Commission call for proposals: Promotion of awareness of science and technology

January 16, 2002

Brussels, 15 January 2002

The European Commission has published a call for proposals for indirect RTD (research and technological development) actions under the specific programme for research, technological development and demonstration on Improving the human research potential and the socio-economic knowledge base.

Those eligible to participate in indirect RTD actions are hereby invited to submit proposals that address the following parts of the work programme:

- Promoting scientific and technological excellence: raising public awareness of science and technology.

The objective is to raise public awareness of scientific activities and technological developments, in particular those undertaken in European research programmes, and thereby to bridge the gap between science in its European dimension and the public.

This should help European citizens to understand better both the beneficial impact of science and technology on their day-to-day lives as well as limitations and possible implications of research and technological developments. The activity will also aim to increase scientists' awareness of issues and subjects that are of concern to the public. Where possible, activities will build on and complement national activities.

This call is open for:

Proposals for thematic networks for the exchange of experience, knowledge, know-how or best practice. (Duration of networks should be between two to three years).

Preference will be to networks involving at least five non-affiliated partners established in at least three Member States or Associated States; at least one of the partners must be established in a Member State.

Proposals for accompanying measures for testing of best practice, demonstration of new approaches, analysis of methodologies, and in the case of the European Science and Technology Week (see below) the direct demonstration of S&T to the public.

Preference will be given to accompanying measures involving at least three mutually independent partners from at least three different Member States or Associated States; at least one of the partners must be established in a Member State. Accompanying measures involving fewer partners may qualify for support if they promise to produce transferable results that could be used by actors not involved in the respective project.

Proposals must cover one or more of the following areas:

Area 1: Dialogue with the public:

Objective: To explore mechanisms for involving the public in science policy related debates in order to identify ways experience could be shared and generalised across Europe.

Proposals may draw on experience with initiatives executed at the local or national level for example:

- Deliberative polling
- Standing consultative panels
- Focus groups
- Citizens' juries
- Consensus conferences
- Stakeholder dialogues
- Internet dialogues.

A proposal can cover any field or fields of scientific endeavour, including the social and economic sciences, but must be directly related to the interests of a non-specialist public.

Area 2: The role of the Media and Science Communicators.

Objective: To appraise the mechanisms and channels through which the general public, and the young in particular, are exposed to science related information; to identify best practice and develop and demonstrate new approaches for improving the communication of science related information. The non-specialist press, television, the Internet, science museums and science centres are the main foci of interest.

Particular attention should be paid to factors within the professions involved (scientists, science communicators and commentators, science journalists and science writers, science policy makers) that shape perceptions of science and its role in society.

Area 3: European Science and Technology Week 2003

Objective: To demonstrate and explain the impact of science, its use, and its applications on the daily lives of European citizens in a manner accessible to them. Proposals can be made in any field or fields of scientific endeavour, including the social and economic sciences, but must demonstrate the benefits of action at the European level.

Proposals could involve:

- the culmination at the European level of activities initiated at the national level across Europe (for example, collaborative projects, competitions);
- the launch of events or activities to be subsequently carried out at national level (for example, science exhibitions, videos, programmes);
- the launch of essentially European events or activities that have no clear national forum or whose potential can be better developed on a trans-national level;
- activities for complementing the Commission's own initiatives for familiarising European citizens with the objectives of Community research programmes.

Potential contractors, whose proposals have been retained for activities in support of a European science and technology week, will be invited to a coordination meeting (or meetings) in Brussels before finalisation of their contracts in order to agree a mutually binding timetable, the precise date of the Science Week (scheduled for November 2003) and other matters associated with the successful implementation of the Week. Total preparation time for the activities proposed for the Week should not exceed nine months.

The indicative total budget available for this call is a Community contribution of four million euro.

For further information, please consult the following web address: /c_01120020115en.html

To obtain the guide for proposals, please consult the following web address: ast_200201.htm

or contact:

European Commission
Directorate C
B-1049 Brussels
Fax +32-2-296 30

Remarks: The deadline for submitting proposal documents is 15.04.2002.

Before contacting the Commission, proposers are strongly advised to consult the original call text in the Official Journal of the European Communities at the reference below.

CORDIS RTD-NEWS/© European Communities, 2001

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