Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

PRO4VIP Report Summary

Project ID: 645584
Funded under: H2020-EU.2.1.1.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - PRO4VIP (Innovative PROcurement for Visual Impaired People)

Reporting period: 2015-02-01 to 2015-11-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

During the first year of activities, the consortium has been setting up the conditions for developing the building blocks that will make possible the:
• creation and consolidation of a pan-European network of procurers for defining a common innovation procurement roadmap for low vision;
• setting up of tools and methods for inquiring end users (patients, clinicians) in order to define unmet needs in low vision field that should be targeted by the innovative procurement roadmap mentioned above
The partners, each one providing is own specific background and expertise, contributed to the development of the appropriate tools to support activities planned for 2nd year:
• involving the market in the analysis of technological solutions for supporting people with low vision;
• the identification of a short- and long-term shared innovation procurement strategy for the development of suitable technologies (PCP, PPI, or a combination of the two).
In order to achieve these objectives, a project management framework developed in the initial stages of the projects has been followed. The framework first version was presented in PRO4VIP proposal, with the aim of ensuring demand and supply side alignment. The framework identifies 3 specific phases:
• needs identification, aimed at identifying, categorizing and ordering of uncovered needs shared by PRO4VIP partners and stakeholders. This would lead to the design of business cases, i.e., a set of characteristics and functions that future technologies should contain in order to meet those needs;
• comprehensive state of the art analysis and market consultation, aimed at analysing current technological state of development in the field of interest and ensure that business case have identified a not available solutions;
• design of the identified innovative public procurement procedure (PCP and/or PPI). The definition of a procurement strategy that matches with PRO4VIP characteristics and objectives will be determined by a series of activities, as buyers’ engagement (among others).
The framework set for 1st year all those preparatory activities that aim at:
• defining the tools for inquiring end users on their preferences and unmet needs (questionnaire, focus group, interviews)
• defining the methodological approaches for analysing data collected from the inquiry in order to define the functional requirements that should guide future R&D efforts in the field of low vision
• initiating the end user inquiry and start identifying a set of unmet needs on which to focus the project’s subsequent steps.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

"In the first 10 months of the project, the consortium has undertaken activities for Work Packages 1, 2, 3 and 5, as it was foreseen in the workplan. The main objective of the first year has been to allow all the partners, especially procuring entities that provide assistance and healthcare services, to familiarise with main issues of low vision and the demand-driven innovation tool that is the Procurement of innovation. This was aimed at creating a common, shared background within the Consortium regarding low vision and innovative procurement. This effort was considered as vital from the project proposal, due to the heterogeneous background of the Partners and their different level of understanding and comprehension of the main issues related to low vision and procurement of innovation.
Therefore, it can be said that In this first year of the project, the consortium has been focusing on preparing the conditions that would allow, in the second year, to address and define a set of unsatisfied needs in the low vision field on which to focus and identify which procurement of Innovation process would best suits these objectives.

WP1. Management and coordination
Kick-off meeting has been held in Barcelona on 24th February 2015 and it achieved the following objectives:
• ensuring all partners’ understanding of the distributed tasks;
• the management procedures defined for the follow up of the project.
In addition to kick-off meeting, in Month 1, two remote meetings were organised:
• a Steering Committee was held in October to update the work package leaders on different project activities’ progress and to propose workplan minor modifications to give response to the situations emerged during the first months of the project;
• a Consortium meeting, with all-partners involved, which has been organised to update the partners on the project development and to inform them about the upcoming activities.
During the kick-off meeting, the Project Handbook has been elaborated. This document aims at make available for all partners the practical information on project management procedures and framework. In detail, it contains: Project Plan, Project Governance, Structure Consortium, Roles and Responsibility, Dissemination, Strategy Work Plan Project, Reporting, Conflict Resolution and Risk Management.

