Minerva to deliver communications training workshop at Wageningen University

Minerva has been invited to run a two-part communications workshops for stakeholders and researchers at the University in the historic town of Wageningen, in the Netherlands.

Partnering with the EU ERA-NET Co-fund for monitoring and mitigation of greenhouse gasses from Agri- and Silvi-culture (forestry), Minerva will organise and deliver a Communication & Stakeholder Engagement workshop for members, and a training workshop for researchers, all of whom are involved in the new FACCE-ERA-GAS projects.

During the Stakeholder workshop, taking place in October 2017, Minerva’s Director, Rhonda Smith, will discuss the issue of stakeholder engagement to find ways to share knowledge and learning and explore possible common initiatives for the benefit of all those involved in the project.

The objective of the training workshop session the following day will be to discuss and plan the dissemination and communication of the research projects and, more practically, how to write popular scientific articles and identify the right communication channels for publicising them. The importance of using photographs and images in creating publicity material to attract attention will also be covered.

Minerva has considerable experience and expertise in the field of communications training, both for stakeholders and researchers, raising the quality and effectiveness of disseminating scientific research results.

For further information visit www.eragas.eu

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CommBeBiz & Minerva Drive Innovation in Paris

On behalf of its EU project, CommBeBiz, the Minerva team travelled to Paris in July to participate in the 2017 EBN Congress, an annual meeting organised by the European Business Network, one of the CommBeBiz partners.

A network of around 150 quality-certified EU/BICs (business and innovation centres) and 100 other organisations that support the development and growth of innovative entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs, EBN is a community of professionals who help businesses grow in the most effective, efficient and sustainable way.

This year the EBN Congress meeting, from 5th – 7th July, focused on helping to create and expand open ecosystems for innovation through a variety of specialist speakers, plenary sessions and extended networking opportunities.  Participants, not just from across Europe, but also South Africa, China, Russian Federation, India, Canada, United States, Brazil and Taiwan were among those attending.

Promoting the work of CommBeBiz, a Europe-wide project providing a bridge from bioeconomy research to business, Minerva’s Director, Rhonda Smith, chaired the Internationalisation plenary session as part of its support of EBN during the Congress.

A speed-dating event at the start of the Congress, designed to give delegates the opportunity to meet and discover potential working synergies with others, proved very successful and encouraged people to seek out relevant exhibitors at the event.

Minerva manned an exhibition stand throughout the Congress, promoting the work of CommBeBiz, publicising its forthcoming Academies in Prague and Budapest, and showing off everyday objects made from bio-based materials – trainers, sports shoes and coffee cups.  Delighted with the high level of interest shown, Minerva was on hand to discuss with bioeconomy researchers and businesses the ways in which the project can help the drive towards innovation. All were encouraged to join CommBeBiz to access the support and opportunities available.

A fun quiz, encouraging attendees to guess the origin of the recycled materials used to make a selection of pencils, proved popular and provided some surprises!

For more information about the EBN Congress, visit www.ebncongress.eu


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Minerva – Finalist at 2017 Test Valley Business Awards

Minerva is delighted to have been selected as an Award finalist at the 2017 Test Valley Business Awards.

With the Gala Dinner & Awards Ceremony to be held in Andover on 14th September, Minerva is one of three finalists for the ‘Brenda Locke Award for Women in Business’, sponsored this year by Phoenix Transconnect. The Award is for women in business with a strong connection to their local community, through marketing, trading, recruiting and sourcing local services and goods.

Rhonda Smith, Minerva’s Director, said: “We are all very excited to be a finalist in this category.  Whilst our client base goes beyond the UK, in all areas of our work we endeavour to support the local community, not only in recruiting and developing local staff, but in sharing our expertise with local charities and other not-for-profit organisations. I also take every opportunity to provide work experience for local young people interested not only in our business but also in considering their own career and education choices.”

This will not be Minerva’s first association with the Awards.  In 2011, the company was the winner of Hampshire County Council’s ‘Small Business Award’ and a finalist in the New Hampshire Enterprise, ‘New Business of the Year Award’.

Across six categories, the 2017 Awards received more than 170 entries, surpassing previous record highs since they began in 2004. The judges, who are also the Awards’ Gold Sponsors, visit and speak to their shortlisted nominees before selection for these prestigious Awards.

For more information about the Awards and the Gala Dinner & Awards Ceremony, visit www.tvbawards.org.uk

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Minerva and CiWF

Minerva is providing communications support for the prestigious Extinction and Livestock
Conference – a major international event organised by Compassion in World Farming (CiWF) in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

The conference, to be held at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London on 5-6 October 2017, will examine how we can transform our global food and farming systems to work for people, the planet and animals. It will bring together diverse interests – conservation and livestock production, land and water use, the environment and climate change, ethics and economics, healthy and sustainable diets, food security, food business – and act as a catalyst for future collaboration and solution development.

Charlotte Reid, Senior Project Manager at Minerva, says: “We are delighted to be supporting such a prestigious international event, especially one that will be highlighting such important and worthwhile global issues.

“We are very much looking forward to working with CiWF, WWF and the supporting organisations to help make this event a huge success that brings about genuine changes to our food and farming systems.”



For further information about the conference or to register visit http://www.extinctionconference.com

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Minerva is recruiting

Are you the person we are looking for?

Due to continued success we are recruiting. We require an Account Manager with experience in project management, PR and/or media, ideally with scientific education or experience. Flexible working considered with salary according to skills and experience.

