Enhancing the Responsible and Sustainable Expansion of the Science Shop Ecosystem in Europe

Bay Zoltán Science Shop, Hungary

The mission of the Bay Zoltán Science Shop is to bring research closer to the community. It aims to support local communities and civil society in finding solutions to the problems they are facing. Bringing different stakeholders together in the same platform benefits everyone involved and  Bay Zoltán Science Shop aims to be the catalyser of this process.

Bay Zoltán Science Shop is hosted by Bay Zoltán Nonprofit Ltd. for Applied Research in Hungary. The company is Hungary’s largest and most successful institution for applied research. Research and innovation activities focus on the areas of materials sciences, laser and nanotechnology, biotechnology, ICT, environmental technologies, logistics and industrial production technologies and control engineering. The Science Shop therefore focuses on research questions related to these areas. As the organisation is located in three different towns in Hungary (Budapest, Miskolc, Szeged and Eger), the Science Shop primarily aims to support local communities in these towns. Being an applied research organisation, the solutions that we develop will be ready-to-use and technical.

 

Business model

Bay Zoltán Science Shop is hosted by Bay Zoltán Nonprofit Ltd. for Applied Research (BZN), a nonprofit research organisation, focusing on ready-to-use solutions in the field of engineering, biotechnology and smart systems. The Science Shop is run by BZN staff with a Science Shop Manager responsible for the overall management of the Science Shop.

Science Shop projects are implemented by our researchers, but it is also planned to establish partnerships with universities or utilise existing collaborations with them. In the future, students may also be involved in research activities. Every project will have its own scientific leader, who will supervise the research process and will be responsible for the execution of the project. Bay Zoltán Science Shop will work closely with BZN working groups (on the bioeconomy, circular economy, etc.). In addition to utilising BZN staff, if required, external experts will be recruited on a project basis to provide additional expertise on certain topics.

It also plans to collaborate with the other Hungarian Science Shops and hold regular meetings with them. Participating in each other’s events could lead to greater visibility for each of them and ultimately more research questions.

 

Activity to date

Bay Zoltán Science Shop started its activities in 2019.

 

Its first pilot action was carried out in collaboration with the Smart System Division of BZN. Colleagues have been participating in a project, STREFOWA- Strategies to Reduce Food Waste in Central Europe, with the aim of finding and designing new ideas dealing with food waste. Their findings provided the idea for an educational activity that Bay Zoltán Science Shop carried out in collaboration with local schools, involving 100 pupils. More information about the food waste project can be found in this article.

School pupils participating in the food waste project
School pupils participating in the food waste project

In April 2019, Bay Zoltán Science Shop supported the organisation of an Open Innovation World Café event, which was held in Budapest. Mostly civil society organisations and locals were invited, however municipality representatives and researchers attended as well. The aim of the event was to discuss the links between the bioeconomy and climate innovation with a particular focus on the urban environment and the biggest issues affecting the inner city of Budapest (identified at the event as waste management traffic and air quality) and the potential that the bioeconomy offers to respond to these challenges. Results of the discussion may be used in the future as potential research questions.

During Researchers’ Night on 27 September 2019, Bay Zoltán Science Shop organised a number of activities on the topic of food waste. The Science Shop also had a booth to raise awareness of its activities to the 1000+ visitors of the event.

 

At this moment, our Science Shop is a hub for the Drinkable Rivers initiative, which aims to monitor the water quality of rivers. In this citizen science action, local citizens are involved in taking the measurements in order to gain insights into the health of European rivers. With the help of local citizens and school classes, Bay Zoltán Science Shop is examining the River Danube.

Measuring the water quality of the Danube
Measuring the water quality of the Danube

Next steps 

In the near future, we plan to continue our educational activities related to food waste and in a broader sense, to the circular economy.  We will actively participate in activities being held during the European Week for Waste Reduction with presentations and games. A world café event on the subject of waste reduction is also planned.

A separate page for our Science Shop on the BZN website is also under development.

 

Contact 

Science Shop manager: Katalin Kalai

Contact e-mails: katalin.kalai@bayzoltan.hu or scienceshop@bayzoltan.hu