The goal of the project, called SciShops.eu, is to analyze the characteristics of this new kind of institution to create new science shops later within different types of research organizations in the countries that participate: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Slovenia, Spain, the Netherlands, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, the United Kingdom, Romania and Sweden.
"The idea is for these new science shops to address subjects the existing ones don't. We want to propose two new ones: one about women and science and another about sustainability," said Elías Sanz, head of the SciShops.eu project at the UC3M and professor in the Department of Library and Information Science.
Science shops respond to the idea of creating vehicles that mediate between research centers and citizens. They aim for a collaborative effort in conducting science and generating knowledge, as they address problems and seek solutions jointly among all the actors that participate in the science shop: researchers, civil organizations, businesses, etc.
"The success of the science shop is based on finding subjects of interest for specific groups or social agents that need solutions which can be worked out jointly with research centers," said Sanz. "The initial idea," she added, "is to provide a specific place at the university where research groups can come in direct contact with social groups to solve problems that concern the community."
Based on the experience from this project, the researchers intend to formulate a strategy for improving processes in community research and maximizing the transfer of knowledge from science shops to society. "The results we obtain might contribute to creating a guide for improving communication between scientists and citizens, the result of which will be a general increase in the scientific culture of the country," said Sanz.
SciShops.eu is a project from the call H2020-SwafS-2016-17 of the "Science with and for Society" program within Horizon 2020, the European Union Framework Programme for Research and Technical Development (GA 741657). In this research consortium, coordinated by the Austrian company SYNYO, 18 institutions from 13 countries and universities are taking part, such as the University of Brescia (Italy), the Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium), the University of Hohenheim (Germany), Leiden University (the Netherlands), the University of Oxford (the UK) and the Politehnica University of Bucharest (Romania). Also participating are the Bay Zoltán Research Institute (Hungary), the International Center for Numerical Methods in Engineering (Spain), the German company Handelsblatt, the Jozef Stefan Institute (Slovenia), the Institute of Social Innovations (Lithuania), KPMG (Cyprus), the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy (Germany), SciCo Cyprus, Vetenskap & Allmänhet (Sweden) and the European Students' Union (Belgium).
Video link ( English and Spanish Subtitles).-