Deliverables submitted: 1.1 Project Handbook

WP 2 Needs identification and clarification
The work related to WP2 conducted during Year 1 has focused on:
• D 2..1 - Methodology definition;
• D2.2 – Elicitation of need and definition of relevant ontologies;
D2.3 - Definition of uncovered common needs and translation in functional requirements.

D2.1 – Methodology definition
D2.1 main aim is to provide a detailed description of the user needs identification methodologies that will be used for:
• Inquiring the population of relevant end user in order to identify relevant, unsatisfied needs on which to focus future R&D developments in the low vision field;
• defining the drivers that should guide the state-of-the art analysis and the procurement strategies for new solutions in the field.
D2.1 provides guidance for the whole set of activities that will be conducted for needs assessment. Therefore, it will serve as a tool for increasing the coordination and management throughout WP2.
D2.1 will help in planning the activities for one of the most delicate tasks of the project. In fact, needs identification will allow for a correct identification of unsatisfied needs in the low vision domain, together with their categorisation and hierarchisation. Therefore, it should be considered as a key document for a key project’s activity. Needs identification relevance and D2.1 relation with the subsequent project’s activities is well explained by the figure below, which depict the project’s workflow.
D2.1 is structured according to the following sections:
• needs identification methodologies;
• definition of relevant ontologies;
• methodologies for the definition of common unmet needs and translation into functional requirements;
• methodologies for business case design.
The first section centres on those categories of tools that are being used during needs identification. These were mainly generated within the corporate strategy literature and correspond to:
1. interviews with stakeholders, in order to obtain detailed insight regarding low vision from stakeholder groups representatives;
2. preparation and realisation of a survey for the initial identification of unmet needs related to low vision;
3. focus group, using in some cases the using the “Wouldn't It Be Great If...?” (WIBGI) method.
Physicians and patients are the main targets for collecting information. Nevertheless, during year 1 the project Consortium decided that collection of information will not focus exclusively on these two categories, though. The “end-user population” definition that will be adopted in PRO4VIP aims including the point of view and opinions of those stakeholders who will in any way influence or be influenced by PRO4VIP final outcome, as procurers and patients associations. As the majority of these categories is already represented in PRO4VIP consortium, the needs identification process will strongly rely on internal partners’ background, network and established experience in the field of low vision.
A key section of D2.1 is devoted to D2.3 - Definition of uncovered common needs and translation in functional requirements. During Year 1, PRO4VIP partners defined how clinician and patient focus groups will be conducted and organised. A specific document for each type of focus group was generated and information on the characteristics of the group participant, the topic of discussion and the structure of each the session.
In terms of the methodologies that will be used for moderating the focus groups, it was decided that clinician focus group will use as a combination of the "Brainstorming", "Nominal Group Technique" and "Metaplan" methodologies. That combination of methodologies avoids the disadvantages of a "classic" Focus Group where almost all the work of the moderator is in driving and developing the session in the right "path", trying to get away from the issues of less importance generated within the group discussion. In addition, information was formalised by the participants so there was no need to focus efforts on more complex issues (such as communication styles, nonverbal reactions of the participants). Also, unlike a "classic" Focus Group, with this session approach it was not necessary to structure a series of questions and go on focusing the group discussion. With the proposed approach participants were allowed to add value because from the first moment, as they had to write down and comment their points of view (after viewing consultant’s team presentation and being aware of the proposed examples).
For patients’ focus group, instead, it was decided that the “Wouldn’t be great/good if…” (WIBGI approach is the one adopted. WIBGI is a methodology based on a collective exercise aimed at completing the sentence “Wouldn’t be great/good if….”. WIBGI requires that focus groups ought to be made by end-users: as they work and interact with a process or a service on a daily basis, they are best-placed to see its problems or inefficiencies and identify possible areas of improvements.
WIBGI’s basic concept is to make time to take end-users out of their usual environment, group them and ask them to finish the sentence “Wouldn’t It Be Good If....?”.
As an example, one such session with hospital cleaners was held by the England Department of Health within its Healthcare Acquired Infections (HCAI) programme.
In conducting such session it has been found useful to bring together stakeholders from multiple locations, since a perceived inefficiency or unmet need can be simply due to local customs and practices at one site. It is also a good practice to have an experienced facilitator to conduct the session, to enliven it and to draw out issues and ideas, as well as a subject domain expert who can guide the facilitator with respect to the subject’s technicalities.
The work conducted during year 1 on D2.1 included the identification of the methodological options available for the task of translating uncovered common needs emerged during WP2 into functional requirements.
The method that will be adopted for this purpose will be the FAST (Functional Analysis System Tecnique) approach. According to this selected methodology the basic element of a system is the Function that describes the original intent or purpose that a product, process or service expected to be performed. The description of a Function is restricted to a two words format: Active Verb + Measurable Name. The Verb is used to answer to the question: What does it do? While the Name is used to answer to the question: What does the Verb apply to?
Finally, to contextualize the needs identification into real life scenarios, it was decided to provide the project with use-cases description. These use cases, together with the outline of the business case, will provide a description of the contextual situation in which the functionalities defined within D2.3 will be used and will provide support to end users in their day-to-day life. Use cases will also represent fundamental tools for interacting with significant details, allowing a PS to unambiguously imagine the circumstances and assess the conditions to adopt the desired innovation.

