Our Partners

The partnership for the proposed project consists of 5 organizations from 4 EU countries (Greece, Norway, Portugal and Ireland) representing different organisations and institutions. It is composed by organizations with varying but complementary characteristics, competences and geographical coverage, all sharing common goals of fostering engagement of children/youngsters into scientific careers and subjects through innovative, creative science education methodologies. The NEXT STEP consortium brings together key players in the fields of Creativity in Education (HVL, Science View, EA, NUCLIO), Science Education (EA, NUCLIO, SV), the arts (HVL, DkIT), Outreach (Science View, NUCLIO), assessment and evaluation of educational activities (SV) who have invested major efforts in introducing frontier initiatives in schools and youth organisations in Europe and beyond.


Western Norway University of Applied Science (Høgskulen på Vestlandet, acronym HVL) has approximately 1400 staff spread on five different locations in western Norway. With approximately 16,000 students it is one of the largest higher education institutions in the country, offering Bachelor and Master studies primarily within education, engineering, health and social sciences. PhD studies are offered in five scientific fields: Bildung and Pedagogical Practices; Nautical Operations; Computer Science: Software Engineering, Sensor Networks and Engineering Computing; Health, Functioning and Participation, as well as Responsible Innovation and Regional Development. HVL researchers work in multidisciplinary teams and in close cooperation with universities, research institutes and organisations at national and international levels. HVL`s dedicated role in regional development in western Norway is rooted in the University Strategy of 2019-2023, and the university collaborates closely with both local and regional authorities as well as stakeholders within industry, academia, hospitals and health and care organisations. HVL’s Communications department has employees situated in all five cities in which the University College is active (Bergen, Haugesund, Stord, Sogndal, Førde).
HVL focuses on development of new knowledge about creative processes and learning, with an established MA programme in this field, and has hosted international conferences on this topic. Research activities relevant to this project are carried out under the Faculty of Education, Arts and Sport (FLKI). FLKI offers graduate and postgraduate programmes in teacher education with specializations in math, physics, music, and aesthetics as well as broader programmes. Studies have emphasize the uses of modern ICT. HVL conducts R&D at the intersection of science-, arts- and creative education, aiming to create, implement and promote new knowledge, and creative learning processes.
Cross-border cooperation through networks and international projects are essential to the efforts of HVL to strengthen the links between education, research and business for excellence. By seeking cooperation with high-caliber educational and research institutions, as well as businesses and other key stakeholders on local and international arenas, we aim to be a regional leading knowledge actor, boost expertise in our own academic fields and eventually build up sufficient expertise to achieve full university status. HVL have had success in EU-funds, NRC funds, Ministry of Education and Research funds, UTFORSK, Erasmus +, COAST, NORDPLUS, as well as local private funds.


Founded in 2008, Science View is an organization that promotes science communication and science education activities to help bridge the gap between the scientific community and the wider public in Greece and in Europe. The staff, members and co-operators (science communicators and science journalists) of Science View, are constantly working on making scientific knowledge useful and clearly understood by the general public. In this period there are 5 full time staff and part time as well as can involve a network of almost 250 members from several fields (e.g. scientists, teachers, communicators). In doing so, it focuses on the following activities:
  • the organization of events for the distribution and communication of science in public (such as conferences, info days, science cafes, scientific workshops) and their video coverage released on media or uploaded on websites
  • the organisation of training courses about new techniques on science communication; the team specializes on designing and developing e-learning courses for organizations, companies, universities, schools and public and private bodies; it further designs and conducts online seminars, synchronous or asynchronous, via the training web platform of Science View printed and electronic publications, e.g. books concerning science popularization, newsletters, online magazines, websites, information portals and brochures.
  • the development and implementation of educational activities in science and technology in order to inform teachers and pupils to obtain relevant skills.
  • the mobilization of young people, especially students, to participate in actions of scientific interest
  • the development and implementation of research activities in various scientific fields
  • the production of videos and documentaries (including interactive documentaries) of research and scientific projects for dissemination and awareness purposes
Science View is further involved in the organization of science festivals, world conferences and science debates. Science View partners with large EU projects and aims at expanding events and activities organized in Greece to the rest of Europe.
The activities that Science View develops, implements and is involved in are in line with all aspects of Responsible Research and Innovation, since science education, public engagement, open access to scientific information, gender equality and ethical issues represent the main pillars and guiding principles of the organization. Still, in the upcoming five years Science View aims at enlarging its involvement in RRI and science communication in general, hoping to increase the integration of society and its citizens into research processes and also contribute to the increase of the uptake of STEM related academic and professional careers.
Science View’s strong devotion to RRI principles; its longstanding experience in science communication and in the development of transdisciplinary approaches in science education makes Science View a valuable and skilled partner. Its proficiency stems from the organization and conduct of various EU-funded projects (see list below), having borne responsibility as a work package leader, task leader or national organizer.


