Cap Sciences is a centre for scientific, technical and industrial culture based in Bordeaux, Aquitaine. The association was founded in 1995 on the initiative of the Ministry of Research and the Regional Council of Aquitaine. For over 15 years, Cap Sciences has produced and presented educational and cultural programmes to develop knowledge and awareness of science and technology. This can be through on-site, travelling and online exhibitions and workshops, events, visits and encounters, as well as online multimedia reporting, video games or social media connections. Cap Sciences has developed an expertise in creating and managing resources and networks to support the dissemination and interest in science and technology.
As a centre for scientific, technical and industrial culture approved by the Ministry of Education and Research, Cap Sciences acts as a link between the world of research and the public by allowing the latter to discover and understand themes, issues and the nature of scientific, technical and technological applications. Its connections have multiplied and widened over time. On a daily basis, Cap Sciences connects not only with the general public including a vast number of school students, but also with a wide range of professionals from companies, industries, research centres, institutions and associations, from the scientific but also the cultural, political and business world.
Cap Sciences wants to build a rich experience for its visitors based on 3 essential components: pleasure, knowledge and relationship. These are developed on-site, with the activities offered and the facilitators and online with a personal account for each visitor, a content website and social media activities.
Cap Sciences has recently redefined its missions in three directions:
science centre – Through its onsite and travelling exhibitions, workshops and events, Cap Sciences reaches more than 200 000 people each year. It runs activities in its main building alongside the Garonne River, but also in three “satellite” sites: two in underprivileged suburbs being redeveloped and one specialising in archaeology.
network facilitator (particularly at regional level) – Cap Sciences is involved in running, facilitating and promoting the network of organisations which contributes to disseminating scientific, technological and industrial culture in the Aquitaine region, promotes synergies and brings its expertise. Cap Sciences is involved in defining the political strategies linked with regional research and innovation.
cultural engineering expert – Cap Sciences is also increasingly called upon as a consultant and commissioned to manage external science culture projects, a mission at the heart of professional networks.
Cap Sciences develops collaborations and networks to set up and test technologies, and study their interactions with the audience. This activity is set up in a cluster-like structure bringing together, along with Cap Sciences, research centres and companies from the creative industry sector in particular. This allows both start-up companies to acquire experience and references, and also brings innovation to the science communication field.
For 5 years, Cap Sciences has worked on research and development projects on science communication and digital technology. These projects have enabled Cap Sciences to implement a digital strategy within all its activities. Several products have been created in cooperation with research laboratories and local companies. These tools and/or services have been tested in real conditions with audiences before being fully implemented. This experience of cooperation with professionals from the creative industry sector, its engagement in the digital economy and voluntary sectors to work with a wider network or cultural organisations, resulted in a new strategic development plan.
In 2014, Cap Sciences totals 50 staff members. The science centre reaches 430 000 participants per year through its exhibitions, workshops, conferences, schools programmes and outreach activities. Cap Sciences is involved in several national and European networks. The science centre is a board member of the French network of science centres (AMCSTI) it is also involved in the Club Innovation & Culture France (CLIC). At international level, Cap Sciences is an active member of the European network of science centres (ECSITE), taking part in its quarterly magazine editorial board and it is a member of the Learning Museum network (LEM).
Contact person: Cécile Marsan