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University of Silesia in Katowice

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TalentON – competition for young, ambitious scientists who want to shape the future

10.08.2023 - 13:20 update 16.08.2023 - 13:25
Editors: wc-a

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Developing an innovative solution by participants that can improve the quality of people’s lives, as well as promoting international cooperation and dialogue – these are the main goals of the TalentON EU competition, which will be held in 2024 in Katowice – European City of Science 2024. 

TalentON is a young competition: it has had only one edition, which took place in 2022 in the Dutch city of Leiden (then the European City of Science). 

The event, organised under the auspices of the European Commission, is intended for young scientists aged 21 to 35 who are studying or completing their PhD in Europe and who want to solve the biggest problems of the modern and future world. 


Worth knowing

Admission process for participation in the competition will be announced in spring 2024. Then a panel of experts will select at least one hundred contestants; their official selection will take place during the international scientific conference EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) (12-15 June 2024), taking place as part of the European City of Science celebrations. 

Participants will be divided into groups of several people, in which they will work during the final struggle in the hackathon formula, having all the necessary facilities at their disposal and using the support of experts. The finals will take place in September 2024 in Katowice.

The task of each team will be to prepare the best possible solution to a problem in the area of ​​one of the five missions of the European Union, based on the scientific method, in the light of the Horizon Europe programme. These include: 

  1. adaptation to climate change, 
  2. cancer prevention and care for cancer patients, 
  3. smart and climate-neutral cities,
  4. restoring soil fertility,
  5. water and restoring the natural environment of the oceans.

The effects of the works will be assessed by a group of experts sitting on the jury and presented to the audience. The winners will receive cash prizes.

More cooperation

The organisers of the upcoming edition, i.e. the Academic Consortium “Katowice – City of Science”, would like the competitors selected to participate in the finals to have time and a chance to get to know each other before the September competition.    

“We want the teams to get to know each other earlier – either via Internet or during an integration meeting organised here. We would also like to offer the participants online lectures with specialists in various fields, so that when they come to the finals in Katowice, they are already well prepared and integrated”, emphasise the coordinators of the event on behalf of the University of Silesia in Katowice: Łukasz Lamża, PhD, Małgorzata Poszwa and Aleksandra Kwiatkowska.

An important goal of this type of competition is also the opportunity for representatives of science from different countries to meet, which translates not only into the exchange of experience, but also often into specific cooperation between research centres. Students from Katowice universities will also be involved in TalentON, e.g. by taking care of participants or guiding guests around the city. It is also an opportunity to present the research potential of Katowice and the Silesian Voivodeship to the European academic community.

A look at the region

One of the main assumptions of the European City of Science Katowice 2024 is to bring science out of the walls of the university to the residents, to show that science accompanies them every day and provides solutions to their everyday problems. 

Therefore, the organisers of next year’s TalentON would like the topics to be developed by the competitors to include also those concerning Katowice. 

“Perhaps the perspective of participants from other countries will bring a new idea that we will decide to implement in order to improve the quality of life of the inhabitants. This would be a tangible benefit for our region enabled by the competition”, the organisers point out. 

All details will be published on the event website, which will be created in spring 2024. We also encourage you to follow the information on the websites and social media of the partner universities of the Academic Consortium “Katowice – City of Science” and the city of Katowice.

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