D2.2 Elicitation of needs and definition of relevant ontologies
The document describes the activities performed to carry out task 2.2, consisting of a cross-border contextual inquiry aimed at problem domain analysis. The investigation has involved two categories of stakeholders, who are knowledgeable about the domain of low-vision, namely the clinicians, who helped in the analysis of the extent to which assistive solutions are being adopted and of the issues that are worth to be explored, and low-vision people themselves, who were the primary target of this analysis phase, for which their feedback was considered paramount.
Deliverable D2.2 explains the process that PRO4VIP partners underwent to prepare the survey, in the form of a questionnaire, to be distributed through partners’ networks, on European scale. In particular, an iterative process started in June 2015, which saw the active participation of all the partners.
The two questionnaires were developed by two PRO4VIP partners: Barcelona Macula Foundation was in charge of the clinicians’ questionnaire, while the European Blind Union was in charge of the patients’ questionnaire. Both were reviewed and validated within the Consortium by the following partners: Istituto Regionale Rittmeyer per i Ciechi, UCLPartners, Zentrum fur Innovation und Technik in Nordrhein-Westfalen GMBH, Berufsförderungswerk Düre, Area Science Park, Sara Bedin, European Blind Union.
The patient questionnaire was designed in order to guarantee accessibility to individuals with low vision. European Blind Union’s accessibility experts reviewed the questionnaire in order to comply with latest accessibility standards. Regarding this specific task related to questionnaire, the dissemination strategy defined during year 1 of PRO4VIP is twofold:
• on one side, the questionnaires is distributed online, on a web platform hosted by Universitá di Salerno (http://www.pro4vip.eu/quest/);
• on the other, physical copies will be distributed by Partners who daily interact with individuals with low visions. i.e., Istituto Regionale Rittmeyer per i Ciechi, UCLPartners, Zentrum fur Innovation und Technik in Nordrhein-Westfalen GMBH, Berufsförderungswerk Düre, Barcelona Macula Foundation, UCLPartners, Regione Friuli Venezia Giulia (through its Department of Health and network of healthcare provider). With this regard, the questionnaire
In order to increase the number of respondents, the questionnaire was translated in German and Italian (Annex II and III). The distribution of the German and Italian questionnaire was conducted by Berufsförderungswerk Düre and Regione Friuli Venezia Giulia, respectively. These Partners were also in charge of translating in English the answers to open questions and upload them on the survey platform.
At current moment, 263 filled patient questionnaires have been received on the online platform. The initial objective was 250, which therefore was fully accomplished. The objective for the end of PRO4VIP data collection, which is set for April 15th, 2016, is to obtain a total of 300 filled patient questionnaires. This number was decided given that the number of received filled questionnaire as peaked during the month of February and is currently declining. Therefore, the Consortium inferred from the last months trend that 350 questionnaire was a realistic target.
Clinician questionnaire was disseminated only using the online platform and only in English, as the Consortium assumed that within healthcare professionals the use of internet-based surveys and the level of English would be higher than for patients.
As of the current moment, 24 filled clinician questionnaires have been received. The difficulty in achieving a higher number of respondents, especially compared to the patient questionnaire, is supposed to be due to the higher complexity of the clinician questionnaire, which rely more on open, technical questions. The objective for the clinician questionnaire for the end of PRO4VIP data collection process is set for 50. The Consortium decided this objective given today results and considering the trend emerged for the patient questionnaire.
The survey results form the basis to build an ontology for the conceptual modeling of low-vision domain. Domain’s concepts resulting from the analysis will be properly categorised and hierarchized as a further step towards one of the workpackage goals, namely the identification of common uncovered needs.

