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Festival of Science European Researchers´ Night 2016 - 2017 in Slovakia

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - ERN16-17 SVK (Festival of Science European Researchers´ Night 2016 - 2017 in Slovakia)

Reporting period: 2017-02-01 to 2017-11-30

The ERN 2016 and 2017 in Slovakia, relied on a strong awareness campaign (ERN16: 2.006.609 ERN17: 2.385.357 targeted people). ERN16 was based on the concept „The Heart & Brain of the Slovak Science“. Brain is the most important organ of the human body. Science plays the same role in society – it is like a brain of the society, and enables us to perceive, survive and innovate. ERN17 motto: “Made by Science”, stress that the results of science and innovations can be seen every day, even though people are not aware of it, while usually research results are taken for granted. The ERN is the biggest scientific event in Slovakia held in 6 cities and covering 5 regions from 8. Festival activities collectively aim to popularize science and research, as well as promote scientific careers to young people. In 2016, the science festival celebrated its 10th anniversary in Slovakia and the Slovak Presidency of Council of the EU, presented a holographic istallation of human brain and keynote lectures of two leading neuroscientists. ERN17 brought breath-taking Quantum world, the performance of a light-kinetic installation and keynote lecture leading by British astrophysicist Matt Taylor from ESA. Activities were enriched by increasing participation of researchers (ERN16: 1.320 ERN17: 1.470). The direct exchanges with researchers allowed a large amount of the attendees (ERN16: 182.786 ERN17: 155.000) to better remember inspiring stories and successes of Slovak researchers. Festival enhances public recognition of researchers and increased the public awareness about the positive impact of their work. In conclusion, the project has reached its objectives and proved to be successful.
Central theme for 2017: “Made by Science” (Stress that the results of science and innovations can be seen every day, even though people are not aware of it, while usually research results are taken for granted);
o Conception, production and display of promotional material: posters of various formats, programme leaflets, of different formats, info panels, LCD spots, displayed in cooperation with municipalities, universities, regional self-governances and shopping malls, promotional gadgets such as T-shirts for scientists and festival's fans;
o Public advertising: city lights, TV spot "See and Go" in public transport (local trams and buses), LED screen in the centre of Bratislava, billboards, large banners on the façade of buildings, LCD spot exterior, as well as 3D mapping / laser show - interior of The Old Market Hall in Bratislava;
o Publication of press releases regionally modulated addressed to national and regional media;
o Airing of promotional spots and announcements via national radios and shopping mall’s radios;
o Interviews on TV stations;
o Publication of articles, interviews in newspapers and magazines at national level; web banners;
o Refinement, constant updating and maintenance of project website and social network profiles: Facebook fanpage @nocvyskumnikov; usage of hashtags: #nocvyskumnikov #madebyscience #ERN2017 ;
o 4.849 followers and 4.931 likes on Facebook;
o Posting of on- line banners and PR campaign: Google AdWords, banners with a logo and visual of ERN2017, partners’ websites;
o Publication of advertising in print media: articles, interviews, announcements, advertising in written press, SME, PC REVUE, QUARK, universities magazines;
o Sending invitations via mail and e-mail to municipalities, regional governments, universities, schools, media, regional media, academic partners, commercial partners, private companies, Ministries, politicians and embassies;
o About 2.385.357 people made aware of the European Researchers' Night and its objectives.
o Locations: Banska Bystrica, Bratislava, Kosice, Poprad, Zilina, Tatranska Lomnica;
o 224 scientific stands; Quantum world (performance of a light-kinetic installation) in the main festival venue located in Bratislava;
o 69 lectures; 17 discussions, including a keynote lecture leading by British astrophysicist Matt Taylor from European Space Agency;
o Expert discussions on scientific, political and European topics, e.g. Science for policy making; How is space research in Slovakia doing?;
o Discussion with scientists - MSCA grant holders and Maroš Šefčovič, the vice-president of the EC;
o 6 exhibitions; 16 workshops; 4 quizzes about innovations; 3 astronomical observation of the sky; 18 3 minutes- speeches; Falling Walls Lab scientific competition of innovative ideas; CERN ALICE virtual guided tour;
o Opening of InnoEnergy Hub investment fund and accelerator in the area of sustainable energy;
o EU corners;
o Teasing events (3 Science in the patisserie, 3 Science in the Centre , science cafés, Medzev observatory, Levice- Tekov observatory, Science in the Roma settlements, Elektrárňa Piešťany);
o Science in Roma settlements, scientists visited 5 places in two days
o 5 competitions and many different small quizzes during the events in 5 cities;
o Active involvement of 1.470 researchers, amongst whom: 30 having benefitted from MSCA schemes; Over 20 having benefitted from another EU scheme (FP7, HORIZON2020);
o Participation of 155.000 visitors, of which 72.000 were pupils and students, who took part in the activities offered.
Collection, analysis and processing of 1.104 feedbacks, based on 2 separate surveys respectively addressing „Visitors“, and „Researchers“, with common and specific questions;
o Typology of visitors: 38,8% aged up to age of 19, while researchers in this age only represent 10,6%, 68,5 % young researchers aged 20-39, 42,3 % visitors aged 20-39, 14 % aged 40-59, (19 % for researchers 4,9% aged 60 and over, (1,8% for researchers), 51,2% female with female audience 55,5% and active participants 39,1%, 57,3 % students, 30,4 % researchers, 10,7% employees in private companies, 14,1% from various public institutions, mostly in education sector;
o Knowledge about the event: 45,8% in schools, 19,3 % family and friends 25,2 % internet 7,4 % street advertising, 5,6 % newspapers and 4,5 % radio broadcasting;.
o 47,2 % newcomers, 42,6% having already taken part in similar events;
o Overall positive feedback about the events (activities, contacts with researchers, venues and locations, concrete organisation, scheduling) 77,8 %);
o 96,8 % visitors intending to take part in future similar events;
o Most successful activities: presentations at researchers' stands (79,0%), science talks attract almost a quarter of audience (23,2%), and quizzes (22,3%);
o Interest in scientific disciplines: 40,6% natural sciences , 20,9 % engineering disciplines and 14,4 % ICT (14,4%);
o Interests of researchers: 41,5 % natural sciences;
o Researchers' appreciation: 91 % willing to participate in the future;
Improvements suggested:
o Expansion of the accompanying programmes;
o Change time and venues;
o Improving promotion and communication;
o Expansion of the cultural programme;
o Wider reaching and cross-genre event with increased number of side-events;
o Mostly youth participation;
o Balanced gender representation;
o Most participants from public institutions, mainly in education sector, under representation of commercial institutions and NGOS;
Festival venue in Poprad
Festival venue in Košice
Festival venue in Banska Bystrica and magic chemistry
Matt Taylor - keynote speaker, physicist from ESA
Official opening ceremony in Bratislava - minister, policy stakeholders, academic community and orga
EU corner at Festival venue in Žilina
Main festival venue in Bratislava