FameLab is a registered trade mark of Cheltenham Festivals, one of the UK’s premier cultural organisations delivering four of the country’s leading Festivals: Jazz, Literature, Music and Science. It was set up in 2005 in partnership with NESTA (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) with extensive media support from Channel 4 and the Daily Telegraph. In 2007, the competition was adopted by the British Council as one of its main science engagement projects first in a South East Europe pilot and then expanding in 2011 and 2012 to include more than 20 countries across Europe, Asia and Africa: e.g. Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Israel, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey. The extent of its popularity is heartening: in Turkey alone, a staggering 20 million TV viewers tuned in during one year to watch the national FameLab final.
Switzerland has also caught the FameLab bug! In early 2012, we came aboard and kicked off the competition in Zurich and Geneva. Since then Swiss FameLab competitions have been organised in Zurich and Geneva every year.