Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

RESSQUA Report Summary

Project ID: 633304
Funded under: H2020-EU.1.3.5.

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - RESSQUA (RESEARCHERS SQUARE)

Reporting period: 2015-01-01 to 2015-11-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The European Researchers’night RESSQUA, Researchers Square 2015 was designed to increase the awareness of researchers’ work as a solution to the numerous challenges faced by people all around the world and mainly in Europe.

The motto of the project, namely “Better Living through Science: from Social Sciences and Humanities to Maths and Technology”, was conceived in a time of crisis, where the need of joining efforts towards innovative and creative solutions aimed at stimulating youth's interest for research and science careers.
The project also intended building bridges between researchers and general public in all its components, pointing out the potential answer science represents to the current societal challenges; this was also an opportunity for collecting citizens’ reactions and concerns.

RESSQUA actually consisted of the fourth experience of European Researchers’ Night in Andalusia. The intensive awareness campaign launched aimed at reaching whether possible each and every citizen within the region.

Managed by Fundación Descubre, notably relying on its experience in managing 3 previous European Researchers’ Night projects in Andalucia, the consortium was composed of eight Andalusian universities, the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), the Ministry of Economy, Innovation, Science and Employment (CEICE), the Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research and Training (IFAPA), and two of the most important botanical institutions, all dedicated to higher education, research, Science popularization and non-formal education in Andalusia.

The project’s main objectives were as follows:
o Stimulating young people’s motivation to study Science and pursue careers in Science;
o Stressing the importance of Science for a better life;
o Bringing Researchers closer to citizens in a meeting full of Science and fun;
o Illustrating the importance of the European support and the international cooperation in the development of our region
Researchers from all participating insitutions were highly mobilised from the very start, as were municipalities. The broad range of activities offered on main busy streets and squares, museums, theatres, and historical buildings of the eight Andalusian cities, included science shows, experiments, workshops, guided tours, circuits, dating with researchers, exhibitions, debates and roundtables, conferences, quizzes, games, competitions, sports, science and food…

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

AWARENESS CAMPAIGN
Target audiences
o Public at large regardless of age and scientific background;
o Special attention to be paid to families, students and young people, social and civil associations;
o Focus on young people facing a career choice;

Messages conveyed
General
o Researchers are amongst us;
o Researchers are ordinary people with an extraordinary job;
o Science is a way for attaining social welfare and peace;
o The future of the planet highly depends on researchers’ work;
o Investing science is investing in future;
o Union of researchers reinforces the Union of European civil society;
Towards students and young people
o Study careers in science are interesting and fun;
o The future of the planet highly depends on researchers’ work;
o Science is fun and easy since it’s close;
o Researchers are people committed to their environment;
Families
o The future of the planet highly depends on researchers’ work;
o Investing in science is investing in future;
Social and civil organisations
o Science is a way for attaining social welfare and peace;
o The future of the planet highly depends on researchers’ work;
o Being a researcher is being an active member of the community;
o Researchers are people committed to their environment;

Main communication tools to rely on
Off line
o Organisation of press conferences;
o Press releases
o Airing of promotional spots, announcements, advertisements programmes, interviews on several TV and radio stations;
o Direct mailings to social organisations and schools;
o Visits to students, local and regional administrations,;
o Presentations and preparation of promotional/informative files;
o Public advertising (urban furniture, participants’ and sponsors’ premises);
o Display of promotional material (newsletters, brochures…);
On line
o Revamping, constant updating and maintenance of project websites;
o Revamping, updating and maintenance of social networks profiles (Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+, Divulgared)
o On line advertising campaign (banners and ads);
o Electronic mailings to participants’ network of contacts;

Promotional material
o Programmes, posters, brochures, newsletters, pictures, roll ups;
o Banners, ads, links to institutional, European and popular websites;
o Mention of ‘This European Researchers' Night project is funded by the European Commission under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions’ on all promotional material displayed;
o Promotional gadgets (such as stickers and T-shirts) (displayed through the European corner notably), complying with the general guidelines available at http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/communication/services/visual_identity/index.en.htm

