Exeter Science Centre Community Interest Company
 
Detailed Newsletter: October 2020
 
Welcome to our first detailed newsletter! It's been a busy year, and we're delighted to share our progress with you so far, and our ambitions for the year to come. Read on to see what we've been up to! 
 
The Story So Far
 
We officially launched our plans for the Exeter Science Centre at the fantastic Exeter City Futures Connect event back in September 2019, and we've been hugely motivated by the enthustiastic response we've had for the project since then, from the many organisations and individuals we've spoken to. We know that this STEAMM science discovery centre can and will make a genuine difference in the region, and although it is a mighty task, we are absolutely determined to make it happen!
 
Over the past year, we've been working on growing our team of advisors, making connections across the city and region, finalising our preliminary business plan, setting up our Community Interest Company (we'll soon be converting to a Charity), starting our public engagement activities and applying for grants for this, getting quotes for aspects of the building design, and starting to work with academics to help share their research with the public. We've also received some welcome media attention, and we hope to boost this in the next year to help reach an even wider audience.
 
For even more behind-the-scenes details from Natalie's perspective, you can listen to a University of Exeter Doctoral College podcast about setting up the Science Centre here.
 
Key Updates
Our New Website
 
We launched our new website back in April, and we feel it's really starting to express our ambitions properly! We'd love any feedback about it, if you think anything needs adding or improving.
 
View the Website
Meet the Team
 
Hopefully you've met Natalie or Alice in person by now, and please also let us introduce you to our amazing team of advisors - we're absolutely thrilled to have such experienced and inspiring people on board. We're also delighted to welcome our new volunteer, Eleanor, who is helping us with our social media content and analytics.
 
Meet the Team
Preliminary Business Plan
 
You can find a copy of our preliminary business plan on our website via the button below. It's a working document, but as scientists we're very keen to be "open source" about our plans! It's really some very detailed plans and ambitions on paper, and we'll update this soon once we've finished our initial consultations with the public.
 
Read the Preliminary Business Plan
Public Engagement Programme 
 
We're offering an affordable public engagement programme for researchers, where we help them to communicate their work to the public in an easy but impactful way.
 
Read about our Public Engagement Programme
The Year Ahead
 
Alice has just finished her maternity leave and has officially left the University of Exeter as the Outreach Officer for the College of Engineering, Maths and Physical Sciences, and joined Natalie on the project properly.

We'll soon be releasing "Meet the Team" videos, hosting virtual public consultations on the project and, if we are awarded the grants we're applying for, we might be able to bring in some more team members!

Alongside fundraising (more on this below), we are planning a range of public engagement with science activities over the coming year. The COVID-19 situation will dictate our activities somewhat, but all being well, we hope to attend festivals across the South West next summer, and begin connecting schools and community groups with local research and industry, virtually if required. We are also planning a mini pop-up science centre next year in Exeter city centre, to consult directly with the public while showcasing some fascinating local research.

In addition, we have some exciting plans to run investigative mini-projects with schools, to give them a unique insight into the many aspects of this multi-faceted project, and you can read more about this here.

Funding Strategy
We're mostly powered by passion and determination at the moment, but we've been working out how to use our expertise to generate a sustainable income, whilst also making a difference without having the physical Centre just yet.

We have started to offer a paid service for STEMM academics, where we create and carry out a public engagement programme of their research. These activities, supplemented by various grants, should enable us to earn a sustainable salary to work on both streams of work: establishing the organisation and our impactful activities, and planning for the building itself.

We are looking for philanthropic / capital grant funding to create the building, and hope that the activities we run in the meantime will help build the excitement about the project and raise our profile further.
 
News & Events
 
 
Science as Art Gallery
 
We loved running the online Science as Art Gallery during the lockdown, with some fascinating and beautiful contributions from both the public from across the UK and researchers from the South West. 
 
Visit the Gallery
 
In the Newspaper!
 
We were delighted to be approached by Madeleine Cuff, environment reporter from i news, who wrote a fantastic article on our plans for the Science Centre in May - in print and online. You can read our news story about it at the link below!
 
Read the News Article
 
Asks
 
To really get the project off the ground and reach as many people as possible, there are a number of ways that you can help us:
 
 
Arts Advisor Wanted
 
We're looking for at least one member of the arts community to join our advisory team, to help guide us in putting the Art in STEAMM. If you are (or know anyone who is) passionate about art, science and changing the world, please get in touch!
Follow Us
 
Please do follow us on social media, and like + share our posts, it really helps us to get the word out!
 
You can find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
 
 
Support Us
 
If you're part of a local organisation that would like to work with us, or perhaps you just love what we're doing, then get in touch about becoming a partner or supporter - we're delighted that CoachBright, TechExeter, Agile Rabbit and the Global Systems Institute at the University of Exeter have done so, and we look forward to working with them!
Spread the Word
 
Please do forward on this newsletter to anyone who might be interested - they can sign up to our newsletter here!
 
Or perhaps you know of awesome people or organisations that you think we ought to connect with - please do send an introduction email and help us connect with them!
 
 
Thanks for reading! We'll typically send no more than 4 updates a year, so keep an eye out for the next one, and follow us on social media in the meantime.
 
 
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© 2020 Exeter Science Centre Community Interest Company