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Fostering science and innovation impact trough organisation in Moldova of European Researchers' Night

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - MODERNight-2020 (Fostering science and innovation impact trough organisation in Moldova of European Researchers' Night)

Reporting period: 2020-06-01 to 2020-12-31

The problem/issue being addressed

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the research in the Republic of Moldova found itself in a very difficult situation. Research and Development system faces problems related to reduction of public expenditures, lack of clear normative regulations and motivation for non-public R&D funding, massive internal and external brain-drain, partial destruction of R&D infrastructure, considerable decline of the status of researchers, engineers and lack of interest of young people in scientific studies.

The importance for society

Research and Development plays an important role in cultural, social and economic development of any country. In order to change the society’s opinion on research and researchers, it is essential to deliver the message about the relevance, importance and impact of science on citizens’ daily life.

The overall objectives

The overall objectives of the MODERNight-2020 project:
• Promote communication between scientists and public through project event;
• Run an awareness raising campaign of research and innovation activities taking place in the Republic of Moldova;
• Support the public recognition of EU funded researchers, especially beneficiaries of MSCA;
• Emphasize the impact of research and innovation on daily life and social welfare;
• Bring young people into the world of science, innovation and entrepreneurship and encourage them to pursue a scientific career.
Work performed:

• Running of the public awareness campaign of the European Researchers’ Night and its objectives;
• Organisation of the European Researchers’ Night event;
• Evaluation of the perception of research and assessment of the overall organisation of the European Researchers’ Night event and specific activities;
• Management of the project.

An overall communication guideline for the ERN was developed early on in the project, aimed at spreading awareness of the event and reach as many people as possible in a coordinated and efficient manner. The driving principle behind the development of the communication guideline was to ensure that the core communication outputs are clear, every partner shares the event’s resources and promotional materials, and the campaign is implemented jointly and strategically. The communication guideline defined the main target groups, communication channels, key visuals, core messages and activities. The event promotion was extensively done before, during and after the event by the different beneficiaries of the consortium through the established communication channels.

The European Researchers’ Night was organized on 27 November 2020. Because of worsening pandemic situation in Moldova in this period, the event was focused especially on online activities: contests and quizzes for children and students, preparation and publishing on the web site of the event videos of lectures, experiments, presentations of research units, research projects, outputs, live transmissions from research centers and laboratories.

The survey on problems faced by the scientific community of the Republic of Moldova identified that the organizers of the Researchers' Night event should pay a special attention to the presentation of international cooperation projects, the contribution of young researchers, the successful implementation of the projects in various socio-economic fields.
The responses on event evaluation survey showed that the involvement of young scholars and their desire to build a career in research and innovation is determined by the level and quality of information on achievements and status in the field, the attractiveness and authority of academia, the role of science and scientists in society, as well as the general level of socio-economic development of the country. The appreciation of the 2020 edition of event was predominantly positive, 69% of respondent evaluating the event as very interesting (39%) and interesting (30%). All the once, the respondents mentioned that there was a lack of face-to-face interactivity.

During the implementation of the MODERNight-2020 project the management, coordination and continue improvement and monitoring were insured. The efficient management was facilitated by small and committed team. One of the strengths was that all partners were from the Republic of Moldova and spoke the same language directly and figuratively. The dedication of Consortium partners, but also other stakeholders involved in organisation of the event, contributed to a successful delivery of the event.
Although the 2020 edition of the event was unusual (focused especially on online activities) the organisation of the European Researchers’ Night on 27 of November 2020 in the Republic of Moldova (Chisinau) contributed to reach several impacts.

Over 30 video-presentations of research and innovation results available on the web site of the event, over 20 prototypes and models exposed in the tent located in the Campus Rîșcani, live transmissions from research centres and laboratories influenced the perception of the public on the importance of research and innovation. The results of the event impact assessment had shown that more than 50% of respondents are interested and very interested in scientific research performed in the country.

Video-presentations of 13 innovative and technological transfer projects carried out by Moldovan SMEs in cooperation with public research organisations have shown that research and innovation bring benefits to society.

The visualisation of the live transmissions from different research centres and laboratories by more than 10 000 of young people up to 25 years (according to the distribution by age of respondents of the impact assessment event survey) changed the perception of science by young people. The answers on impact assessment survey had shown that over 70% of young people would like to be included in the research process.

The participation of 82 children and students in contests, 121 children in quizzes had shown that science can be funny. The result of the impact assessment survey had shown that the perception of the public and especially of young people of the field of research is generally positive.

The presence of EU Corner on the website of the event and offline in the tent located in the TUM campus, but also presence in live transmissions of three researchers that benefitted from MSCA schemes gives the confidence that it enhanced the understanding among the general public of the role of the EU in research development in the Republic of Moldova and establishing bridges between EU and Moldovan scientists.
Live transmission from National Centre for Space Technologies, TUM
Live transmission from Institute of Chemistry
Live transmission from Moldova State University, LAMBT
Live transmission from Moldova State University, LSDP
Live transmission from TUM Park - Tent
Live transmission from National Centre for Nanotechnologies and Nanosensors of TUM
Opening of the event
Live transmission from Planetarium and Astronomic Observatory, TUM
Live transmission from Institute of Applied Physics
Awarded winners of contests/quizzes
Live transmission from National Centre for Testing and Study of Materials, TUM
Live transmission from State University of Medicine and Pharmacy
Live transmission from FabLab Center, TUM
Live transmission from Institute of Zoology
Event Promotion Materials