Category G03. Messaging Campaign
Idea Creation INTERONE München, GERMANY
Name Company Position
Matthias Schäfer Interone BBDO Chief Creative Officer
Shin Oh Interone BBDO Executive Creative Director
Georg Klemm Interone BBDO Creative Director
Ariane Winter Interone BBDO Creative Director
Lukas Wimmer Interone BBDO Art Director
Dominik Schneck Interone BBDO Copywriter
Christian Reithmaier Interone BBDO Account Director
David Söhnel Interone BBDO Account Manager
Notis Pikros Intrasoft Programmer
Dimitris Kokorogiannis Intrasoft Programmer

The Campaign

European law can be harsh regarding possibilities for refugees: Travelling freely is not permitted for them as they have to stay in their designated areas of registration. Additionally, working permissions are not issued before full asylum is granted – which may take several years. Obstacles that lavish important manpower for the European science community.

Creative Execution

Mobile first? Mobile only! Most refugees have lost everything during their month-long journey. But there is one thing every refugee cherishes like life itself: His smartphone, a major tool to communicate, messaging family and friends at home and help them navigate through the continent. So, using the one remaining tool every refugee has, we created a platform to cross borders – without actually crossing them. After registration, European and refugee scientists can provide information about their research history, their area of expertise or their practical experiences. A list of publications substantiates their information. When finding a possible research partner, the platform then automatically matches scientist based on their information provided. With their device, the scientists can now have subject-specific talks, video chat or share messages and documents, using Research Buddies as a hub for any tasks or meetings. Short: Make science together – independent of their whereabouts or asylum status.

Research Buddies met its core propose – connecting European and refugee scientists in an easy way – within weeks, reaching thousands of researchers and encouraging them to take part in the project. In Numbers: Science4Refugees Research Buddies became a doorway to more than 17.000 open positions in science, more than 10.500 universities and institutions, as well as more than 25.000 scientists all over Europe. Further, our idea gained widespread attention in blogs and media, leading to an increased interest of the public in the matters of refugee scientists. And showed: Even if refugees face discrimination and rejection in some countries – the science community welcomes everybody.

Developed in 2016, Research Buddies was the result of a sudden increase of studied people seeking shelter in Europe, needing a simple way to interact with researchers on domestic markets. When relaunching EURAXESS, the largest European job network for researchers and scientists, we quickly realized that there is a strong need for refugees to contribute in science – unfortunately they can’t. Therefore, we asked refugee scientists and European scientists to participate at the project in the first instance. Universities, academic institutions and professors are further asked to gain attention for Research Buddies. To inform refugees about the new platform, we spread the word on blogs, websites and publications focused on scientists from mainly Arab and African regions seeking for an employment in Europe.