COMMUNITY FESTIVAL IN EUROPE’S CAPITAL FOR INNOVATION
Since its introduction in 2007, the Science Fair has become firmly established in the city’s cultural diary. This year, with the purpose of engaging the community in scientific and technological issues and increasing outreach, theDepartment for Creativity and Innovation of the Culture Institute of Barcelona City Council have organised the Science, Technology and Innovation Festival 2014.
The fact that, year-on-year, the Science Fair was so popular has meant that fun activities have been prioritised as well as citizen participation. This allows research centres to reach a wider audience and it generates a new model that is capable of attracting new visitors and firmly incorporates innovation. Barcelona is the European Capital for Innovation 2014-2015.
With the purpose of bridging the gap that separates citizens from the science, technology, research and innovation projects that are being carried out in Barcelona, this year’s festival has been conceived as a meeting point and a place where professionals involved in culture, science, technology and business can work together. By bringing these different professionals together, we provide the opportunity for a deeper reflection on their involvement with the city and how citizens can get involved in research and innovation, key elements for all aspects of development: educational, economic, social and cultural.
The strategy for this year’s Science, Technology and Innovation Festival has been to create a comprehensive project that includes various programmes and activities that highlight the work carried out by the city and its researchers. These programmes and activities will bring to the foreground the scientific and technological culture and they will make research and innovation culture more accessible and participative.
Our mission is to place the Science, Technology and Innovation Festival on a par with other similar festivals around the world. To do so, we want the city to make a firm commitment to citizen science and we aim to create ecosystems that facilitate citizen participation. This goal is in line with current research and innovation policies that are driving EU programmes, examples include Horizon 2020, RIS 3 (Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation), RRI (Responsible Research and Innovation) and the “Science with the people and for the people”. For a few days, the city will become a great communal laboratory where citizens can gain first-hand experience of design, experimentation and creativity.
An example of how we aim to achieve this is the opening ceremony at the city’s Hall of the Hundred, where a conference will be given by Andrea Ferrari, Chair of the Executive Board of Cambridge University’s Graphene Flagship. The opening ceremony will take place on Wednesday 4 June at 18 h.
KEYS TO 2014
To clearly outline the different areas, the festival will benefit from the participation of curators such as Paca Cíller, who will organise three consecutive activities with the purpose of boosting alliances between research, business and public institutions.
Dani Jiménez will carry out activities in Ciutadella Park, with the collaboration of research centres, institutions, entities and professionals from the world of scientific outreach.
Tono Folguera and Ibon Olaskoaga will be in charge of the film festival in El Born Centre Cultural. They will also host the conference on how audiovisual media and new formats can help to produce better science and increase citizens’ awareness of it.
Josep Perelló is in charge of citizen science projects, one of the festival’s key areas. He is also in charge of the art, science and technology interventions in collaboration with several cultural facilities in the city that show how art is a valuable vehicle for transmitting scientific knowledge.
Participation on behalf of the city’s institutions, entities, universities and sector professionals has increased. To achieve the ambitious objectives set by this festival, their involvement is, and will continue to be, crucial.
Programme and venues
This year, there are five main areas geared towards adults, families and professionals from the sector.
- R&D&I: Three consecutive events that aim to reflect on the great challenges between research and business, present and future. The opening ceremony will be held in the city’s Hall of the Hundred and professional seminars will be hosted at Design Hub Barcelona. The festival closing ceremony will take place at the Parliament of Catalonia.
- Park Festival: Hands-on activities, designed for families, will be located in Ciutadella Park.
- Art, science and technology: A number of artistic proposals and interdisciplinary workshops will be hosted in venues such as Barcelona Contemporary Art Museum (MACBA), Barcelona Contemporary Culture Centre (CCCB), El Born Centre Cultural, Virreina Centre de la Imatge, Picasso Museum, Design Hub Barcelona and Barcelona History Museum (MUHBA).
- Citizen science: Citizen participation in group experiments and participative initiatives that are generated in the heart of the BcnLab project. Venues include Ciutadella Park, El Born Centre Cultural, Barcelona Contemporary Culture Centre (CCCB) and Picasso Museum.
- Documentary Film Festival: Science and technology documentaries will be screened at El Born Centre Cultural.