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Information & Communication Technologies

Information and Communication Technologies

Objective ICT-2009.7.1 ICT & Ageing

This objective focuses on service robotics for ageing, which is still a longer term research topics and on open architectures and platforms for building interoperable ageing well applications and services, which require larger scale projects involving major players. These topics are both outside the scope of the AAL programme which will call for smaller-scale projects targeting innovative ICT solutions in specific areas of ageing well with a timeframe of 2-3 years to market.

Target Outcomes

a) Service robotics for ageing well : Integration and adaptation of modular robotic solutions that are seamlessly integrated in intelligent home environments and adaptable to specific user requirements for support to elderly people and their carers. These robotic solutions should undergo operational verification in real user environments. Examples of applications include support for daily living and care activities in the home. Work should be driven by ambitious, yet realistic usage scenarios with a potential to demonstrate a substantial increase in efficiency of care and independence of elderly people.

Major challenges to be addressed include autonomous self-learning robotics solutions, sharing of contextual information with other artefacts in the surroundings of the user, navigation in unknown environments, precise manipulation of relevant objects and user robotic interaction taking into account the usability requirements of elderly people. The proposed R&D should cover all relevant aspects to allow for a full operational validation, including user acceptance, adequate safety, reliability and trust as well as ethical considerations. It is not intended to support development of basic robotics components.

b) Open Systems Reference Architectures, Standards and ICT Platforms for Ageing Well : this should facilitate, interoperability, systems integration and easy personalisation to provide seamless and cost-effective end-to-end care support and services for independent living, smart workplaces and mobility of elderly people and for their carers.

The work should focus on next-generation open solutions enabling physical and semantic interoperability of required sensors, devices, services and systems for ageing well. Work should build on - and consolidate - relevant ongoing progress in open middleware, communication standards and service-oriented architectures.

Particular emphasis should be put on facilitation of solutions working across mobile and stationary environments, with adequate security, high reliability and low maintenance.

Concrete contributions to relevant standardisation is expected as well as a clear approach for making the resulting work available to the wider community, including necessary tools. The research should verify the proposed open reference architectures and platforms in realistic application scenarios. This could also include new service concepts and easy integration with other home-based applications, in particular ICT solutions for personal health and energy efficiency, in order to ensure the widest potential of the open platforms.

The objective is to support one IP only to be funded under b).

c) RTD roadmaps and stakeholder coordination : One support action is to be launched to continue development of RTD roadmaps and stakeholder coordination already started under FP7. One CSA is expected to be funded under c).

Industrial participation is important. Realistic test environments should allow for early user involvement and impact analysis during the RTD phases. Each project should consider relevant ethical issues.

 Expected impact

For 7.1.a)

• Increased efficiency of care and prolonged independence and quality of life of elderly people and their carers.

• Strengthened global position of European industry in service robotics for ageing well.

For 7.1.b)

• Wide use of open platforms and tools for creation and management of integrated ICT products and services for ageing well, personalised health and energy management in the home and on the move.

• Strengthened potential of Europe to become a global leader in the field of ICT and ageing well, including development of global interoperability standards in the field.

For 7.1.c)

• More efficiency and higher impact through consensus and common strategic visions or RTD roadmaps between relevant key stakeholders in ICT for ageing well in Europe and beyond.

Funding schemes

a): STREP; b): IP; c): CSA  

Indicative budget distribution

- IP/STREP: EUR 23 million; the objective is to select one IP only to be funded under b) in addition to STREPs funded under a)

- CSA: EUR 1 million


ICT call 4


See also Objective 7.1 at the ICT Proposers' Day in Budapest (January 2009)