Overview of the results
o Conception, realisation of promotional material, such as posters, programmes, roll ups, photocalls, postcards, T-shirts, stickers, brochures, canvas and banners displayed in libraries, shops and restaurants of the cities;
o Graphic and audiovisual coverage of the activities , production of 73 promotional videos and news, official acts, app for IOS and Android
o Public advertising:billboards, citylights, display of promotional material in street, public spaces, both static and dynamic (bicycles);
o Advertising in public places and public transport : panels, bus stops, buses, shopping malls, buildings' facades, street marketing…
o Direct promotion during other public events;
o Airing of annoucements/advertising /programmes/interviews on radio and TV stations: national and regional stations, media partnership with regional TV station RTVA, broadcast of national programme;
o Invitations sent (popular and institutional websites, municipalities and region capitals, media, schools, associations of parents/students, , various associations, chambers of commerce, public services and foundations…;
o Mailings and phone calls to institutions, opinion leaders, researchers from participating institutions;
o Pre-events:
o Visits:regional/local institutions, educational

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Main conclusions:
o Typology of visitors: wide age range (35,4 % under 19), average age 29, 59 % male attendees, most attendees accompanied, 54 % of families, 44% with friends, only 7 % alone attendees;
o Overall positive feedback regarding the events, with 58 % of very positive assessment and 34 % of good ones;
o Increased public participation compared to previous editions;
o Increased researchers' participation compared to previous editions, with 1.335 researchers actively involved, of whom 51, 98 % male and 48, 02 % female;
o Increased knowledge of science and researchers (94 % responders);
o General intention expressed to take part in future similar events (97 %).

The ‘Researchers Square’ (RESSQUA) project was designed to make citizens understand the importance of Science in their daily lives and to face the challenge of building bridges between researchers and people. The consortium indeed won the challenge of increasing the impact and visibility of the European Researchers’ Night in the cities; as such, it reached better results and awakened scientific vocations in young people; it also contributed promoting female and under-represented minority students’ participation; the citizens had the opportunity discovering the 'human face' of research through direct exchanges and activities, and approaching Andalusian researchers who have contributed with their work to the development of Science and stimulate interest in our society for research and for whom building it every day.

In order to reach these objectives, the consortium planned a schedule full of interactive and fun activities (workshops, meetings, Science fairs, performances, theatre…) to bring closer the scientists to the Andalusian families and the general public, trying to attract students to STEM careers. ‘Researchers Square’ bet for bringing Science out of the labs, by organizing a Science Fair, including workshops, micro talks, storytelling, city tours, tastings, etc.

The programme also included a lot of activities for young people, with a view to attracting them to scientific careers in a different way, namely a direct contact between the scientists devoting their lives to research and those who must choose his career in the coming years. The number of activities organized by the institutions in the consortium increased, exceeding 400 during each of the two-year celebration of the Night.

The ‘Researchers Square’ project aimed that one in three citizens in Andalusia were aware of the European Researchers Night through the awareness campaign. The agreement with Radio Television of Andalucía (RTVA) as collaborator of the project and the broadcast of the national show 'La Ventana' (Cadena Ser) from Cordoba to mark the European Researchers' Night in 2015 (estimated audience: 1 million people) ensured the coverage of the event. In parallel, contact with mass media through interviews, press conferences, notes, reports in popular science blogs, a coordinated presentation, radio and television appearances..., successfully achieved the objectives with more than 2,5 and 2,9 million people made aware of the ERN.

For the first time, in addition, the consortium had the strong support of local institutions and municipalities in all cities, ensuring their involvement and support to bring the Night to their cities. The support from major public and private institutions of every city hosting the event allowed Researchers' Night to promote a model change in particular through the main street activity.
Participating universities and research centres encouraged the participation through their own tools for internal and external communications, with the help of participating researchers.

As a result, a greater number of researchers got involved in the activity, so that the participation of researchers increased tenfold in Andalusia. The event aimed at involving 1.854 researchers in the activity in the period 2014-15.The participation however registered 2.510

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