Sparks is a European project designed to awaken citizens’ interest in Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) focusing on how technology shifts can affect our present and future healthcare. A creative exhibition touring in 29 countries combined with hands-on activities (science cafés and other participatory activities) will allow citizens but also other actors (from research institutes, to the industry, governments, etc.) to discover and experiment together a new way of doing research and innovation – with and for society.

Sparks will build on innovative formats and methodologies implemented throughout the project to deliver a toolkit for science museums and centres willing to engage the public(s) in RRI. The experience of the project will also be fused into policy recommendations supporting the implementation of RRI processes at the EU, national and local levels.


  • Raise awareness about the concept and practice of RRI;
  • Encourage citizens and other key stakeholders to share the responsibility for science;
  • Increase the capacity of local science actors and public authorities to stimulate RRI processes locally;
  • Feed Research and Innovation (R&I) policies at the EU, national, regional and local levels to facilitate the development of RRI processes and enrich R&I in the field of health and medicine with societal inputs.


Responsible research and innovation (RRI) is an approach encouraged by the Horizon 2020 framework programme of the European Commission, taking into account societal needs and expectations with regard to research and innovation, with the aim to foster the design of inclusive and sustainable scientific solutions.

RRI encourages researchers to share and discuss their plans and findings with different actors (citizens, civil society organisations, businesses) and to work with experts from other disciplines (ethicists, social scientists, arts and humanities scholars) in order to anticipate and reflect on the possible impacts of their research.


Participatory Activities

  • 1 interactive touring exhibition travelling in 29 countries
  • 230 innovative participatory activities especially adapted to engage the general public in RRI
  • 4 short videos including artists’ views on the project
  • 1 practical toolkit on formats and methodologies to engage citizens in RRI
  • 1 policy document to promote the implementation of RRI at the EU, national and local level


Beyond the Lab: the DIY Science Revolution

The Beyond the Lab Exhibition (to be showcased at Esplora in July and August 2017) tells the stories of a growing number of ‘DIY scientists’ around the world who are busily hacking, experimenting and inventing in the field of healthcare. These citizen scientists often work with professional researchers to gather and analyse scientific evidence helping to understand local environment and face public health challenges such as air pollution, antibiotic resistance or disease outbreaks.

The exhibition focuses on three areas of DIY science:
‘Citizen Science’
‘Health Hacking’
‘DIY Biology’

It also features three innovative works created by artists who position themselves at the border between art, science and technology. During a residency at the Ars Electronica Futurelab in Linz, Austria, they worked with curators and scientists to develop artworks proposing future visions of science and technology for individuals and the society.

The Beyond the Lab exhibition will be exhibited at Esplora Interactive Science Centre in July and August 2017.



Sparks events at Esplora

Reversed Science Café

Join our discussion in which we will be exploring the Malta Human Genome Project

Wednesday 7th June 2017



Click here to go to the Event page.


Science Espressos


Sparks’ Science Espressos will enable discussion between experts and the public on different topics within the field of health care. Participation in these Science Espresso will be free and coffee will be served throughout the event. this is your chance to ask anything to the experts and discover how each research can be relevant to citizens and our community. for more information, send us an email on (no bookings needed).

Science Espressos Esplora


Pop-up Science Shop

Wednesday 20th September 2017 – 10 am till 12 pm

Express your requests, needs and concerns about in this final event. If you’re a scientist, researcher, a local expert, a student or simply an interested citizen, join us to develop new research questions to tackle certain issues in relation to citizen science. What’s the topic? It’s up to you to share what is needed most in our society.


For more information about the project itself, visit Sparks website (
Facebook: Sparks EU
Twitter: @sparks_eu
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