D2.3 Definition of uncovered common needs and translation into functional requirements
Regarding the work on WP2 conducted during Year 1, a key part was represented by the set up and definition of the general framework for conducting the activities related to T2.3 (Definition of uncovered common needs and translation in functional requirements). On one side, this involved the organisation of the clinician and patient focus groups and defining the methodology for their moderation. On the other, it consisted in defining the methodologies that will be adopted for translating unmet needs emerged during the project’s data collection process and for defining the business case.
With regards to focus group organisation, the clinician focus group was conducted during year 1. It was organised by Macula Foundation in its headquarters on 14th January 2016. A synthesis document was drafted (Annex IV).
Overall, the focus group aimed at:
1. generating ideas. Relying on the documentation and questions rose by the consultants’ team, the group members wrote their ideas down on cards, one idea per card, having a limited time for developing this activity.
2. sharing ideas. Once the previous phase finished, the “moderator” collected the cards and read each of the ideas provided.
3. select and prioritize. Once there was a defined list of ideas provided by the group, a vote process should be conducted to establish a hierarchy/prioritization of them. This was done by adding the scores given to each idea by the group members. Those ideas with higher scores were considered with a higher priority.”
During the clinician focus group, the following disease were identified as those future research should focus on:
• AMD (Age-Related Macular Degeneration)
• Glaucoma
• Diabetic Retinopathy
• Pathological Myopia/Myopia magna (related to ageing?)
• Retina’s Degenerative diseases
• Dry eye (low vision)
Three patient focus groups will be arranged by the European Blind Union (EBU) between in April and May 2016 in Netherlands, Slovenia and Cyprus. EBU contacted its national points of reference in these countries and the organisation process has already begun in each country. These countries were identified for two reasons:
• geographical diversity purposes.
• EBU members there open membership to PS persons with moderate low vision.
A document for guiding the focus group organisation was drafted by EBU and validated by all other partners (Annex V).
A key activity for need identification is also the interview that involved Dr. Jordi Monés on 23rd December on the basis of the questions for the Clinicians focus group. Dr. Monés is the Director of the Institut de la Màcula and the Director, principal investigator and one of the founder governors of the Barcelona Macula Foundation: Research for Vision since 2011. He is an M.D., Ph.D., Ophthalmologist, Macula and Vitreorretinal Specialist and Researcher. The interview was quite informal and semi-structured. As the topic was quite large, some responses were a little vague, but in conclusion, it was a very good starting point to clarify the context where the upcoming focus groups could be embedded.
These are the main ideas that emerged in the conversation with Dr. Monés.
• The main retina eye disease associated to visual impairment conditions are:
o AMD wet (Age-Related Macular Degeneration) [leads to low vision]
