The SciShops Symposium took place on 30-31 January 2020 in Brescia, Italy. The event was held at the University of Brescia and provided a platform for skills development, knowledge exchange and networking within the field of Science Shops and community-based participatory research (CBPR).  

  • To connect organisations from across Europe engaged in CBPR initiatives and encourage future partnerships.
  • To showcase the work of the SciShops project including our ten new Science Shops and the ways in which they are engaging with their local communities.
  • To disseminate experience gained throughout the project through interactive workshops to inform the development of participants’ own initiatives.
  • To discuss ways to further support the sustainability of Science Shops and CBPR in the future.

The Symposium was organised by the Horizon 2020 SciShops project.


The Symposium programme consisted of a mixture of plenary sessions, parallel workshops, exhibition and networking opportunities. An overview of the programme is provided here:


You can download the final agenda here.


Registered participants were invited to select which workshops they would like to attend from the following topics:
From CBPR to sustainability innovations

Explore how CBPR can support open innovation processes for sustainable production and consumption patterns by integrating local stakeholders in designing products and services. The workshop will draw upon methodological lessons learnt from SciShops partners and case studies.

Planning and evaluating impact

Science Shop projects seek to have an impact on society and the civil society organisations they involve. Planning impact and project outcomes, and how you will measure them, at an early stage of a project is therefore important. This session will look at how to evaluate impact and use impact indicators to assess the success of a CBPR project. Are there general indicators? How and when should you undertake impact assessment? Through group work and case studies, we’ll explore together.

The art of matchmaking

An important role of many Science Shops is matchmaking – finding the right researchers / students to work with on projects with civil society organisations. So what are the keys to a successful match and how can you create the right conditions to ensure the partnership runs smoothly?

Evidence-based approaches for mapping local ecosystems

Each community has its own culture and social structure, a web of relationships, history, strengths and weaknesses, that is important to understand in order to uncover relevant needs and contribute to community wellbeing. In this session, we will explore tools – stakeholder analysis, design thinking workshops – aimed at identifying local needs and assets that can help understand, using an evidence-based approach, how to address the community’s needs and utilize its resources.

Engaging and empowering citizens through citizen science

Participatory action research, science shops, community-based participatory research, community research and citizen science, there are a lot of methods to engage with the public. During this workshop you will discover what defines citizen science and the benefits of using it. Plus one of the most important aspects: what motivates citizen scientists and how do you keep them engaged?

Top tips for effective presentations

Discover the secrets to effective communication and what makes a great presentation. You’ll learn what to think about when delivering different styles of presentations such as elevator pitches, TEDx talks and Pecha Kucha, tips for creating slides, and also get the chance to develop your own pitch.

Applying social entrepreneurship concepts to support the sustainability of Science Shops

In this session we will explore similarities between Science Shops and different types of Social Enterprises. We will furthermore learn about innovative business models and how to make them work in the long term for the benefit of the society and to sustain our CBPR activities.

Learning from each other’s mistakes

In this session that celebrates learning from our mistakes, we take a look at why context is important, in a hope to inspire positive and creative solutions. Science Shops come in many different shapes and sizes so finding the right way in your context can be hard. We’ll be sharing some stories from setting up Science Shops from across the SciShops project to highlight common pitfalls, and how we overcame them. You’ll have a chance to share your experiences to create a shared troubleshooting guide, and together we’ll learn to love mistakes.

Inspiring formats for successful co-creation workshops

In this session we will highlight tools and methods for designing interactive co-creation workshops and ways to engage stakeholders to achieve specific outcomes in a fun and creative way.

Thursday 30 January 2020 (start 9:00)




  • Horizon 2020 SciShops project overview and presentation of 10 new Science Shops
  • Connecting with communities. Knowledge partnership for societal change  – Andrea Vargiu, Professor of Sociology and of Methodology and techniques of social research at the University of Sassari, Italy
  • CBPR in action  – representatives from civil society organisations 


Coffee break


Panel debate – supporting and nurturing Science Shops & CBPR initiatives in the future –

Carmen Munteanu, SYNYO & Project Coordinator of H2020 SciShops project

Dr María Jesús Pinaz, IS Global & Scientific Coordinator of H2020 InSPIRES project

Dr Henk Mulder, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Groningen University

Norbert Steinhaus, Bonn Science Shop & Coordinator of Living Knowledge






Coffee break & exhibition of SciShops’ Science Shops




Conversations for new collaborations – Meet new partners and make new connections for future collaborations on topics nominated by delegates themselves


Evening networking dinner

Friday 31 January 2020 (finish 12:30)



Short changeover break




Coffee break & exhibition of SciShops’ Science Shops


Plenary – co-creation exercise


Close (finish 12:30)


Follow up the event using the hashtags #SciShopsSYMPOSIUM and #SciShopsPitCHallenge and connect with our Facebook and Twitter accounts.


If you have any questions about the Final Symposium, please contact

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