CORDIS - EU research results

Friend to understand

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - Friend2U (Friend to understand)

Reporting period: 2015-01-01 to 2015-12-31

The Serbian 2015 Researchers’ Night “Friend2U” project aimed at:
o Bringing the researchers closer to the general public;
o Increasing awareness of the research and innovation activities with a view to supporting the public recognition of researchers;
o Creating understanding of the impact of the researchers' work on citizens' daily life;
o Encouraging young people to embark on scientific careers.
In line with the underlying motive of the RN concept.
Friend2U project also relied on a whole new feature of shining a light on WHO the researchers are and WHY they become researchers, i.e. their motivation and inspiration to explain WHY research matters to society.
Without losing a focus on WHAT (research carried out and its results), the project focussed on the questions of WHO and WHY in order to offer a new dimension of perceiving the researchers and offer more answers beyond the WHAT question.
The main idea of the project consisted of introducing and presenting the researchers as “ordinary people” with extraordinary jobs, and inspiring new friendships between the researchers and the general public.
The project followed the usual steps of building friendly relations, namely: introduction, becoming friends, creating together, enjoying friendship. Here, making friends with the researchers was a paradigm of learning more about their science, learning how to appreciate their work and achievements, and above all, about building trust in what friends do to keep the friendship alive.
The intensive awareness campaign 2015 was devoted to spending more time together and getting to know each other, providing time and space for interaction between the researchers and “ordinary” people, doing funny and common things together. Friends were kept in touch and provided with steady communication through a variety of entertaining and educational activities.
In a nutshell, Friend2U project mainly aimed at demystifying the existing stereotypes about researchers, increasing recognition of "who" the researchers in Serbia are and "what" they do, promoting research carried out in Serbia and researchers as role models, improving understanding of their motivation, stimulating youth interest in science and scientific career, raising public awareness of the researchers' contribution to progress and development, and highlighting the importance of the EU support to researchers and science in Serbia.
o Conception, realisation and display of promotional material (over 100.000 items each year);
o Public advertising (billbords) and advertisement on public transport (busses, Bus stops in city centre) 10 Billboards in 2015 (8 in 2014), 30 Bus stops, 25 enterior of city buses, Advertising in Shopping centre BIG Novi Sad
o Organisation of a national press conference;
o More than 300 news, announcements, ads and reports (from and) about Researchers’ Night in Serbia (three projects) appeared in media (TV, radio, internet, daily, weekly, monthly national and regional press) during four months (15 August – 15 October 2014 and 15 August – 15 October 2015
o 137 media releases were exclusive focused on activities covered by FRIEND2U project (in Novi Sad and Vojvodina), of which:
o 66 were press articles (daily, weekly, monthly national and regional press);
o 47 were TV shows, news and reports (including national TV stations and central info programs)
o 24 were radio news and announcements
o More than 200 references at different web sites about RN event
o Revamping, updating and maintenance of the project website;
o (in 2015) More than 35.000 sessions and 25.000 unique visitors to (71% unique sessions, average time on site 3:05 and 4.27 pages opened)
o Revamping, constant updating and maintenance of social network profiles (Facebook);
o Over 3.800 likes on Facebook;
o Links with popular and institutional websites (over 100 references);
o Organisation of a round table discussion about a hot topic related to science (Responsible Research and Innovation);
o Organisation of over 60 visits to primary and secondary schools;
o Organisation of 9 pre-events (in city centre, flash mobs, university campus), amongst which interactive science quizzes in form Mobile app treasure hunt in Novi Sad, Subotica, Zrenjanin and Pancevo streets;
o Over 950.000 people made aware of the Researchers' night and its objectives.

Tasks undertaken
Locations and venues
o Novi Sad: BIG Shopping Mall and Cultural Centre of Novi Sad “QUARTIER”;
o Pancevo: Gallery “Elektrika” Pancevo, Cultural Centre Pancevo
o Sombor: pedestrian street Kralja Petra I, City Museum;
o Subotica: Open University;
o Zrenjanin: Cultural Centre of Zrenjanin, National Museum Zrenjanin, Historical Archive of Zrenjanin;
o Sabac: Science Park Sabac, Center for Professional Development Sabac
Main types of activities planned
Meetings with scientists, face to face talks, display of movies, hands on experiments, demos, science shows, competition between scientists and science professionals for the best science communicator (Y factor), social activities with researchers (sport, karaoke, painting…), science quizzes, treasure hunts, puzzles, lectures, promotion of science by people without scientific background, kids programme, exhibition showing faces and interests of European researchers…
Detailed programme of activities
Theme: “Make the face of science a familiar one”
o Informal meetings with scientists in cafés (hang out), discussion about any topic of interest (science, movies, hobbies…);
o Hands-on experiments, demos, sciences shows, stories about the discoveries that changed the world;
o Competition between researchers and science professionals for the best science communicator (the Y Factor), finalists having been selected during the awareness campaign;
o Social activities with researchers (sport, karaoke, painting…);
o Interactive science quizzes, treasure hunts, puzzles, supported if necessary by scientists (help them out);
o Andorid mobile app Planet quest – very popular game before and during the event
o Lectures (3) following the several lectures given in schools during the awareness campaign, and open debate about current hot topics;
o Involvement of people without scientific background in activities promoting science (stand-up comedy, mime), science shows created by both scientists and artists, on stage experiments);
o Presentation of the winners of the scientific Olympic games (high school students);
o Exhibition in a pavilion connected to EU corner showing faces and interests of European researchers cooperating with researchers involved in the Night;