We are also seeking a recent graduate to join the team, with a science based degree and an interest in communications and writing. Challenging and rewarding European & UK projects and clients await successful candidates.

Email your CV and three reasons why we should interview you to info@minervacomms.net.

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Industry speak – can researchers learn the language?

Minerva’s Director and Co-ordinator of the H2020 project CommBeBiz, Rhonda Smith, is off to Segovia, Spain later in May to run a workshop for researchers working on bacterial evolution and adaptation by applying classical engineering principles to cell engineering.

‘The aim of the workshop is to help this group demonstrate the usefulness of their work to industry and help ensure that the remarkable knowledge they are generating in their hard-won project is utilised to the maximum,” explains Rhonda. “To achieve this successfully, researchers need to stop speaking the language of science – with which they are so very comfortable – and switch to industry speak. One tip is to remember that those working in industry are human too – and that they will relate to stories as well as anyone else, and will appreciate a visual approach to content that clearly demonstrates the relevance of the science to them and their work.”

More information about the research group that Rhonda will be working with can be found here http://www.empowerputida.eu


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Minerva at ESOF 2016

From 24th-27th July 2016, the Minerva team attended and contributed, on behalf of itself and several different projects, to the running of sessions and a stand at ESOF 2016.

Watch the short video below and see the Case Studies Engagement page for a full report on the event.

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Capturing hearts as well as minds

The Minerva team is sharing expertise this week with members of Charity Comms, a professional organisation promoting best practice across the communications sector.

Charity Comms events attract a broad audience of major actors and influencers from some of the UK’s leading and emerging charities.  This week’s conference is all about audience strategy – identifying different audiences, building competence at effective engagement, and implementing targeted, successful communications campaigns delivering impact with key stakeholders.

Using Minerva’s proven heritage in supporting organisations to tell their stories, the team will deliver an interactive breakout session on how to pitch and balance key messages for public and specialist audiences, sharing evidence from real life case studies.  The Minerva team is also offering one-to-one advice surgery slots taking place throughout the day, where tailored support will be available through interactive discussion.

“Engaging with relevant audiences is vital to the success of any communications strategy,” explains Rhonda Smith, Director of Minerva.  “For charities in particular, where the aim is to stimulate a specific action (donate, sponsor, volunteer), getting the message right – and making sure it’s received and understood by specialist as well as general audiences – is vital.  We’ll demonstrate how a communications approach that works is not just about sharing statistics and data; it’s about capturing hearts as well as the minds of target groups through storytelling.”

Check out the Charity Comms website for more info on the event.

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Impact – I’ll know it when I see it!

“If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito!” – Anita Roddick

If a message is to reach its full potential in connecting with its target audience, it needs to create impact, to get people interested and engaged, leaving a lasting impression so they want to find out more.

Impact is one of Minerva’s key focuses: being able to create it, exploit it and map it effectively is vital in any communications strategy.

At the Technology Transfer Symposium in Dublin in late 2015, Director of Minerva, Rhonda Smith delivered a presentation on identifying opportunities and building co-operation between innovation leaders, focusing on impact –  particularly what it is and how to use it effectively.

The event was designed to build and improve connections between companies, universities and research institutions that carry out publicly-funded research. Rhonda emphasised that to make connections between institutions with different aims, communication activity needs to be both carefully pitched and memorable.

“This was a great chance to spread the message about how necessary it is to consider impact, and how effective that can be,” Rhonda says. “Creating impact doesn’t have to be complicated – you need to focus on the right knowledge and strategies to make it happen.”

Feedback from attendees stated that the presentation was immediately applicable to their communications strategies.DublinSymposium

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Ensuring the voice of EU research is heard

CommBeBiz, an EC-funded project coordinated by Minerva, hosted its first annual event in Dublin, Ireland last month.

Bioeconomy Impact 2016 was attended by over 80 researchers and stakeholders across two days, providing opportunities for attendees to think critically about their work and consider how they can best engage with the public and stakeholders to create impact.

The programme included expert speakers and workshops, designed to build and enhance the capability and skill of researchers. The Networking Wall, run by members of FTWK Berlin, was well received as both an icebreaker and a way to connect with other researchers. Jeremy Hayes and Paidi O’Reilly hosted a workshop on research impact statements, where attendees were encouraged to think about the long-term impact of their work, developing it to connect effectively with the public.

CommBeBiz supports bioeconomy researchers across Europe to speed up transfer of their knowledge to relevant stakeholders, and the event reflected this with contributions on how to communicate effectively, as a central part of the conference.

Rhonda Smith, Director of Minerva and coordinator of the project, said, “We are delighted with how well the conference was received. Our keynote speakers were fantastic, the workshops were informative and engaging, and we know attendees found the whole event useful in learning how best to communicate their research. Creating impact is a vital part of getting your voice heard and we want to make that happen for bioeconomy researchers all over Europe.”

Announced at the event was the winner of the project’s Photography Competition: Matthew Wilkinson, researcher at Forest Research UK, who entered an image of the forest below, taken from the top of an 85 feet tower, usually used to track changes in the forest due to climate change.

Frank O’Mara, Director of Research at Teagasc and Competition Judge explained why Matthew’s picture was chosen:  “The winning image captured our attention, with the circular view first creating an impression of the globe, and then creating the sensation of looking at a forest through a telescope. After drawing in the viewer, the scientific measurements become obvious and impressive.”

The photo competition finalists, including the winning image, can be found on the CommBeBiz website.

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