o AMD dry (Age-Related Macular Degeneration) [leads to blindness]
o Stargardt disease [leads to blindness]
o Retinitis pigmentosa [leads to blindness]
• Main aspects of AMD:
o Approximately 5% of blindness globally is due to AMD. It is estimated that globally 196 million people will have AMD in 2020, increasing to 288 million in 2040. AMD is the world’s most important age-related blinding disorder and it is the leading cause of blindness in European countries. Quality of life measures in AMD patients is similar to the quality of life reported in patients with stroke, severe cardiovascular disease, coronary artery disease, or cancer.
o Wet AMD does have a treatment (drugs that delays degeneration but do not reverts it). In wet AMD, doctors treat to destroy something abnormal, while in dry AMD they are trying to move forward the internal clock of cells that are programmed to die.
o Studies are ongoing to identify fast progressors based on genetic and biological markers, phenotyping and morphological tests.
o Early detection is crucial. To halt the disease by minimising vision loss it is necessary to be able to make a very early diagnosis and treatment just after detecting the initial symptoms of the disease.
• Diagnosis systems are improvable.
• Treatment efficacy is challenged by:
o Adherence of patients
o He recommends treating the pathology before reactivation occurs. The sooner they find a solution, the less serious will be the consequences for patients and this is why it is advisable to administer the treatment in certain intervals even if the lesion remains apparently inactive.
o Logistics of public healthcare system may delay the visits, and it affects the efficacy.
o Very regular following up visits to the doctor are needed for monitoring or treat (some ICT solutions exist on macular deformity detection [see: http://www.foreseehome.com/].
• Many apps exist and provide useful functionalities to blind or low vision patients, but many of them are not validated and it is difficult to find an app (besides, most of the apps are for visual acuity loss, not for macular degenerations).
• The desired magical ability for Dr. Monés would be the regeneration of macula.
• In ophthalmological services there is a lack of accompaniment of the patients once the treatment is done: No structured public low vision accompaniment services, no psychological support, and no guide on what functional devices to use to overcome visual impairment conditions... (It does not exist a real continuum).
• Healing needs ≠ Functional needs
• Three possible types of action for different scenarios:
A. It does exist a treatment: Optimisation of current treatments (AMD is here!). The last few years have seen highly significant advances in the treatment of wet AMD which have revolutionised the treatment for this illness and have provided new hope of preserving the sight of the patients.
B. It does not exist a treatment. Use of new treatments. After the important advances obtained in the control of the exudative form of AMD, the great challenge is finding a treatment that may slow down the progression of the atrophic forms of the disease, together with others that allow restoration or regeneration of the part of the retina that is missing or destroyed.
C. No treatment expected: action to deal with the low vision-blindness condition.

