Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

SHARPER Report Summary

Project ID: 633367
Funded under: H2020-EU.1.3.5.

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - SHARPER (SHAring Researchers’ Passion for Excellence and Results. European Reserarchers' Night in the Centre of Italy 2014 - 2015)

Reporting period: 2014-12-01 to 2015-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The European Researchers’ Night 2015 SHARPER simultaneously took place on 25th September 2015 in Perugia, Ancona and L’Aquila, the capital cities of the three regions located in the centre of Italy: Umbria, Marche and Abruzzo.
The project intended making the researchers’ quest for excellence accessible to everybody in cities and communities where researchers act and live. Such purpose allowed showing the researchers’ enthusiasm, knowledge and emotions, while pointing out the positive impact of researchers’ job on citizens’daily lives and well-being. Stimulating young people’s interest for science and science careers, the project also emphasised the importance of communicating between researchers and public at large, also stressing the needs for communication skills for researchers.
Addressing the public at large in all its components, the project also put a strong focus on kids and young people, in particular those facing or about facing a career choice.
The event program was compiled as a mix of hands-on experiments, shows, informal talks, sport activities, interactive presentations, exhibitions, art, theatre performances, competitions, challenges with researchers, European corners.
The organizing consortium included universities (Perugia, Marche), research institutes (Laboratori nazionali del Gran Sasso, L’Aquila), under the conduction of a fifteen years-experienced team expert in the field of science communication (Psiquadro) well-known at European level amongst the networks of science events organizers.
The SHARPER project intended creating effective communication bridges between researchers and the cities and communities they live and act within through the whole range of activities that took place in focal city venues, where citizens use to spend their everyday life.

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
- Public at large regardless of age and scientific background;
- Special attention to students of any age, including university students, family groups with kids;
- Also focus on groups of adults or singles with special interest on research topics, and on stakeholders with a relevant role in a city development;

Messages conveyed
- Researchers are amongst us;
- Researchers are ordinary people with an extraordinary job;
- Discover excellence with a researcher;
- Discover researchers’ emotions;
- Transform your passions into a researcher job;
- Be sharper become a researcher;
- R=ExExE: research equals excellence, emotions, enthusiasm;

Main communication tools to rely on
Off line
- Publication of articles, announcements, advertisements in national and regional press;
- Airing of promotional spots, announcements, interviews, programmes on several radio and TV stations ;
- 1 national press conference
- 3 local press conferences
- Media partnership with radio, university radios and local TV stations;
- National launch through press offices of the research institutions involved;
- Promotion in the framework of public events: international journalism festival, FameLab Italy, Umbria Jazz Festival, Isola di Einstein in Perugia, LNGS Open days, L’Aquila town 721th Edition of Perdonanza Celestina event (L’Aquila), and Fosforo Science Festival (Ancona);
- Public advertising: advertisement totems, road billboards, posters
- Advertisement helium balloons;
- Teaser campaign based on quizzes and games;

On line
- Revamping, constant updating and maintenance of project website;
- Revamping of social networks profiles (Facebook Page);

Promotional material
- Promotional videos, leaflets, programmes, stickers, pin buttons;
- Ads, banners, updates of Facebook
- Mention of ""This European Researchers' Night project is funded by the European Commission under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions"" on all promotional material displayed;
- Promotional gadgets (T-shirts, bags, gadgets) (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
- Paper leaflets
4000 A3 posters, 25.000 postcards, 35.000 programmes distributed in public spaces (bar, restaurants in cities downtown, university departments, public libraries, cultural stores, tourism offices and schools)

- Promotional Gadget
900 T-Shirt, 3000 lapel pins, 5000 vinyl stickers, 300 shopping bags, 7000 balloons, 5500 fluorescent bracelets, 500 magnets

- Public advertising
40 6x3m billboards, 500 140x200 road posters, 1000 100x140 road posters, 1500 70x100cm posters, 4 1x6m PVC banners, 1 1x4m PVC banner, 1000 100x140 road posters, displayed in high traffic density roads and streets and city public transportation stops, 10 85x200 roll ups, 40 60x200 roll ups, 100 7x100 totems, 10 XL posts

- Broadcasting of over 160 promotional spots and ads on local radios in September

- 5 broadcasting SHARPER dedicated programs on local TV networks
- Annoucements during public events : Isola di Einstein, Fosforo, Perdonanza Celestiniana.

