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2nd Meeting:
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Age related impairments and disability prevents many of the world’s citizens from enjoying full, independent, productive, high-quality life styles. Those with physical and/or cognitive impairments require help from caregivers and family members to engage in simple daily activities such as to compensate for limitations of walking, gripping, seeing, hearing and even thinking.

Which Societal impact?

The inability of older adults and people with disabilities to perform daily living recreational and social activities limits their experience of autonomy and wellbeing whilst restraining their capacity to achieve these tasks without help from other human beings.

The objective of the Global Village initiative is to build an open service-infrastructure ensuring the continuity of assistive services in the heart of the city in order to enable ageing dependant citizens and people with disabilities to fully participate in society. To be successful this must be based on specified users requirements for services and follow a Design-for-All concept, considering the various environments and contexts within which dependent people interact on a daily basis.  This should incldue not only the permanent living environment (i.e. the home), however,  should be extended to temporary living environments (outdoors in the city or village, leisure centre, relatives or friends homes, etc.).

Which Initiative?

At a European level, the AAL 169 initiative (Ambient Assistive Living) of the European treaty is considered as not only a major initiative in European and associated countries, however,  also at a worldwide level. More than 1 billion Euros are planned to be invested in research and innovation on ICT in supporting a large variety of new services relevant to the lives of all the population, but especially the people with special needs who are dependent as a result of physical and/or cognitive restriction. Nevertheless this is an emerging research field which faces numerous challenges.

Several similar initiatives have already been launched in different countries mainly in Asia and North America. The problem is that expertise in this domain is diluted within numerous national and even European research and innovation projects which usually brings a strong redundancy with existing innovation in other labs, companies or countries. 

Which Economical impact ? 

Smart Environment Technologies offer promising prospects to assist people with special needs. They are,  however,  an new research field many issues still being considered as unresolved.  Only context-specific and costly solutions have been developed, which prevent them from being massively adopted at a market level.  Further issues which are to be considered include:

  • Cost-ineffectiveness: interoperability issues and limited portability prevent the industry from offering cost-effective solutions. Several solutions exist today, but have usually been developed on specific software and hardware platforms. Non-interoperability of services causes severe marketing limitations.
  • Limited user adaptability: the environment and user needs are dynamic parameters that may evolve over time. Most solutions are designed for a specific situation (i.e. in-door vs. out-door contexts, home vs. healthcare centre, nomadic devices vs. fixed equipment) and as such they cannot support user mobility and an increasing number of non-predefined devices.
  • Adapted business plan: in the field of assistive technology business models are usually device oriented, where a specific application is provided as a product at a relatively high cost to the users. This vision limits large dissemination of products which are difficult to secure funding by national organisations in many countries (short term approach). The business model should be more service oriented than device oriented, which is inspired from the mobile phone market (long term approach).
To cope with these issues, industry should focus on new innovation strategies in order to provide viable solutions and to impact on the involvement of SMEs (Small and Medium sized Enterprises) to support the increasing demand.

Why re-inventing the wheel ?

These limitations impel us, as actors in Information Society Technology, to launch a global international initiative “Global Village initiative” to harness the potential capabilities of Intelligent Environment Technologies through an International Joint Research programme involving key research, industry and social players worldwide. Thismotivation is built on the need to extend the solution from a research and innovation level to embrace the deployment and market level through an international action.

The objective of this workgroup seminar is to focus on the development of a concrete roadmap and actions to be taken in order to bridge the gap between research, innovation and industrialisation to favour a strong societal and economical impact not only in big developed cities, but also in rural areas.

Please note that registration is free, but requested through the web site: http://handicom.it-sudparis.eu/gvi/index.php?page=Registration

Looking forward welcoming you.

Mounir Mokhtari, Chair
Handicom Lab., GET/INT


Contact :
Mounir MOKHTARI
HANDICOM Lab.
GET/INT
9 rue Charles Fourier – 91011 Evry Cedex
Phone : +331.60.76.47.55 / Fax : +331.60.76.42.91
Email: Mounir.Mokhtari@int-edu.eu