Vienna, June 13: In August 2005 the Viennese agency PR&D will start an extensive program of Public Awareness measures, together with representatives from the Campus Vienna Biocenter. The aim of the program is to give a wide range of target groups in the public a better understanding of research and development on site. The activities, which are of great societal importance, are being made possible by financial support from the Austrian Council for Research and Technology Development in the amount of EUR 140.000.
Under the co-ordination of the Viennese agency PR&D – Public Relations for Research & Development, a public relations offensive has started at the Campus Vienna Biocenter which will continue for 18 months. The basis of these measures lies in the successful co-operation of PR&D, the Campus Vienna Biocenter Association and dialoggentechnik. Through the initiative of Dr. Till C. Jelitto, managing director of PR&D, the consortium has created a communication-concept which was submitted to the program “Innovatives Österreich” for support. The aim of this program, which is supported by three ministries – the Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT), the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Culture (BMBWK) and the Federal Ministry of Business and Labor (BMWA) – and the Austrian Council for Research and Technology Development (RFTE), is to inform the public of the benefits of research.
Michael Binder, managing director of the RFTE (since June director “Strategy” FFG) , explains the council’s decision to support the realization of the concept with 75% of the total expenses as follows: “There was an extremely good response to the latest request for proposals from the program Innovative Austria, with more than 88 applications. This is proof of the scientific community’s growing responsiveness regarding the necessity for communicating the benefits of research and technology. Unfortunately we could only support the very best ideas. Among these was the application from the group at the Campus Vienna Biocenter. This group projected, with great commitment, a concept of worthy measures which convey the value of biotechnology in society in a fascinating and efficient way to several target groups.” Further financial support for the realization of this idea has been secured by the three participating organisations themselves.
Central to the communication-strategy of the 1000 scientists of 16 organisations resident at the Campus, is the implementation of the measures in two subprograms which makes it possible to address different parts of the public on various levels. The subprogram “Research with Fun” will address young persons and adults, who to begin with are less involved with biotechnology, on an emotional-playful basis. The subprogram “Research for Us” makes contact to groups of the public, who already have an interest, on a rational and factual level. The two programs specifically consist of three packages of measures to be taken. For the subprogram entitled “Research with Fun” they are:
Cine Talks: Films based on scientific content are shown to a young audience. Afterwards, a discussion with experts about the film’s biological content and how realistic that is, will follow.
Sci Art Junior: Kindergarten groups are given the stimulus to do handicrafts through “inspiration” by research demonstrations and are supplied with authentic, harmless materials. The work reflects the children’s impressions of bio- and gene-technology.
Sci Art Senior: Young artists receive “inspiration” through a personal conversation about experimental work. The connection to Sci Art Junior is that the same basic materials are provided: fantasy and materials.
A complementary exhibition will serve to present the “works of art” of the two measures to the public. An introduction to the initial inspiring experiment will open the exhibition.
The subprogram “Research for Us” consists of the following three packages of measures:
Medi Talks: Lectures, where a “pair” of scientists and physicians present their views on a specific medical problem to an audience that will include patients and self-help associations.
Busi Talks: Present-day topics of commercial biotechnology are presented and discussed with scientists, politicians, patients and representatives of self-help associations.
Sci News: Conveyance of new results of the Life Science Research at the Campus to more than 3.000 media contacts worldwide.
Concerning the extensive program, Dr. Gertraud Unterrainer, Chairperson of the Campus Vienna Biocenter Association, explains,: “Biotechnology affects every one of us. I am glad that we are now able to impart the merits of the Campus Vienna Biocenter, located in the 3rd district, to 1.800.000 Viennese outside the Scientific Community.”
PR&D – Public Relations for Research & Development
Campus Vienna Biocenter 2
T +43 / 1 / 505 70 44