Taking the Biosphere to the Twittersphere

Recapping the 2014 NB Bioscience Twitter Scavenger Hunt admin October 3, 2014

For the second year running, BioNB hosted its Bioscience Twitter Scavenger Hunt in celebration of National Biotechnology Week. The Hunt raises awareness for our province’s bioscience community by asking participants to research and tweet facts around the activities happening in our sector and around the world.

Between September 29th and 30th, @BioScienceNB tweeted nearly 30 clues about bioscience companies, research, science facts, creative tasks, and other activities to engage the Twittersphere.

The competition started off with two easy clues that had users learning about the BioInnovation Challenge hosted by BioNova, and two well-known companies in the community: BIOPolynet and Sylvar Technologies. Participants learned that Sylvar produces forestry pest control products before heading over to the BIOTECanada page to find ways that biotechnology is improving our daily lives. Around a dozen users actively participated throughout the morning and found themselves engaging with NBIF’s Medical Devices Research Chair Erik Scheme, designing their own cleantech company logo, and naming creative uses for test tubes.

By Monday afternoon the competition was getting stiff and front runners were starting to emerge. Participants learned about the awards and recognition that bio has received this year, they were asked to explore some of BioNB’s online content, and learned that BioNB.org is a great option for posting job opportunities.

The second day of the Hunt saw the competition get very serious: a handful of dedicated participants sometimes answered clues within less than 3 minutes. Participants interacted with event sponsor LuminUltra Technologies when they learned about Pat Whalen’s nomination for the BDC Young Entrepreneur of the year award, and were asked to submit 20 second sales pitches for their products. User @JMJLee won this creative clue and got an early lead with his lightning fast Googling and Tweeting skills.

Clues often asked participants to explore BioNB for clues and answers; they learned about our event calendar, blog postsnews feed, and BioFlash newsletter. One particularly fun clue had users come up with a name for a product that treats post nasal drip: “PiNOSEchio” and “Mucus Focus” (Take a sip, get rid of the drip!) took the prize for that round.

The last stretch of the second day had participants learning about advanced technologies from BiomAtCan, the Atlantic Cancer Research Institute, Resilia, IPSNP, and CCNB’s Biorefinery Technology Scale-Up Centre. The last clue asked users to tweet out their lessons learned to their own followers. Participants revealed that they were surprised about the size and close-knit community of the biosector in New Brunswick, and eagerly tweeted out facts to their collective thousands of followers.

In the end, users @S_Ingalls and @JMJLee took home prizes, but it’s the bioscience community that won. The Hunt yielded over 400 total #nbw2014 tweets, gave exposure to at least 30 individuals and companies, and reached tens of thousands of Twitter users with generous retweeting from our partners and friends.

@BioScienceNB had a ton of fun hosting the competition, and hopes that some of our partners learned about Twitter as a platform for communicating, promoting, and making new connections.


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