Mariano Gago Ecsite Awards

The Mariano Gago Ecsite Awards encourage those people and organisations who demonstrate innovation, creativity and who through their work actively show how they are making an impact. They are a source of inspiration for others.

Mariano Gago Ecsite Awards

Encouraging participation, fostering curiosity, engaging minds, having fun.

Created in 2015, the Mariano Gago Ecsite Awards encourage creative and impactful work within the informal science education sector.
Open to all Ecsite members, they provide a prestigious incentive and reward, and contribute to the development of excellence in science engagement.

Like the ever-developing field of science itself, the Mariano Gago Ecsite Awards are dynamic, with categories changing each year.

The awards are named after José Mariano Gago (1948 - 2015), a key figure of European science engagement. He was a founder of the Portuguese Ciência Viva network of science centres and an active contributor to Ecsite activities over the years. "In a few decades Mariano Gago was able to build a modern scientific community deeply rooted in Portuguese society, implementing his vision that science is source of both technical and human progress. Mariano Gago was also the founder of LIP," explained Mário Pimenta President of the LIP laboratory, generous contributor to the Mariano Gago Ecsite Awards.

Need a general introduction or pitch about the awards? Check out this brochure.

Past awards

Browse through past editions: categories, winners, jury members...

past awards

2017 Awards: "Smart and simple" & "Sustainable success"

Winner - ‘Smart and Simple’ category

TRACES – Espace des Sciences Pierre-Gilles De Gennes, Paris (France) won for the Frugal Science exhibition, a smart, cost-effective project that proposes a new take on both exhibition making and tinkering.

The Smart and Simple Award celebrates simple, innovative and creative solutions in science engagement. It recognises the power of smart ideas that prompt a “I wish I had thought of that one!” reaction from other professionals – this is why nominations for this category were put forward by peers.

Winner - ‘Sustainable Success’ category

Dialogue Social Enterprise, Hamburg (Germany) won for its Dialogue in the Dark exhibition concept, a long-standing success story with remarkable reach and an original and robust business model, true to our field's values of inclusion and diversity. 

The Sustainable Success Award celebrates long-lasting impact: projects that embody the values of science engagement, that are visionary and socially relevant. For this category, organisations put their own applications in.

Special mention

NOESIS - Thessaloniki Science Center & Technology Museum (Greece) got a Special mention for courageous leadership for welcoming children from the refugee camps of Thessaloniki and their families and offering them a scientific, educational, cultural and social programme. 

The winners were announced on 15 June at the Opening event of the 2017 Ecsite Annual Conference in Porto, Portugal.


Winners received a trophy and diploma at the Opening event of the 2017 Ecsite Annual Conference (Porto, Portugal). Their project was featured at the Ecsite booth in the conference’s Business Bistro.

One senior manager from each winning organisation was invited to the 2017 Ecsite Directors Forum (4-6 October 2017, Paris, France) where they shared their experience in a workshop run for their peers. Ecsite covered registration, travel and accommodation costs.

Moreover, the winners saw their projects showcased on the Ecsite website and will be interviewed in Ecsite’s Spokes magazine. The winning organisations were able to use the provided version of the Mariano Gago Ecsite Awards logo.

The Jury

  • Chair of the Jury