European corners
Number: at least 5 (one in each city)

Location: most buzzing area of each city involved
o Constant interaction with the audience: information about H2020 activities including MSCA actions, success stories by researchers having benefited from Marie curie actions, and FP 7, presentation of research results of several Serbian projects EU funded;
o Links with all relevant websites at EU level;
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 Organisation of the activities as planned in the Anenx I part B to the Grant agreement, amongst which:
o Exhibition stands;
o Hands-on experiments;
o Demos;
o Lectures:
o Science shows, amonst which shows by both scientists and non scientists (musicians, painters, actors) and on stage experiments;
o Storytelling about about the discoveries that changed the world;
o Competition "the best science communicator" (researcehrs and science professionals);
o Social activities with scientists (singing compeititon, sport, gaming, painting…);
o Interactive science quizzes;
o Coffee and ice cream with scientists, speed dating with researchers;
o Concerts 1;
o European Corners (5);
o Active involvement of over 320 reseachers, including:
o 3 having benefitted from Marie Curie schemes;
o 35 having benefitted from another EU support;
o Over 32.000 visitors having taken part in the activities offered, distributed as follows:
o Novi Sad: 22.000;
o Subotica: 3.500;
o Zrenjanin: 4.500;
o Pancevo: 1.000;
o Sabac: 1.000;
o Sombor: 700;
o Collection and processing of over 1.784 feedbckas (questionnaires, face to face interviews);
o Main conclusions:
o Typology of visitors: 53% female, 47 % male, coming from all educational levels, dominated by primery, secondary and university students (Primary School:20,24%, secondary school: 62,11%, higher education: 14,41%, other: 3,25%) significant proportion of young people: 7-10 years old: 6,84%; 11-15 years old: 25,28%; 16-20 years old: 17,15%; 21-25 years old: 19,17%; 26-35 years old: 9,70%; 36-45 years old: 11,10%; 46-55 years old: 6,11%; 56+ years old: 4,65%) majority coming from one of the hosting city (83% in Novi Sad, 87% in Subotica, 81% in Zrenjanin), 45,23 % new comers amongst the interveiwees;;
o Motivation to visit researchers’ Night events: opportunities to learn about science (29%) and researchers life (17%);
o Researchers'Night established as popular Friday entertainment event (14%);
o Significant mobilisation and interest amongst young people:
o Over 87% interviewees under 25 years expressed strong intention to take part in similar events in a near future;
o Overall positive feedback on the event itself (activities, interest, contacts with researchers, concrete organisation, scheduling, venues and locations);
o Majority of visitors (75%; 1.339 out of 1.784) considered the event had favourably changed their perception of researchers;
o 805 surveyed visitors (out of 1.784) visited for the first time Researchers’ night events
o 1.117 surveyed visitors (out of 1.784) for the first time spoke directly to researcher during this Researchers Night
o 9% of the interviewed visitors personally knew a researcher before the event;
o Consideration that researchers are interesting and have a complicated job;
o Relatively scarce knoweldge about follow-up of science careers, beyond the research field (only teaching, medicine and "innovation" quoted) as well as about the societal impact of research (about 30% responders able to list 3 aspects of such impact);
o Tackling of persisting stereotypes about researchers although they still keep perceived as older and male (59% and 64%), but improved results compared to previous editions of the event regarding gender, age and interest of the job;
o Increased interest for science careers amongst young people;
o Most successful activities: hands-on experiments, social activities with researchers;
o General will expressed to take part in future similar events (over 87% of young responders);
o Suggestions from the audience: mulitplictaion of contacts between general public and researchers, and of science-related events.
o Organisers particularly point out:
o The "traditional" character of the event after 6 editions;
o The added value of the EU contribution without which such initiative wouldn't have been possible;
Science demonstration
Maria Curie stand
Music part