The SILVER project searches for new technologies to assist elderly people in their everyday lives.
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SILVER Final Conference 

SILVER Final Conference was held on the 7th of June in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. During the conference, the results of the SILVER project were shared and recommendations for the future Pre-Commercial Procurement projects were given. Peter Portheine gave an inspiring key note speech on the recent trends in the European healthcare and the role of technology in this scope.  

– Increasing life expectancy of people generates more demand for care and raises the costs of care. At the same time, the provision of care is diminishing through declining regeneration of the population. Therefore we need smarter and smarter technology, outlined Portheine.

Robot Care Systems demonstrated the LEA (Lean Elderly Assistant) care robot and also shared valuable insights from the SME’s point of view. For example, the future Pre-Commercial Procurement projects should allow enough time for the development of the solution, especially with robotics based technologies. In addition, it is very important to involve the end-users in the process in order to come up with the best possible solution.



During the lively panel discussion, for example the following questions were tackled: What are the pros and cons of the Pre-Commercial Procurement as means for developing innovative solutions? How can  Pre-Commercial Procurement act as a way to open new markets? When to use Pre-Commercial Procurement? The experts invited to the panel discussion were CEO Stephan Corvers (Corvers Procurement Services b.v.), CEO Maja Rudinac (Robot Care Systems), Project Manager Carla Dekker (PIANOo and the Dutch Enterprise Agency), Funding Manager Andy Bleaden (Metropolitan Borough City of Stockport). 



All the panelists agreed that the Pre-Commercial Procurement tool is not suitable for all types of procurements. In order to have a successful procurement process, it is important that the timeline is realistic and the procurers find a clear, common challenge. All the panelists agreed that one of the key success factors is the smooth co-operation and communication between the procurers and contractors through all phases of the Pre-Commercial Procurement process.  

Contracting authorities need to be supported in order to achieve the best possible outcome. Additional funding should also be allowed for the development of the solutions, Corvers stated. 

 SILVER Final Conference materials are downloadable via this link.

SILVER Workshop shared valuable insights

On the same date with the Final Conference, the SILVER project hosted a workshop which took a deeper look into the recommendations for the upcoming Pre-Commercial Procurement exercises. During the session participants had an opportunity to discuss Pre-Commercial Procurement themes at grass-root level in four groups where the SILVER Consortium members and Robot Care Systems's CEO acted as a facilitators.  



Caroline Strudwick facilitated a group that focused on the question of how to insure that the solutions developed with the Pre-Commercial Procurement process meet the needs of the end-users. Carla Dekker focused on when does a Pre-Commercial Procurement process give the best value for the procurers. Andy Bleaden discussed the possible methods that could be used with Pre-Commercial Procurement to improve the levels of dialogue between potential procurers and contractors. And finally, Maja Rudinac from Robot Care Systems led the discussion on the main challenges in adopting Pre-Commercial Procurement in the SME sector. 

The conclusions of these discussions will be integrated to the Overall Learning and Recommendations report which will be published during the Autumn of 2016.

SILVER in eHealth Week 2016

This year’s eHealth Week 2016 was held on the 8–10 June in Amsterdam and it focused on three main themes: Empowering people, Trust and standards, Social innovation and transition. The SILVER project participated in the “Robotics for Active & Assisted Living” session during which Robotic Care Systems' CEO Maja Rudinac pitched the LEA Care robot and Funding Manager Andy Bleaden (City of Stockport) took part in discussing the benefits and barriers regarding scaling up and implementation of robotics and domestics.

All the panelists agreed that in the near future, robotics will add value to the quality of life of the elderly and will support them in healthy and assisted living at home. But there are still many challenges to be met before a wider acceptance of this vision is achieved. Possibilities of new technologies seem endless but the human aspect needs to be carefully considered, including ethical aspects. Especially the question of technology replacing human contact needs to be discussed in detail and with a broader scope. Furthermore, the individual wishes and needs of the end-users have to be taken into account when solving these challenges. 



The SILVER project participated also in the eHealth Week exhibition which showcased the latest trends and innovations on the eHealth market. Both the SILVER consortium members as well as the Robot Care System representatives were present at the SILVER stand. The eHealth Week participants were very keen on “test driving” LEA and also the Pre-Commercial Procurement process utilized in the SILVER project was the topic of many discussions.  

LEA tested by 6 procurers

During the third phase of the SILVER Pre-Commercial Procurement the LEA Care robot is tested in all the partnering countries by the procurers. The aim is to verify and compare the full feature set and performance of the solution in real-life conditions. LEA Care robot is designed to help elderly at home, in elderly care centres as well as in rehabilitation clinics and at hospitals. 

– Regardless of where it is used, we designed it towards the needs of users, based on our analysis of the challenges faced by both the intended user and of care givers, says Maja Rudinac, CEO for Robot Care Systems.

The testing phase was launched in Finland in April 2016. LEA Care robot was tested by the Cities of Vantaa and Oulu by the home care customers for three week period. After Finland LEA Care robot was tested in the Cities of Västerås, Odense and Eindhoven. The last test location is City of Stockport which will test LEA Care robot in July.

Test-users have given valuable feedback which will be taken in consideration when finalizing the solution. For example, the elderly have found that LEA gives them better balance than the products currently on the market. 

– LEA is stable. You cannot fall, whereas my normal walker is light and you can easily fall, says Taimi, one of the first Finnish test-users. 

At the conclusion of the testing period, Robot Care Systems will review carefully the test reports and make the final technical adjustments before commercializing LEA. The IPR and prototypes will remain the property of the Robot Care Systems. 

LEA Demonstration videos available now!

In order to demonstrate how the LEA Care robot actually works and how it has been received by the users as well as the care personnel, SILVER consortium has produced two videos. The videos were filmed during the three week testing period in April 2016 in the Koivukylä elderly care centre in Vantaa, Finland. 

In addition to demonstrating the functionalities of LEA, the videos also present the contractor's point of view and share some insights on the developing process of the care robot. These 3-minute videos are available via the following links:
LEA Demonstration video
LEA User video

More information on SILVER

If you want to find out more about the SILVER project, please visit our website at www.silverpcp.eu. For example, on the Deliverables page you can view and download the public documents including recently published Learning and recommendations report (post Phase 2). You can also find useful information such as detailed description of the Pre­-Commercial Procurement process used in SILVER as well as the latest SILVER news and upcoming events.

The next SILVER Newsletter will be published by the end of summer 2016. This is the very final newsletter since the SILVER project will be closing at the end of August 2016. 

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 287609.
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www.silverpcp.eu


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