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Horta ,  July 16, 2018

Gui Menezes announces allocation of 630 thousand Euros to support operation of regional Science Centres

The Regional Secretary for the Sea, Science and Technology announced in Horta the reinforcement of protocols to support the management and development of six Science Centres in the Azores. They will receive the amount of 630 thousand Euros, which corresponds to an increase of about 13% compared to the amount available last year.
Gui Menezes stated that the increase of investment amounts to 72 thousand Euros. According to him, it "will contribute to the development of new lines of action" by these centres, "namely the practices related to Citizen Science and the social science and scientific dissemination collaborative networks in the Region."
The Regional Secretary spoke at the opening of the meeting of the Network of the Azores Science Centres (RECCA), stressing that the Government intends to "bring more science to the people" through a series of activities that explore the knowledge areas of these centres "in an interactive and interesting manner." They focus on various fields, namely the Sea, Astronomy, Physics, Volcanology, Mineralogy, Seismology, Biodiversity, Environment, Microbiology, Information Technology and Robotics.
Gui Menezes considered that Science Centres are "an important tourist attraction, especially for families visiting the Azores, while also disseminating some of the specificities" of the archipelago.
In this context, the government official highlighted that regional science centres registered more than 96 thousand visitors in 2017, that is, 11 thousand more visitors compared to 2016." According to him, about 43 thousand people in the first half of this year have already visited these spaces.
"These figures justify the creation of public policies that strengthen the link between science and society," the Regional Secretary said, mentioning the creation of the Action Plan for the Scientific and Technological Culture of the Azores. It covers five programmes and represents an investment of more than 2.2 million Euros by 2020.
"Science and Society," "Science at School," "Researchers and Public Communication of Science," "Citizen Science" and "Science and the Media" are part of PACCTO Azores, which was presented in May.
As part of these programmes, Gui Menezes pointed out measures such as the strengthening of the Network of Azores Science Centres, the creation of the "Science in the Community" prize next year or the Regional Science and Technology Meeting/Science Fair; the latter planned for 2020.
"We want to further promote the participation of researchers in the actions of the Azores Science Centre as well as to create the "Art, Science and Technology" competition next year," said the government official.
"We hope to encourage more actions aimed at the general population and, in particular, at young people and school audiences, through exhibitions, lectures, workshops, science workshops and laboratory activities, which will arouse their interest in scientific themes in a fun way," said Gui Menezes.
The Regional Secretary also highlighted the MACARONIGHT, a project funded by the European Commission through the Horizon 2020 programme. It involves the participation of several partners from the Azores, Madeira and the Canaries.
This event, which takes place in the Azores in September 2018 and in September 2019, aims to mark the European Night of Researchers as well as to implement a series of practical activities involving younger audiences.
In the Azores, the MACARONIGHT project is run by the Regional Directorate for Science and Technology, the Regional Fund for Science and Technology and the Network of Azores Science Centres. It has an overall direct investment of 100 thousand Euros for the six centres.
The RECCA network is composed of the following centres: EXPOLAB, the Azores Environment Observatory, the Astronomical Observatory, the Azores Sea Observatory, the Microbial Observatory and the Azores Volcanological and Geothermal Observatory.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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