COALESCE is the new Horizon Europe project of which Venice International University is a partner. Over the next four years, it will establish the European Competence Centre for Science Communication.
VIU’s main role in COALESCE is the creation of the Science Communication Academy for capacity building and training to enhance the capacities of scientists, communication officers, journalists and decision-makers to support quality and effective science communication. VIU will engage with scicomm scholars and experts to design online and in-person scicomm training opportunities that will be held at Venice International University's campus.
The project was launched in Rotterdam on April 12 during the global conference on Science Communication organized by the Public Communication of Science and Technology network. All 13 COALESCE partners from 8 countries attended the Kick-off, as did Aleksandra Hebda, EU Policy Officer of the Directorate-General on Research and Innovation, together with the project officer Irina Turon.
The European Competence Centre for Science Communication will be an online collaborative platform, that will provide knowledge, expertise, advice, resources, and tools on science communication, by:
- linking existing communities of knowledge and practice (CoPs), with the goal of improving coordination and mutual learning between them
- supporting potential user groups including R&I projects, public authorities, government agencies, the private sector, and civil society organisations, with the goal of promoting trusted and impactful science communication
- preparing the European Research Area to react quickly to situations requiring science communication, with the goal of providing rapid advice and support
- adopting a co-creation methodology involving the final users, with the goal of ensuring usability of the resources and tools of the Competence Center outcomes in different contexts, for different purposes, and by different R&I actors
- building a network of national and regional hubs in all EU countries, with the goal of disseminating, using and sharing the resources
COALESCE builds on the legacy of the eight Horizon 2020 Science With and For Society projects (SwafS 2019-2022) which investigated the state of the art of science communication in Europe. There were opportunities for crossover and joint sessions among these projects, leading to the creation of a solid network and knowledge base, which will be sustained in the new COALESCE project and the European Competence Center.
Among the SwaFS projects, VIU successfully coordinated the QUEST project on quality science communication, developing tools and resources for a variety of scicomm stakeholders, including researchers, communicator practitioners, museum explainers and journalists. In particular, the QUEST toolkits (tools for training and self-learning) have been widely appreciated and adopted by a number of users, confirming VIU’s outstanding skill and mission for devising training and capacity building.
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