of articles, announcements, advertisements in written press(3 main regional and national newspapers, weekly magazines, city guides);
o Airing of short TV spot on both regional and national TV stations;
o Airing of researchers’ interviews on radio and TV national and regional stations;
o Visits of researchers to primary and secondary schools, universities, student clubs and youth associations;
o Sending of direct invitations to crucial decision makers and stakeholders in science and education;
o Meetings with various decision makers and stakeholders at both national and regional levels;
o Organisation of one press conference in both cities involved;
o Display of promotional material at schools, in public transport;
o Distribution of promotional material in public spaces by costumed researchers;

On line
o Setting up constant updating and maintenance of project website;
o Links with participants’ websites, institutional and EU websites and other popular websites;
o Setting up, updating and maintenance of social networks profiles: Facebook, Twitter, Connect Portal; Setting up of blogs;
o Posing of promotional/informative material on YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram;
o Sending of promotional/informative material through students, youth clubs, teachers associations , NGOs mailing lists;

Promotional material
o Posters, leaflets, programmes;
o Ads, banners, links with blogs and 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;

Overview of the results
o Conception, realisation of promotional material: posters of various formats, brochures, roll ups displayed in public places of the cities involved, as well as in schools and universities ;
o Public advertising: billboards, , advertsing in public transport (bus stops);
o Sending of direct invitations to national public authorities (President, Prime Minister, mayors of cities involved, regions' presidents, recortos of unvierisities, deans and professors of all institutions involved , journalists…);
o Publication of articles, interviews, announcements, advertising in magazines and newspapers, advertising in national newspapers;
o Organisation of a press conference in Zagreb (19 September 2015) with attendance of researchers, kids ambassadors of science, organising insitutions' representatives, journalists and science stakeholders;
o Publication of one press release;
o Airing of several announcements, advertisements, live programme and interviews on national and regional radio and TV stations;
o Promoiotn during other public events such as regional meetings of the STEM teachers and school principals ;
o Organisation of pre-events, mainly during the week prior to the event:
o Teasing activities: students and kids ambassadors of RN walk in Split;
o Costume actor of Nikola Tesla and kids, ambassadors of science walk in Zagreb city centre;
o Exhibition of 20 posters-banners on topics of Eureka Modules on Marmontova Street and Avenue mall halls;
o Visits of scientists in schools;
o Revamping, constant updating and maintenance of the project website, namely
o 31272 hits on project website ;
o Revamping , constant updating, and maintenance of social network profiles 5facebook, Twitter, Flickr);
o Total Facebook reach: 51.580 1.917 likes;
o 9 followers on Twitter (not popular at all in Croatia);
o About 3 million people made aware about the Researchers'Night and its objectives.

Locations and venues
o Zagreb: shopping mall Avenue, large indoor area surrounded by 3 floors galleries;
o Split: Marmontova street (central pedestrian street, prokurative square roof and fish market area in case of heavy rain or wind;

Main types of activities planned
Hands-on experiments, demos, simulations, science animators, scientist on stilts, Flash mob of scientists and students, competitions, quizzes, movie and documentary projections, labs at the open air, robotic arms, solar cars, special detectors, implants for humans, forensic investigation - crime investigation, display of films, photo sessions, scientist costumes, ...

Detailed programme of activities

o Eureka Modules:
o teams of 2-3 researchers, supported by 2-3 university students;
o Display of basic messages, through videos and pictures, drawings, ;
o Logo and background for photography of visitors, in particular pupils;
o Display of educational material;
o Possibility to interact with the researchers’ team, ask questions;
o Give away related to the module’s theme;
o Earn your diploma:
o tracking map of the activities offered and possibility of collecting “stamps” from several steps of a circuit (entertaining tasks or questions to be mentioned in a booklet received at the entrance) rewarded when 10 stamps collected;
o Animators:
o Programme-leader-narrators: in EU corners, regularly announcing information, messages, trivial questions, small quizzes;
o Street animators: students performing science street art (costumes, soap balloons, scientist on stilts…;
o Lab coat team: scientists in lab coats, offering to answer on tricky questions for visitors, handing out promotional/educational material;
o Science cinema; presentations of short science films moderated by researchers (documentary films, short critical overview by researchers);
o Flash mobs:
o Split: “life of a scientist”: story of life from childhood to old age (child, pupil, student, young scientist, senior scientists, retired scientists still active, supported by flash mob performers (dance, mimic, play);
o Zagreb: about 30 musicians (students/professors from Music Academia), gathering progressively in the streets coming out from shops and hallways, airships student-made lifted from bottom floor to the air;
o For 2015 both Split and Zagreb flash mobs will be designed based on 2014 experience with a view to celebrating 10th anniversary of Researchers’ night;
o 2015 10th anniversary of the Researchers’ night: confection of a giant 10- storey birthday cake, composed of hundreds of small cupcakes rewarding answers to questions taken from a bow (about science, EU, European Researchers’ nights, scientists…);

