Talk Nerdy To Me (TNTM) has gathered the EIT RawMaterials innovation community to connect and train on how to effectively present and pitch their research to policymakers and investors.

EIT RawMaterials together with its partners RWTH Aachen and TU Clausthal launched the science communication bootcamp “Talk Nerdy To Me 2018”, the past 2-4 July at Rammelsberg, in Goslar (Germany), the only mine in the world which had been in uninterrupted operation for over 1,000 years, declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. The event was organised by Wesley Crock (EIT RawMaterials Academy), Lea Daling (Cybernetics Lab IMA & IfU – RWTH Aachen University) and Kai Rasenack (TU Clausthal), and was proclaimed a great success by organisers and participants alike.

A total of 34 students took part in TNTM, of which 28 were Upscaling Master and PhD student researchers coming from 13 Upscaling projects, and six were students from EIT-Labelled programmes. Ten different EU nationalities were present, and 35% were women engineers.

The students’ fields of research were diverse, representing the entire value chain – from exploration and mining to processing, recycling, substitution and circular economy. However, what many of the participants had in common was an entrepreneurial spirit, with around half of the attendees articulating their interest in setting up their own company in the future.

The aim of the event was to build a research network and train the participants on how to effectively and compellingly present and pitch their own research to policymakers and investors. To achieve this, student teams developed personae of policymakers and investors who could potentially evaluate their work. To this end, students came with a presentation of their own research and left with a commanding presentation for policymakers and a pitch for investors.

Communication between researchers was emphasized, with six multi-disciplinary teams formed to give peer-to-peer feedback on updated presentations for policymakers and pitches to investors.

Finally, there were plenary presentations – for which almost all volunteered – and three students presented their research. The plenary pitches were equally popular, with five students pitching to the group.

The participants stressed their satisfaction with the development of the event where they made new professional contacts and developed communication skills to help achieve their objectives in science and engineering – the power to “Talk Nerdy To Me”!