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Ministers Humphreys and Halligan announce 2018 Science Week Festivals and events supported by Science Foundation Ireland

 Ministers encourage communities across Ireland to get involved in what will be the biggest Science Week yet

 12 festivals and 15 events will receive funding to improve public understanding of science and technology

Minister for Business, Enterprise, and Innovation Heather Humphreys TD, together with Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD, today announced investment of more than €470,000 through Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) for organisations to host Science Week festivals or events during Science Week, which takes place from the 11th – 18th November year.  The funding provided through the SFI Discover Programme will support 12 festivals and 15 events across the country.  Science Foundation Ireland are calling on businesses, communities and professionals to take part in Science Week 2018, which will be the biggest yet with over 1,000 events nationwide that encourage people of all ages and walks of life to be informed, inspired and involved in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Making the announcement in Cootehill, Co. Cavan today, Minister Humphreys, said: “As the world around us continues to evolve, encouraging more people in Ireland to explore science-related careers is a priority for this Government. However, in order to achieve this goal, we must ensure that our citizens have access to science at a local level. The investment in the Science Week festivals and events will provide an opportunity to reach new audiences in locations right across the country. Crucially, many of these festivals reach areas where we know there are lower levels of engagement in science.

These initiatives will form part of a wider programme of over 1,000 events taking place throughout Ireland during Science Week 2018. Through the programme, people will be given a platform to celebrate research in their community, stimulate important conversations about science and participate in interactive experiences.”

Commenting on the announcement, Minister John Halligan, said: “Science, technology, engineering and maths all play a very important role in all of our lives and are vital for our economic prosperity. Science Week is a great opportunity for us to celebrate our scientific achievements and find out more about the research and discovery taking place throughout the country. I would encourage everyone to get involved, run their own event, volunteer at festivals or attend an event that will be happening countrywide.  Let’s aim to make this year’s Science Week bigger and better than ever.”

The 12 Science Week regional festivals offer a range of opportunities for the public to engage in Science Week featuring family open days, schools outreach events and public talks across more than 20 counties across Ireland.  Co-ordinated and co-funded by multiple partners, the Science Week festivals involve a programme of events which engage the public in STEM with a regional focus and celebrates science and research in the community.

This year sees the addition of a new festival – “WexSci, Wexford Science Festival” taking place throughout the County and will include an open day, family events and a science teacher conference.  It is being organised by Wexford County Council in partnership with Waterford/Wexford Education & Training Board, Local Link Wexford and the Environmental Protection Agency. 

The festivals that have been approved for funding in 2018 are:

  • Cavan Monaghan Science Festival
  • Cork Science Festival
  • EUREKA Science & Technology Festival
  • The Festival of Farming and Food
  • Galway Science & Technology Festival
  • Limerick Science Festival
  • Mayo Science and Technology Festival
  • Midlands Science Festival
  • Sligo Science Festival
  • Southeast Science Festival
  • Tipperary Science Festival
  • WexSci, Wexford Science Festival


Margie McCarthy, Interim Director Innovation and Education, Science Foundation Ireland said:“We know from research we’ve carried out that about half the Irish population feel uninformed about science, technology and engineering but that more than half are interested in these areas.  Science Week is not only aimed at engaging and informing the public but also to normalise science in our everyday lives and creating a long-lasting appetite for science culture.  The SFI Science Week funding allows us to support and invest in quality events that will take place across the country and allow us to reach as wide and as diverse an audience as possible.  We’re really looking forward to seeing some of the exciting events and speakers that our festival partners have in store for 2018. We are also calling on communities and businesses to play their part in Science Week, by organising events during the week.”

In addition to the 12 festivals, 15 other events received funding under the SFI Discover Programme Science Week call.  These include a range of different events for adults and children looking at topics including baking in space, technology in archaeology, astronauts, climate change, health and vaccinations, creativity, and Ireland’s astronaut candidates.

Events include:

  • Louth Libraries Science Week Library Programme - 40+ events over 2 weeks in Co. Louth 
  • Seeing space from the islands -varied events including 3D show (celestial Journey) presentations and astrophotography workshops on Tory, Arranmore, Inishmore and Clare  Islands.
  • Vaccines: Health, Trust and Evidence -panel discussions in regional venues to engage parents and young people to discuss the science and issues around vaccines


Science Week 2018 runs from 11th – 18th November nationwide.  The full programme will be available in the coming months on



*Research findings taken from the SFI Science in Ireland Barometer, 2015.

For further information:

Claire Rowley

Drury Porter Novelli

087 269 5014


Notes to editor:

About SFI Discover Programme – Science Week call

The purpose of this SFI Discover Programme Science Week Call is to support festivals, events and a Dublin family day  that encourage people of all ages and from all walks of life to be informed, inspired and involved in STEAM during Science Week 2018 and beyond.


  • Science Week Festivals

A regional Science Week festival is a large-scale linked programme of events which engage children, students and the public in STEM through partnerships with a regional focus. A science festival can be an opportunity to celebrate relevant research in the community and to engage the public in hands-on interactive experiences.

The Science Week Festivals are typically coordinated by multiple partners including public engagement professionals, local civic community representatives, researchers and industry.

The list of festivals receiving funding through the 2018 SFI Discover Progamme Science Week call are:





Cavan Monaghan Science Festival

Monaghan County Council

The third year for this festival, it consists of an open day and a programmes of events for adults, families and teenagers.


Cork Science Festival

Glenosheen Ltd

Two open days plus events for families, adults, teenagers and an extensive schools’ programme.


EUREKA Science & Technology   Festival

Institute of Technology Carlow

This week-long programmes of activities is aimed at schools and the general public across Carlow, Kilkenny, Laois, Kildare, Wicklow and Wexford.