European corners
Number: 2
Location: northern entrance of Marmontava street in Split, right-hand side of shopping mall entrance in Zagreb;
Activities planned:
o Connections with Internet websites and most relevant EU websites;
o Presentation of the time line of Marie Curie, with costumed Marie Curie on stilts, taking also pictures with visitors; and displaying informative material;
o Presentation of 10 EU-funded projects in each city;
o Talks with scientists and technical staff from EU agencies in Croatia, answering on public questions about EU programmes and policies and promoting gender balance in research and innovation;
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 of the activities as described in the Annex I Part B to the Grant Agreement, namely:
o 52 hands-on experiments;
o 12 science shows;
o 4 workshops;
o 4 kids programmes;
o 50 guided visits;
o 60 competitions,
o 2 quizzes;
o 186 researchers involved in the implementation of the activities, amongst which:
o 9 having benefitted from Marie Curie schemes;
o 31 having benefitted from another EU support; (FP 7 or HORIZON 2020);
o 12.000 visitors having taken part in the activities offered, of which:
o 7.000 in Zagreb;
o 5.000 in Split;


Description of the current situation
o Relying on European Commission 2010 Special EUROBAROMETER report;
o Results of previous impact assessment exercise during the Croatian night 2013;
o Public polls on role models for children in both Europe and United states;
o Pre-event survey within Croatian schools, addressing both students and parents, about the children’s role models in Croatia (survey conducted in both 2014 and 2015 within the same samples of parents and kids);
o Ex-ante survey referred to above;
o On-going and ex-post surveys ;
o Ex-post survey addressing all volunteers and organisers;
o “Earn you diploma” activity, which will contain some questions similar to those raised in various surveys mentioned above;
o Face to face interviews;
Indicators and parameters to be applied
Qualitative: public opinion on researchers and science, opinion of students and their parents on student’s role models, career choices, ability self-assessment and interests, public science knowledge assessment, nights feedback assessment;
Quantitative: number of attendees, most visited stands, earned public degrees, promotional items displayed, friends and followers on social networks, hits on website, views and downloads, media coverage;
Selection of the sample
o Method: random selection
o Absolute figures: ex-ante survey in 16 schools representing about 2.000 answers, both from students and parents, 1.000 on line survey feedback, 72 detailed interviews.
Final technical report
I. Overview of the results of the action as well as their exploitation and dissemination

Quantitative data
o Overall number of visitors
o ERN2014 : 18.000 (7.000 in Zagreb and 11.000 Split);
o ERN 2015: 12. 000 (7.000 in Split + 5.000 in Zagreb);
o Overall attendees: 30.000;
o Overall number of people having been made aware of the European Researchers night and its objectives: about 3 million people;
o Overall number of activities offered:
o 25 Eureka Modules;
o 6 Lab coat teams;
o 6 street science modules;
o Earn your degree;
o 2 surprise Flash mobs;
o 2 EU corners; 4 quiz ;
o Overall number of activities: 46;
o 186 researchers actively involved in the activities, of which:
o 9 having benefitted from Marie Curie scheme;
o 31 having benefitted from support under FP 7/HORIZON 2020;
o Number of European corners organised and if available number of people having visited them: 2 EU corners (approximately visited by 30. 000 attendees in 2014-2015)

Qualitative data:

o General impact of the action:
o On public image of researchers and their job:
Question: We can no longer trust scientists to say the truth as they depend too much on industry money (% of respondents).
o On public image of science and its potential impact on citizens ‘daily lives:
Question: In my daily life it is not important to know about science (% of respondents).
o On interest expressed by young people for career sciences:
The top 10 things children said they want to be when they grow up are shown in Table 8, 126 (16.6%) of children listed more than one occupation, and 51 (6.7%) said they did don’t know.

