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European Union Contest for Young Scientists' 2017

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - EUCYS 2017 (European Union Contest for Young Scientists' 2017)

Reporting period: 2016-12-01 to 2017-12-31

Estonia hosted the 29th European Union Contest of Young Scientists from 22-27 September 2017 in Tallinn.
The Contest, which takes place every year in a different European city, is one of the core initiatives of the European Commission to support students interested in science and technology, to foster their talents and to make science more appealing to young people. EUCYS is part of the Science with and for Society activities managed by the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission. Within Horizon 2020, Science with and for Society aims to build a more harmonious relationship between scientific endeavour and the European Society at large.

EUCYS was supported by public institutions and private partners including the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research, the City of Tallinn, PRACE, the Salvetti Foundation, the Biobased industries bioeconomy, FoodDrinkEurope bioeconomy, Pepsico, Danone, DSM,Wolfram, EuCheMs, Intel ISEF, Joint Research Centre and the EIROforum including the CERN: The European Laboratory for Particle Physics, EUROFusion, EMBL: The European Molecular Biology Laboratory, ESRF: The European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, ESA: European Space Agency, ESO: European Southern Observatory, ILL: The Institute Laue-Langevin, XFEL: The European X-ray Free-Electron Laser Facility GmbH which contributed in different ways to the success of this edition.

146 contestants aged 14-20 selected in 37 countries and the European Schools attended the event and showcased the results of the 89 projects at an exhibition held within SpaceX events centre in Ülemiste City in Tallinn.

The parallel programme organised for the participants offered a science conference conducted by EIROForum and a discussion round from former participants of EUCYS; visits to the Maritime Museum, the Energy Discovery Centre, the Estonian Art Museum KUMU, and Tallinn Old Town guided tours.

Thanks to the implementation of a well-planned communication strategy the general public, as one of the core target groups, was engaged in science and technology which lead to increase public awareness of science development. Thus, by organizing the 29th EUCYS 2017, the project contributed to raise interest of young students in science and raise of public understanding of science and technology which are the long-term goals of the European Research Area in general.
The Contest was open to the public from Sunday 24th till Monday 25th of September. Approximately 1000 visitors visited during the Open Days te exhibition of EUCYS and took part in the additional activities.
EUCYS promotion to schools and to the large public was intensified on the Estonian National Contest held in April 2017 and continued till September 2017. An extensive media campaign was carried out in Tallinn City in September.
The Estonian Research Council offered full attention to organise the best possible experience exchange for talented youth.
The Host Organiser provided with all the needed actions including:
• The management of the contest including the H2020 call and its reporting, the setup of the Advisory Board and the Organisation Committee as well as the team on the event, the administrative work related to the contest, the communication with the European Commission;
• The setup of the budget and the financial follow up of the Contest;
• The setup of the scientific and cultural programme and the different activities including the opening ceremony, the awards ceremony, the exhibition, the EIROForum lecture, the National Organisers meeting and visits to the Maritime Museum, the Energy Discovery Centre, the Estonian Art Museum KUMU, and Tallinn Old Town guided tours.
• The support to all the National organisers, contestants, accompanying persons, jury members, journalists and partners in all aspect on a daily based;
• The realisation of the information system in line with the needs;
• The setup of the exhibition and the different meetings at SpaceX events Centre and Ülemiste City
• The organisation of the accommodation for all participants;
• The organisation of the local transport for all participants as well as the international transports for the included participants;
• The organisation of the meals for all participants;
• The creation of communication material, including a website, a poster, invitations, etc.;
• The setup of a dissemination and communication plan to engage the public to visit the exhibition;
• The follow up with national and international journalists, as per the list defined by the European Commission, to report about the contest;
• The follow up with the partners of their participation.

The organisation of EUCYS 2017 was evaluated according to the feedback survey as very good, according to 81.4% of the answers the overall impression was excellent. 87.4 % considered the organising team as excellent and 90.3% evaluated as excellent the volunteers.
The European Union Contest for Young Scientists was launched in 1989 with one clear objective – to attract more young people to careers in science. Even nowadays this aim stays crucial. The Contest has proven to be a spring-board for future careers in science for the contestants, several examples of success stories from previous contests are gathered in the booklet “Science our Future – 15 years of the EU Contest for Young Scientists 1989-2003”.

Organising EUCYS 2017 set up an excellent platform for cooperation and interchange among outstanding young European scientists, which enabled collaboration and knowledge transfer. It was a great opportunity for networking and will contribute to the efforts to raise the attractiveness for young talents to develop their career in science and technology with respect to innovation.

The outstanding young students got the chance to meet others with similar interests, compete and present their innovative projects. Moreover, the local students were invited to see the best works of their peers from different European and International countries. There was a space at EUCYS 2017 to identify new talents in science and technology.
The event program itself was planned to respond to the above issues and to maximize the impact.
Winners at the Award Ceremony
Director-General of DG Research and Innovation Robert-Jan Smits at the Award Ceremony
President of the Republic of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid at the Award Ceremony