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SHARPER Report Summary

Project ID: 722981
Funded under: H2020-EU.1.3.5.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SHARPER (SHAring Researchers’ Passion for Engagement and Responsibility)

Reporting period: 2016-05-01 to 2016-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Researchers love to engage with nature, society, with future and ultimately with all the complex challenges that will allow them to contribute to a better world. Researchers also love to engage with other people to make the quest they’re involved in a collective endeavour. All this make researchers persons passionate for engagement who are developing a growing sense of responsibility related to their work and their role in society. In such a professional life researchers experience strong driving forces such as enthusiasm, emotions, combined with new knowledge and innovative discoveries. All these elements are summarized in the acronym SHARPER - Sharing Researchers’ Passion for Engagement and Responsibility the name of the European Researchers’ Night in the Centre and South of Italy that took place on the 30th of September 2016 simultaneously in five cities: Perugia, L’Aquila, Ancona and Palermo – the four capital cities of the regions Marche, Umbria, Abruzzo, Sicily and in Cascina the city hosting the European Gravitational Observatory one of the cutting edge European research facilities. This network of cities combined with their Research Institutions and with their social and cultural actors provides a team of excellence and reliability both in the fields of research and science communication at national and international level. The SHARPER project will create effective communication bridges between researchers and the cities and communities they live and act within, through: street labs, exhibitions, performances in city squares or activities that will take place in focal city venues, where citizens use to spend their everyday life. SHARPER 2016-2017 will geographically broaden the impact of the communication actions of European Researchers’ Night in Italy massively engaging kids, young students, schools, associations and citizens at large actively involved by researchers since the planning phase of the activities.
The overall objectives of the project are:
- To establish meaningful connections between researchers and the citizens, namely with those audiences rarely involved in the discovery of research (hard to reach audiences), interested adults and young who want to know more about the researchers and their role in the future society (interested groups), kids and young students (possible future researchers);
- To convey the message that a researcher is a passionate person who loves to engage with complex issues and with other people to reach common goals sharing a common knowledge;
- To present the researchers as committed citizens that jointly with other citizens face the challenges to build a better future ;
- To tell that strong collaboration between researchers and citizens aiming together at excellence triggers innovation;
- To broaden the meaning of what we call researchers beyond any stereotypes;
- To provide motivated audiences with opportunities of deeper knowledge of the researchers work;
- To motivate young students to enter researcher careers and become key actors of the future;
- To encourage children to discover researchers as role models because they are passionate and knowledgeable;
- To use researchers’ emotions and enthusiasm to make excellent research accessible and comprehensible to everyone, from young students to adults;
- To develop a national community of researchers that are excellent communicators.

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

- Conception, production and display of promotional material; posters, postcards, , programmes, give away such as T-shirts, lapel pins, stickers, shopping bags, balloons, fluorescent bracelets distributed in public spaces (bar, restaurants in cities downtown, university departments, public libraries, cultural stores, tourism offices and schools);
- Public advertising: roll-ups, billboards, posters, banners, road posters, banners on public transport (busses), outdoors display;
- Organisation of 5 press conferences: Ancona, L'Aquila, Palermo, Perugia, Cascina;
- Publication of numerous press releases at overall and local levels, displayed to national/regional newspapers, on-line journals national press agencies, TV networks.
- Organisation of pre-events and promotion of Night:
-- Fosforo: la Festa della Scienza in Senigallia, Ancona, May;
-- LNGS Open Day, May;
-- Isola di Einstein science show festival in Isola Polvese-Perugia, September;
-- Promotion during outreach activities and events organised by EGO (Open doors day (May), Gravity Day, September
- Revamping, constant updating and maintenance of project websites and; the former website home is presenting main features of the event and is directly linking to three different city specific pages with details and city event programmes;
- 8.243 unique visitors, 25.753 page visualisations, 6.186 downloads of programmes on global website, August 2016-January 2017: 31.503 visitors on the website dedicated to L’Aquila event.
- Sending of newsletters by universities (Università degli Studi di Perugia, Università degli Studi di Palermo, Università Politecnica delle Marche) to all students and professors; by research Centres (VIRGO, LNGS, GSSI) to all personnel;
- Revamping, constant updating of social network profiles, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter;
- Facebook: 7.428 total page likes, 34.539 total reaches, 2.696 FB video views;
- Twitter: 75 followrs, 24 tweets;
- Instagram: 37 followers, 47 tagged pictures;
- An estimated total number of 800.000 people made aware of the ERN
- Offer of the activities as planned;
-- Perugia: 57 different activities starting at 2.30 pm until 2.30 am;
-- L'Aquila: 37 different activities starting in the morning with special events dedicated to schools and until 2.00 am;
-- Ancona: 20 different activities starting at 4 pm until 2 am;
-- Cascina: 11 different activities starting in the morning with special events dedicated to schools and until midnight;
-- Palermo: 70 different activities starting at 6 p.m until 2.30 am;
- Mix of hands-on experiments, guided visits, games, shows, informal talks, conference, interactive presentations, exhibitions, challenges with researchers, and European corners;
- Active involvement of 860 researchers, of whom:
-- 14 having benefitted from SMC schemes;
-- 30 having benefitted from another EU support (FP 7/HORIZON 2020);
- 42.500 visitors having taken part in the activities offered.

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)

- Collection, analysis and processing of over 2.000 feedbacks (pre-test survey, ex-ante and ex-post questionnaires, observation cards, final questionnaires, researchers' interviews);

- Main conclusions (details to be found in Deliverable 3):
1) Typology of visitors: mostly students although different distribution according to the city considered, relatively high level , mainly coming form the city/province hoisting the events, relative balance in gender(also different form city to city);
2)Overall positive feedback about the event (interest, locations, venues, contacts with researchers, schedule, concrete organisation);
3) Room for improvements:
-- larger and calmer rooms for some activities;
-- better Wi-Fi connections (Palermo notably);
-- improved interactivity of the activities conducted by researchers;
-- better sign posting in some places;
-- more detailed programme;
- Huge success nevertheless although already initiatives launched for improvement in 2017.

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