Top 10 kids dream jobs
Job N (%)
Total 760 (100%)
football player 71 (9,3)
physician 39 (5,1)
teacher 35 (4,6)
scientist 42 (4,2)
policeman 24 (3,2)
veterinarian 22 (2,9)
sportsman 18 (2,4)
actor 17 (2,2)
pop-star 17 (2,2)
architect 17 (2,2)

Overview of the results
o Collection, analysis and processing of 3 type of feedback – before , during and after the event (surveys, questionnaires, face to face interviews); the full report is given in the WP3 report;
o Main conclusions:
o Typology of visitors: median age 35, 20,8 % female, 79,2 % male, most urban (over 93%), over 53 % full-time occupied, over 24 % students, over 33 % graduate, over 32 % secondary school;
o Knowledge about the event: word of mouth, (family, friends), Internet, public advertising, with the the radio broadcasting turning out to be the most significant source of knowledge of the event (over 50%), then Internet, and then TV;
o Overall positive feedback about the event (activities, interest, contacts with researchers, locations and venues, scheduling…concrete organisation);
o Most successful activities: Eureka modules and competitions;
o Less successful activities cinema projections of sci documentaries;
o Impact on public image of researchers and their work is hard to measure but according to the Impact assessment results from year 2014 and 2015 a slight improvement in the trust to researchers and the work they do can be noted;
o Impact on interest for scientific careers, in particular among young people: according to the Impact assessment results from both 2014 and 2015 a slight increase in the interest for scientific careers can be noted.

Other potential impact: on policies, on cooperation between research-related entities having cooperated for the action, on researchers themselves: most researchers stated in the questionnaire that the participation in the Researchers' Night and in particular presenting their works to the general public consisted of an entirely new experience fro them, which they would be willing to reiterate;

Specific impacts observed:
o Increased interest of young people for science and science careers based on the questionnaires filled in by young people;(details provided in Deliverable 3);
o Increased public awareness about science and researchers' work based on the questionnaires filled in by parents and the general public, which showed an increased trust in researchers' work and possible positive impact on society;

II. Conclusions of the action
o Has the action reached the objectives pursued?
The action entirely achieved the objectives pursued, namely bringing closer to each other researchers and the general public, enhancing the public recognition of researchers and their work, tackling the existing stereotypes about scientists and stimulating young people to embark on scientific careers.
o Are there further efforts to be undertaken?
As requested by several researchers involved in the implementation of the activities, initiatives of science popularisation will be undertaken in labs, dedicated to specific topics;
Furthermore, the participation of the institutions involved in the Researchers' Night will be intensified.
o Which improvements/modifications would you consider with a view of a future similar event?
o Location/venue
The events should rather be organised in a closed space;
o Theme
The following themes could be envisaged: future gardens, flying robots and astronomy;
o Type of activities
The interactivity should be reinforced.
o Combination between various activities
Demonstrations could be combined with quizzes as to reinforce their entertaining character, reinforcing the public active involvement;
o Involvement of researchers
Further efforts will be undertaken with a view to reinforcing the young researchers' involvement in the activities.
o Partnership
It is intended to cooperate with more numerous institutions with a view to deal with a broader diversity of topics;
o Internal relations and balances amongst partners
Efforts will be undertaken for reducing the partnership while enlarging the number of associated partners;
o Awareness campaign
The coordinator intends calling upon the services of a specialised company in order to reinforce the professionalism of the awareness campaign;

III. Socio-economic impact of the action
Clearly the European 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. In Croatia the continental part (Zagreb and surrounding area) and the coastal part Dalmatia (Split) do not host numerous institutions likely to participate in Researchers' Night, and bringing the events to Split in close collaboration with Zagreb University team allowed numerous exchanges of researchers and volunteers making the events possible. Such connections mark the first steps for important future collaborations.
Researchers' nights, when involving (whether directly within the partnership or through external cooperation) companies, including small and medium ones operating in the area, can ease the setting up of bridges between research and industry and, as such, lead to employment and innovation. Some of the food production companies participating on RN 2015 (Stella Croatica and UJE, both SME) pursued their collaboration with some research groups met during the events, notably the School of Medicine. This led to some common applied research proposals.
In case of strong presence of research communities in the territory concerned, the European Researchers' night could also have an impact on the social fabric, strengthening the links between scientific and non-scientific population.
It's worth noting the several participating researchers pointed out the scarce information amongst young people regarding some science and technological topics.