KiiCS: a pan-European project gathering creative people, scientists and young adults in a process of co-creation for innovation

KiiCS (Knowledge Incubation in Innovation and Creation for Science), a 3-year European Commission-funded project (2012-2014), was launched on February 15, 2012, in Brussels by its 12 partners. Led by ECSITE, the European network of science centres and museums, the project aims to build bridges between arts, science and technology by giving evidence of the positive impacts of their interaction for creativity as well as for triggering interest in science. The project will stimulate co-creation processes involving creators and scientists, and nurture youth interest in science in a creative way.

The economy is increasingly innovation-led and creativity has become a key competitiveness indicator.
Business in general and ICT companies in particular rely more and more on inputs from creative people
to distinguish their brands/products/services from competition. Art is also a flexible mean to reach new audiences such as citizens and young adults. Convinced of this, KiiCS relies on three main components:

Incubating science and creativity for innovation

In a preliminary research, the partners will identify existing processes to incubate innovation through interactions between science and the creative sector: a “Do-it-yourself Incubation Kit” containing methodological and advocacy tools will be developed. KiiCS will then establish Incubation modules by mobilising creative and scientific assets (labs and research centers, universities, business innovation centers, creative and ICT industries, arts institutions, science centres and arts museums, etc.) in 9 European cities. A large variety of themes will be addressed, like “Life sciences”, “Urban living” or “Waste recycle”. 18 innovative ideas and projects will be nominated for a “European KiiCS Incubator Award”.

Nurturing youth interest in science through creativity

Part of KiiCS’ activities will focus on young adults (14-17 years old) with a view to attract them to science by engaging them in creative activities led by scientists and artists. Six Innovative European Partnerships will be developed between the project’s partners and 9 science centers closely working with youth communities. These partnerships will stimulate young people’s creativity through interactive games, virtual experiments, educational packs, or hands-on exhibitions. The best innovative ideas will be nominated for a “European Youth KiiCS Award”.

Connecting innovative ideas with businesses and potential investors

KiiCS will also support entrepreneurship by putting individual creators and scientists in contact with the business world. It will help to identify companies/investors which could support the ideas or projects generated. To this aim, the business community will be involved at different stages of the project.

KiiCS’ results will be disseminated to a large audience, including creative and science communities, science centres and museums, young people, citizens, businesses and business innovation centres as well as policy-makers through specific policy recommendations. Partners will take part to about 35 local events related to youth, creativity and innovation. The Awards ceremony for innovative ideas will be organised at the PICNIC International Festival in Amsterdam. The project partners will be also active through an interactive Website, a Facebook page and short films to be posted on YouTube.

KiiCs is a project funded by the 7th EU Framwork Programme with the partecipation of ECSITE (Brussels), Città della Scienza (Naples), The Arts Catalyst (London), Kapelica Gallery (Ljubljana) Science Gallery (Dublin), Waag Society (Amsterdam); Copernicus Science Centre (Warsaw) TILLT (Göteborg), Science Communication Observatory Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona), CCSTI Grenoble, European BIC Network e KEA (Brussels)