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Techno-Past Techno-Future: European Researchers' Night

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - TPTF_ERN (Techno-Past Techno-Future: European Researchers' Night)

Reporting period: 2019-03-01 to 2019-10-31

General objectives of the Project are: to bring researchers closer to the general public and to increase awareness of research and innovation activities, with a view to supporting the public recognition of researchers, to create an understanding of the impact of researchers work on citizens´ daily life, and encouraging young people to embark on research careers, to allow citizens to gain a positive picture about public financing of science, researchers work and importance of the science overall, as most of the activities will be conducted and led by researchers’ themselves, some of them being MSCA fellows, to contribute to an increased awareness of research and innovation among citizens by enabling for a more transparent and bottom up approach to understanding how science affects our daily lives and to make research careers more viable for young people when making their professional choice. Project will accomplish above mentioned elements within its visibility campaign, organisation of ERN in four Croatian cities and the results will shown in Impact Assessment Report conducted by Institute for Social Research in Zagreb. Moreover, visibiliy campaign, pre-activities and main event activities included horizontal themes and objectives such as: connections of cultural heritage with science, research and innovation, connection between natural and social sciences, promotion of worlds´ and national scientists and involvement of women in worlds´ sciences. Main targets of the Projects visibility i.e awareness campaign is public at large regardless of age and scientific background, but mostly primary and high school children, students, parents with children.
Project made visual identity and promotional gadgets and material that are in line with EU rules. Projects objectives, pre-activities and main activities were promoted through official web page, social network accounts and pages and accounts of all Project Partners. Project had one general media kick off conference at the begining of September 2018 and several local media conferences. Awareness Campaign included radio, newspapers, web portals and social media adds. Several interviews were gave on radio. Main event was on public TV prime news. Moreover, seven project partners held pre-activities in eleven Croatian cities. ERN in Zagreb was organized at the European square (Europski trg), which is the public point in the centre of the city, one of the main and frequented squares in Zagreb, part of the main central area in Zagreb, next to the central square (Jelačić square - Trg bana Josipa Jelačića). In Rijeka was organized in the Tower Center Rijeka – shopping mall in city centre. The event was placed on three floors of the shopping mall and divided into 12 research stations. ERN in Split was organized in two venues that were close to each other: Diocletian's Palace and Riva. Both of public spots are in centre of the city. ERN in Pula was organized at square Forum and Gallery Cvajner. Both are public places in the centre of the town. European corners were located in a frequented area in each city involved. They were all provided with posters that marked an EU corner on English and Croatian language and with an EU flag on it. Also, EU corners presented other EU funded projects, MCAA Croatian chapter, MSC actions etc. Researchers and volunteers were in constant interactions with visitors of the event at the EU corners. Various promotional materials and gadgets were disseminated at the EU corner. Brochures about EU funded projects, Horizon 2020 and MSC actions were available at EU corners along with exposed roll-up banners and posters about various projects in Republic of Croatia that were financed from EU funds and programmes. Impact Assessment was conducted by Institute for Social Research in Zagreb (ISRZ). The purpose of this research was to explore the impact of the event with a special attention to possible evolution of public perception of science in general, and scientific researchers and their work. This research report focuses on the exploration of the importance, visibility, efficiency and effectiveness of the ERN in achieving its goal of bringing closers science/scientific researchers to the general public in Croatia. This is a first research report within the project, which is especially focused on the ERN event organized on 28th September 2018. During 2019 ISRZ will conduct further quantitative and qualitative research that will complement the findings from this report. By means of a questionnaire survey, a qualitative assessment and an analysis of the data gathered through on-line analytics, the aim was to assess the organization and impact of the ERN event organized on the 28th September 2018. Based on the analysis of the obtained qualitative and quantitative data, ISRZ concluded that these types of projects and events are exceptionally well accepted in the public, and need to be carried out continuously at open spaces in all larger cities in Croatia. Furthermore, as many scientific institutions as possible need to be involved and engaged in such events, and the popularization of science needs to be instigated by conducting pre-activities in all parts of Croatia. It is the continuous public visibility of scientific research that creates the basis for strengthening the impact and the effect of science on society by encouraging the social responsibility and the development of scientific research economic potential. This conclusion does not only rely on the perspectives of scientists involved in the realization of the ERN 2018, but also on the results of the analysis of visitors' perspectives. The interest of visitors of all age groups in all 4 cities was exceptionally high and positive. This is confirmed by the data from the quantitative analysis, which indicated that 70.6% of the visitors have learned and seen “something new”. A total of 70% of the visitors suggested creating even more quizzes, games and shows for children in future events, and that these should happen more often, not just once a year. These indicators of high interest and motivation for science suggest that scientific events and festivals, such as the ERN, are crucial for the development of various potentials of youth who deserve to be supported for their creative and technical achievements by all stakeholders in the society. Project Coordinator coordinated the activities between seventeen project partners for which is established Management Board of the Project that consists of representatives of the project partners and Advisory Board that consists of merely scientists involved in Horizon 2020 schemes.
By the end of the Project we expect to organise four European Researchers` Nights in four Croatian cities (Zagreb, Osijek, Rijeka and Split) and more then 15 pre-activities before the main event in September 2019. Moreover, we attend to raise indicator values related to general objectives of the Project from the first Impact Assessment Report by increasing the Awareness Campaign activities. Focus will be on following themes and objectives: increase awareness of the importance of research and innovation, more favourable general attitude towards its funding, better understanding of the key benefits that research brings to society, reductions in the stereotypes about researchers and to support people taking up research careers