NUCLIO is a non-profit association and an NGO for development created in 2001 with the main aim of promoting the inclusion of active research as a tool for science learning in schools. NUCLIO’s activities include training teachers in the use of new technologies, innovative methodologies, promotion of real and contemporary research in classroom where students are introduced to the scientific methods using robotic telescopes, data mining, and other advanced tools for science learning. NUCLIO has been involved in several EC projects as national coordinator for Portugal and more recently as coordinator of a few projects aiming to introduce innovative practices for science learning in formal and informal settings. We have been leading several international community building efforts, with the mission to support teachers in the uptake of innovative approaches for science learning and the use of a more student-centered approach such as the use of inquiry-based learning methodology, design thinking and interdisciplinarity. NUCLIO is the coordinator of one of the largest astronomy education efforts in the world, the Galileo Teacher Training Program, a legacy of International Year of Astronomy 2009 endorsed by the International Astronomical Union and UNESCO. The program reached since 2009 over 100 nations and 50 000 teachers. NUCLIO is the coordinator of the Portuguese Language Expertise Centre for the International Astronomical Union where, among other roles, has the responsibility of bringing innovation and capacity building to Portuguese speaking nations and communities across the world. NUCLIO has members of various scientific and pedagogical domains including experts in the field of research and education in areas such as: astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology, geology, mathematics, ICT, science education, education psychology, among others.
As national representatives of various international projects NUCLIO has a task-force prepared to perform the following activities:
  • Community building,
  • Teacher training,
  • Organization of engagement activities and conferences,
  • Science Cafes,
  • SideWalk Astronomy,
  • Online engagement activities (webinars, training events, MOOCs, etc.),
  • Promotion of activities via newsletters and social media channels,
  • Production of innovative tools and resources following the Technology Enhanced Learning approach,
  • Implement science research activity in classroom,
  • Promote citizen science interventions.


Ellinogermaniki Agogi (EA) is an educational organization of private law, officially recognized by the state. Established in 1995, the Research and Development Department of EA provides the test bed for research applications for the design, development and implementation of the research activities in education. The R&D Department acts therefore as an interface between the pedagogical research, the technological innovation and the school community. It focuses on the design, implementation and support of pedagogical and technological innovations in educational practice, both through internal research as well as through collaborations with numerous educational, research and commercial institutions in Europe and the world. EA is an institutional member of EDEN (European Distance Education Network), of STEDE (Science Teacher Education Development in Europe) and of ECSITE (European Network of Science Centres and Museums) network, as well as a partner school of the German Schools-Excellence Network.
The work of the R&D Department which currently employs 15 full time researchers (7 PhD level, 8 MSc) focuses also on the following areas:
a) Development of methodologies and empirical research to investigate processes of learning and knowledge acquisition in various subject matter areas (physics, mathematics, biology, history, etc.);
b) Organizing lifelong learning teachers-training workshops focused on advanced inquiry-based approaches that utilize innovative ICT methods;
c) Design and development of educational learning scenarios based on the concept of storytelling, which has been developed and tested in various EU projects and applied within European educational communities;
d) Cooperation and collaboration with Universities, research centers, museums and private companies for the development and testing of educational material and software.
e) Design of technology-supported learning environments.
EA has a very strong vision-generated interest and rich research and development activity in the fields of informal learning, combined with a variety of creative activities inspired by the inquiry based educational model. Building upon the assets of previously successful European projects, EA offers teachers the opportunity to experience emerging and challenging synergies around the Arts and the Sciences that emphasize in establishing “Creative Science” as common European ground for future pedagogies. Both the development of advanced actions intended to include remote schools as well as the exchange of creative content through educational experiences beyond the boundaries of digital literacy, form the fundamental characteristics of professional development that the institute raises through its innovative initiatives. Its work in EU projects over the last 15 years has established EA as a leading pioneer in innovative approaches to science education. Since its establishment, the R&D Department has coordinated and supported the participation of EA, either as coordinator or as partner, in more than 100 national and international collaborative research projects and networks (H2020, eContentPlus, ICT-PSP, SiS in FP7 and FP6, IST in FP5 and ICT in FP6, LLP-ICT, Socrates, Leonardo da Vinci, Erasmus+), the majority of which have been concerned with the fields of science and new technologies in education. EA team has implemented numerous projects and initiatives in the field of informal science education trying to bridge the gap between formal and informal science learning. These initiatives include the development of innovative tools and approaches, development of contextual based field trips and storylines, monitoring of the visitors behavior, assessment of cognitive and effective outcomes. In addition, EA has also a very strong and proven experience in actively extending the dialogue between scientific and the educational community, enforcing the collaboration between schools and research organizations, centers and museums, and helping young people to acquire better understanding of the role of science in the society. The first Global Science Opera was co-organized, directed and broadcasted live by EA from the EA premises in 2015 and ever since EA is part of the Global Science Opera network having a dedicated researcher as “Alpha contact”. EA also holds a long experience in supporting rural schools in various educational contexts that involve ICT through innovative teaching practices like the “Distancelearning Music Agoge” and iMuSciCA projects.


Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) is a higher education institution in Ireland. Founded in 1970 it provides university level education and currently has over 4000 students. Divided into four academic faculties, the Institute has expertise in the following disciplines: Science, Engineering, Informatics, Humanities, Business Studies, Nursing, Creative Media and Music. Established in 1989 by Dundalk Institute of Technology, the Regional Development Centre acts as the Institute’s Innovation Support and Technology Transfer organisation. The Centre acts as a commercially oriented interface between DKIT and the industrial, commercial and business life of the region, and makes available the expertise, facilities and resources of the Institute for the wider benefit of the regional economy. Through the Research and Developmental endeavours of its Academic Staff, DKIT has developed a strong applied R&D reputation in Software Development, Electronics and Engineering Design, Applied Humanities, Creative Arts, Cultural Studies and Enterprise Development & Innovation with a new and emerging area in the field of Renewable Energy and Digital Media. The evolution of this range of Research expertise has a direct bearing on new course development, on staff development and on the relevance of graduate provision to the skills needs of the Regional and National economy. DkIT has been successful in receiving funding from a number of international sources and is a lead or partner in a number of European funded projects including Erasmus Plus, Interreg, AAL and CLIMATE JPI (ERA4CS). The Department of Creative Arts, Media and Music have established themselves as a leading provider of creative arts education. The approximately 40 staff members provide a wide range of complimentary skill sets that nurture learning across a range of programmes, all of which embrace technology and creativity. Alongside students, they lead an impressive annual programme of cultural and outreach events through performances, exhibitions and showcases that generate greater connections with stakeholders including surrounding communities and employers. Dissemination of research takes many forms including performances, compositions, publications, development of software and film, while staff regularly present their research at conferences and festivals. Ensembles from the Department have toured internationally to America, Norway, England and Brazil. Teams from the Department have previously been engaged in a range of education research projects with a focus on Creative and Aesthetic Learning, the development of Blended Learning and Virtual Learning Environments, and STEAM.
The Creative Arts is one of the key thematic areas for research at Dundalk Institute of Technology and the Creative Arts Research Centre (CARC) embraces both theory and practice in its academic and scholarly pursuits. The CARC brings together researchers from and aims to form synergies between the arts and humanities and innovative technologies areas without undermining the integrity of their core disciplines. The research strategy for the CARC aims to develop collaboration beyond departments and current centre and values communication as well as dissemination of research in its activities in areas including STEAM approaches to education. The Creative Arts Research Centre is to the fore in establishing strategic partnerships through collaboration and cooperation with national and international partners, whether from academia, industry or community.
DkIT has previously hosted a number of conferences and symposia including the Annual Conference of the Irish chapter of the International Council for Traditional Music, the Society for Music Education in Ireland, and the Society for Musicology in Ireland. It has hosted Erasmus Intensive Programme events with students attending from Norway and Belgium, and welcomed students from North American universities for collaborative performances and other events. Staff have developed strong collaborative networks with other institutions internationally for both teaching and research and these linkages have informed programme development at the Institute.