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NanoDiode organised its school kids’ and students’ competition for innovative ideas between May 2014 and December 2014. With the competition, NanoDiode aimed to engage school kids and students in the societal discussion on nanotechnologies: to inform and inspire the European youth of nanotechnologies and to encourage them to develop their own views about societally desired nanotechnology innovations.

The competition invited school children and students to submit their creative ideas on how nanotechnologies might shape our future societies. For determining the winners, both visitors of the NanoDiode website and an expert jury of artists and stakeholders voted for their favourite ideas, submitted by over 50 participants from Italy, Germany, Spain and Austria. All ideas and jury comments can be viewed on  NanoDiode’s competition webpage.

All competition participants were able to think of ways nanotechnologies could contribute to the society. They addressed both their everyday problems and broad societal needs: several ideas were explicitly linked to issues such as health, hunger, lack of drinking water or societal accessibility. The ideas confirm that the competition succeeded in inspiring the participants on the possibilities of nanotechnologies. The public voting further increased NanoDiode’s visibility as the project website was frequented by new visitors. This way the competition introduced both the project and nanotechnologies in general to new audiences.

Within NanoDiode, the competition represents an example of involving an underrepresented group in the nanotechnology discussion. In this sense, NanoDiode evaluates the competition as a case study of public involvement. This report assesses how the competition reached its target group and what kind of dialogue it initiated. The experiences that were made during the competition can this way be used for engaging other hard-to-reach groups in different societal discussions, too.

Read the full report on NanoDiode’s idea competition here: NanoDiode D2.2 Report of the school kids’ and students’ competition for innovative ideas