These are the 25!
If you are you a problem solver, you have probably heard about the Nordic Independent Living Challenge.
The five Nordic capitals in collaboration with Nordic Innovation have invited new and established innovators to participate in the challenge that aims in solving one of the biggest challenges the Nordic welfare model has ever faced – to help elderly and people with disabilities to live independently in their own homes. By launching this competition together, the Nordic countries want to boost both innovation and collaboration in the welfare technology industry and create a joint Nordic market.
The main prize for the winner in the challenge is 1 million NOK. In addition, there is a 200.000 NOK cross-Nordic collaboration award and a 100.000 NOK student award.
The competition runs in four stages: the Launch, the Matchmaking, the Development and the Testing. During the Launch stage 75 were chosen by the Nordic jury to proceed to the Matchmaking stage in Copenhagen on 4-5 May 2015. In Copenhagen, the teams were given the tools to further develop their solutions and dig deeper into specific user needs, design and usability. The current stage is the Development where 25 solutions have been chosen. They will receive mentoring and support to further develop their concepts including concentration on the business side of their solutions and testing on real users. Last but not least, five finalists will be able to test their developments in the Nordic capitals. The winner will be chosen during the Testing stage.
Dagfinn Høybråten, General Secretary of the Nordic Council of Ministers talks about the importance of finding new and innovative solutions that will preserve the Nordic welfare model in time of economic downturn and will give the elderly and people with disabilities the best possible quality of life. Most of them wish to live in their own homes as long as possible, says the Secretary. By 2040, the population over 67 years will be doubled in Oslo alone. At the same time people want accessible, modern and efficient services that meet individual needs. Innovations should open up to give the elderly and disabled more control over their own lifes, stresses Vice Mayor and Commissioner for Senior Citizens in Oslo, Aud Kvalbein.
Some of the solutions developed include:
Biotherapeutics to accelerate wound healing in patients with diabetes, an innovation from Sweden. These are a range of a range of genetically modified probiotic bacteria that accelerates healing of injured tissue.
Another solution comes from Denmark – GazeDriver, the world’s first screenless eye control for wheelchairs. It can be used without an assistant, when the user has sufficient cognitive skills, but can also be used as a user-helper system in which an assistant, for instance, can control/ stop the wheelchair.
A Norwegian solution is MOTIview that turns elderly people and people with dementia into dedicated athletes. Thanks to moving pictures and sound, the user can take a cycle trip through familiar surroundings and childhood memories.