- 5 Press conferences: one in Rome, Sala delle Bandiere del Parlamento Europeo, at national level together with other Italian EU funded ERN projects, one in Perugia (September 22nd), two in L’Aquila (July and September 14th), one in Ancona (September 24th)
- Press releases: 16 to local and regional newspapers, 7 to national newspapers
- Publication of 20 articles in written press
- Articles from 14 newspapers, 57 online journals, 7 national press agencies, 6 local TV networks

- Websites statistics (1st December 2015 to 1st January 2016)
www.sharper-night.eu
10.920 unique visitors, 27.893 page visualisations, 6.310 downloads of programmes
http://sharpernight.lngs.infn.it/home;
3.580 unique visitors, 8.760 page visualisations
- SHARPER Facebook Page statistic"

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)

In the opinion of respondents, the researchers are key agents for development and change. Their contribution can be decisive for the environment and for the improvement of life in cities. Someone also stresses that the main objective of their mission should be just improving the quality of life since the most problematic issues that can be addressed and resolved through science and technology. In summary, the researcher has a public role and must cooperate with the community in which they live and work. On several occasions stakeholders underline the importance of knowledge and skills, two issues that have to be very developed with the help of researchers for the future cities. In this way the researchers should not only improve their communication skills, but reflect more on research and on how to effectively talk with an audience of non-experts.
The most challenging mode of communication are those related to the format of dialogue and listening. It is noted that the theme of listening is increasingly important for the effective dissemination of research. It is worth, therefore, suggest to calibrate some good activities when the public is actively involved not only to entertain, but also to propose, ask, and take action on matters of great public interest. Of course this need to properly train researchers and identify issues and appropriate places for these in order to open spaces for dialogue.
Fostering these qualities will enhance a powerful dialogue and interexchange between civil society and science establishment, based on trust and sharing knowledge attitude.

Overview of the results
- 1520 interviews has been carried out in four different specific survey.
- A call for comments in form of a survey has been conducted before the Researchers’ Night (June to September 2015). The sample is composed of 551 complete interviewees (average age 41 y. o., 53% females). Specific questions of the questionnaire have been used for a comparison with national data.
-A pre-event survey selecting structured activities involved a sample of 341cases has been carried out. This way it was possible to study a specific part of the public, usually very interested in scientific issues (average age 37 y.o., 58% females)
-A post-event survey of 380 cases has been carried at the end of the activities selected for the pre-event survey (average age 35 y.o., 62% females). It was possible to match pre and post questionnaire using 189 cases for a longitudinal analysis
-A final post RN survey of 248 cases has been carried out (average age 35 y. o., 62% females) for assessing the point of views of participants in different activities.

-Typology of visitors: gender, age (average, youngest, oldest), education, scientific background, geographical origin, interests;
Interviewed participants are mostly women, 35 ca. average age, they have a good education and a there is an high percentage of graduates (more than 25%, Italy 20% ca.). Participants came usually from city having more than 50 thousands inhabitants and from the three region where the Researchers’ Night has been organized.
Way of having been aware about the event: advertising, e media, schools, friends and /or colleagues, family.
Participants usually attended the events for a specific interest and because someone suggest them to participate.
- Overall feedback: concrete organisation, themes, scheduling, contacts with researchers, venues, locations, links.
- In general, participants gave a very positive evaluation of the initiatives:
an average of 8,4 in a 0-10 scale; n: 314. The most interest theme for participants was the activity of researchers and the opportunity to meet them. People agreed with the opportunity to advice friends of the Researchers’ Night event. They finally sustained that presenters propose very clearly the arguments during the selected events (8,6 average on a 0-10 scale n: 377).
- Participants suggested to enhance the involvement of local authorities, involve schools

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