A large delegation from Groningen visited Dublin from 9 to 11 January. The delegation was led by Science LinX and included the alderman for Economic Affairs and other staff from the Municipality of Groningen as well as representatives from the Groningen Forum, IBM Groningen, Infoversum, the Night of Art and Science and the Fablab. The trip provided the Groningen group with plenty of food for thought: the Irish Science Gallery has formed a tight network with Trinity College Dublin, the city of Dublin and companies such as Google and Pfizer, something which is also in progress in Groningen with the City of Talent campaign.
The trip took place within the scope of the European project PLACES, Cities of Scientific Culture , in which Science LinX is participating. The PLACES project is an alliance of science centres, universities and cities that targets science communication.
The Groningen delegation drew inspiration from the
, which puts on special exhibitions at the intersection of art, science and culture that attract 300,000 visitors each year. The Science Gallery works closely with the University and encourages the public to come up with ideas for new exhibitions.
At the time of the visit, the ‘Grow Your Own’ exhibition was open, an exhibition in which artists sought the frontiers of synthetic biology in provocative projects. Cheese from human bacteria (navel, toes) and a mouse with Elvis Presley’s genes encouraged the visitors to consider the possible future applications of synthetic biology.
The delegation spent the afternoon at the City Council’s Traffic Control Centre listening to speakers who described a number of Open Data and Smart City projects. Dublin’s Dublinked data-sharing network is one of the most advanced of its kind in Europe, and the applications are wide: for example, planning smart routes through the city and tracking accidents and traffic jams. Trinity College and IBM Ireland played a significant part in this project and together with the Science Gallery produced an exhibition on it, ‘Hack the City’. At the end of the afternoon, the delegation was allowed to take a look in the Traffic Control Room (see photo) to see how an army of cameras monitors traffic in Dublin.
The delegation returned to Groningen full of inspiration. In the coming period, the partners will be planning how innovation, science and art projects at special locations can be used to encourage more talented youngsters to put down roots in Groningen.
Text: Eva Teuling
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