The Festival of Farming and Food


This festival aims to showcase the Irish farming industry and agriculture research in Carlow, Cork, Dublin, Galway, Kilkenny, Meath and Wexford. 



Galway Science & Technology   Festival


Galway Science & Technology Forum

This two-week festival involves science and technology based shows and workshops for primary and secondary school students as well as a family day at NUIG.


Limerick Science Festival


University of Limerick

A wide range of events for adults, community groups, families and schools across Limerick and seeking to engage audiences from neighbouring counties, Clare and Tipperary.


Mayo Science and Technology Festival

Mayo County Council

An open day, events for families, events for adult audiences without children, pre-schools, and primary and post-primary schools.


Midlands Science Festival

Atlantic Corridor

Targeting Kildare, Laois, Offaly, Longford, Roscommon and Westmeath, the festival includes an open day and full programme of school, family and evening events aimed at adults.


€30,000 for 2018. €90,000 over three years.

Sligo Science Festival

Institute of Technology Sligo

Targeting Sligo, Leitrim, Donegal and Roscommon, this festival will offer a range of events for schools, families, community groups and adults.  The

open day at IT Sligo will take place on the first day of Science Week.


€30,000 for 2018. €90,000 over three years


Southeast Science Festival

Waterford Institute of Technology

An open day at Waterford Institute of Technology, an evening lecture series as well as a large programme of events, shows and workshops for schools throughout Waterford and Kilkenny (others).

€30,000 for 2018; €90,000 over three years

Tipperary Science Festival

Mary Immaculate College (Limerick   & Thurles)

The second year for the festival, it will involve a series of events for children, teachers, families and the general public at MIC, Limerick IT, Tipperary County libraries and schools.


WexSci - Wexford Science Festival

Wexford County Council

A new festival for 2018, this festival will include an Open Day, open events for families and a science   teacher conference.



Science Week Events

This is a category for smaller scale programme of events, which present engaging STEM related activities to the public. This could include interactive workshops, shows, debates, discussions, exhibitions, museum outreach, outdoor activities, theatres, comedy, music and film.


The list of events receiving funding through the 2018 SFI Discover Progamme Science Week call are:


Event Title

Applicant Organisation

Brief Description


Imaginosity, Dublin Children's Museum

Free shows/interactive workshops aimed at under 12’s attending DEIS schools and local community centres will be delivered for 7 days over Science Week reaching an estimated 1680 people.


Lets Talk Science Festival 2018

The Rediscovery Centre

Targeted at Ballymun, a recognised area of social disadvantage. Content to include an evening event and a full day open public event (Thursday and Saturday of Science Week respectively)


Irelands Astronaut Candidates of 1991

Cosmos Education Ltd T/A Blackrock Castle   Observatory

This event which profiles former Irish astronauts and their subsequent STEM careers.  Also has potential for significant PR opportunities for Science Week.


'Technology in My Life' Citizens' Think-In

Trinity College Dublin (TCD)

Technology “Think In” for the adult audience.  Interactive event discussing policy and ethics around   technology. Includes a free “golden ticket” scheme to attract and lower socio-economic audience. 


Stemming from STEAM

Gaiety School of Acting, The National Theatre   School of Ireland

Expansion of successful pilot events in 2017 which attracted large participants. Partnership with Chester Beatty Library with a wide audience of primary, secondary and adults from   disadvantaged areas blending science & creativity


Louth Libraries Science Week Library Programme

Louth County Council

40+ events over 2 weeks in Co. Louth (a Low intervention county) Potential to grow to a festival in 2018.


Science Week at The Ark 2018

The Children's Cultural Centre Limited t/a The   Ark

The project includes events at the Ark for families, adult audiences (evening) and a specific event for members of the   Ark Children’s Council. With a target of 400 this builds on previous successful SW events.


The Virtual Heritage Lab


The project provides 4 days of interactive demonstrations, show and tell and discussions   highlighting the role tech plays in archaeology. Highlighting animators, gamers and archaeologists as STEM professionals.


National University of Ireland, Maynooth (NUIM)

A novel event using a custom designed caravan to bring physics video game experience to the doorstep of target audiences in Donegal, Louth and Roscommon (all low intervention counties) Co-funded by the Arts Council and previously tested at Electric Picnic.


Baking in Space- food & engineering in the   next frontier

British Council Ireland

A strong event with good quality content delivered over 2 nights at a national theatre. This event has huge potential to engage a diverse and non-STEM audience and also leverage media   coverage. Significant cash contribution from industry.


Art in Mind - How Nature Inspires

British Council Ireland

Building on very successful (differently themed events) in 2017 the British Council is partnering with the Butler Gallery and National Gallery of Ireland to offer two panel/discussion events for adults in Dublin and Kilkenny (a low intervention county)


Planeteers Science Week Workshops

Centre for Climate Change t/a Cool Planet   Experience

4 Days of interactive hands-on engineering around   climate change workshops for primary school children from DEIS schools in Wicklow, Kildare and Meath.


Seeing space from the islands

Sirius Science Ltd

Varied events including 3D show (celestial Journey) presentations and astrophotography workshops targeting 1,000 participants located on Tory, Arranmore, Inishmore and Clare Islands. These are audiences with very limited access to STEM EPE.


Vaccines: Health, Trust and Evidence

Trinity College Dublin (TCD)

Science Gallery

Targeting 700 parents and young people to discuss the science and issues around vaccines in a tested format (panel discussions followed by breakout sessions) in 5 regional venues. 


Science Week Maker Workshops

Trinity College Dublin (TCD)

Science Gallery

Proposal consists of 2.5 days at Finglas Community centre plus visits to 3 DEIS schools, delivering hands-on design challenges, creative electrons and physical computing.