Deliverables Submitted:
2.1 Definition of a common methodology
2.2 Elicitation of needs and definition of relevant ontologies
Several meetings have been conducted during the execution period to prepare the forthcoming activities on July and October 2015. These meetings allowed the partners to share the different perspectives on what was expected from the WP2, and it resulted in a common view and detailed description on how the deliverables should be.

WP3: Comprehensive technologic state of the art analysis and early market engagement
The technological horizon scanning in visual impairment domain represents a key activity for the whole project because it describes which technologies and aids are currently available/under development and measures the innovation gap in the field of the technologies for visual impaired people and clinicians.
Under the coordination of AREA, the drafting of the State-Of-the Art (Deliverable 3.1, expected delivery on Month 17) started with the definition of a provisional table of contents (Fig2).
In order to complete a rigorous state of the art analysis, AREA started its activities with the development of a prior patent search and with an overview of innovative assistive devices and technologies for people who cannot just rely on traditional methods such as glasses or contact lenses.
The identified technologies and aids for low vision patients are represented in the chart of the Fig. 3 chart.
The patent analysis developed so far for this project is aimed at providing both:
• a broad survey of technologies related to visual impairment/low vision throughout time, countries/territories and major patent holders
• a representative selection of documents published in specific technological areas which may be helpful in the identification of best solutions tackling of specific needs affecting VIP’s lives.
In order to perform data analytics on the recent developments, the 2010-2015 time range has been privileged and the data mining activity has been based on the following software:
• THOMSON INNOVATION (powerful search tool which provides access to full text patents and published applications from the Americas, Europe, and Asia for the thorough and comprehensive analysis of global patent data and scientific literature)
• VANTAGE POINT (a versatile text-mining tool for discovering knowledge in search results from patent and literature databases).
The patent analyses developed so far has defined the major technological domains, the filing trends, the leading countries, leading assignees, the technologies per top corporate assignees, academic vs corporate patent activity and the leading technologies. In the next months the patent research activities will focus on the specific solutions detected for patients and clinicians on the basis of the input deriving from the need assessment analyses (WP2 – D2.2 and D2.3).
The patent analysis and the consultation of scientific and technical publications developed so far helped to establish a list of “in support” technologies, classified in terms of different solutions answering to the identified needs (close and at distance reading, writing, indoor and outdoor orientation and mobility, personal care, independent daily life, independent living at home, leisure, sport and tourism) (Fig.5).
Currently under development, the technological scouting on patients ‘needs is based on products already available on the market and at the prototype stage and is developed using a matrix (here below) that is very useful to outline supportive areas not yet covered by any available technologies/products.
Thanks to the use of this matrix, the technologies are analysed in relation to the most common low vision diseases, grouped by lost or damaged functions:
• LOSS IN VISUAL ACUITY
• LOSS IN VISUAL FIELD
• CENTRAL VISION LOSS
Moreover, technologies and products are analysed separately in relation to:
• Individual/personal use (i.e. wearable tech. or products used directly by individuals);
• Ambient assistive technologies
and further split in:
• Optical devices
• Non optical devices
The technological scouting on clinicians’ needs will be developed on the basis of the report on the focus group with clinicians (held in Barcelona in January, 2016) and on the results of the elicitation contained in D2.2.

WP4: Design of the identified innovative public procurement procedure (PCP and/or PPI)
Innovation procurement roadmap has been clarified in general terms and addressed in parallel and with reference to Task T2.2 - Elicitation of needs and definition of relevant ontologies report and T2.3 - Definition of uncovered common needs and translation in functional requirements in order to steer innovation, but also the research and development of something completely new, determining the leverage for additional investment in innovation by the industry sector. An important alignment between partners has been done to focus PRO4VIP activities on describing the problem to be solved and defining clear outcomes that are required (functionality / performance / efficiency improvements), rather than listing known innovations or prescribing technologically how the solution for the problem should be built. It has been important to fix the ambition of PRO4VIP, avoiding technical prescription and well known scenarios.

WP 5: Buyer group networking, awareness building and project results dissemination
Core of the WP are dissemination activities aimed at engaging all the potential stakeholders, including innovation procurers, solution providers, experts as well as low vision individuals and their organizations. The main objectives of WP are:
• to define a dissemination strategy
• to promote awareness of the potential benefits
• to assess the dissemination outcomes
• to actuate a strategy to guarantee the post-project exploitation of the results
During the first interim period, the main activities have concerned:
• Definition of the dissemination strategy (Deliverable 5.1)
• Design and development of the project Web portal
• A number of events organized or participated by PRO4VIP Consortium partners
The main goals of the dissemination strategy have been :
- to guarantee proper communication with the stakeholders and information sharing among the consortium members.
- to be a supporting tool for Consortium management
- to plan the assessment of dissemination outcomes and the strategy to guarantee post-project exploitation of the results
Annexes to deliverable D5.1 were:
- the ‘notification of dissemination initiative form’, which any partner was supposed to fill when a dissemination activity was performed
- the .doc PRO4VIP template, a model designed for accessibility of contents, which is supposed to be adopted for any official PRO4VIP document.
- the .ppt PRO4VIP template, a model designed for accessibility of contents, which is supposed to be adopted for any official PRO4VIP presentation.
PRO4VIP Web portal has been designed and developed with a twofold purpose:
- to act as the main promotional tool during and after the project (the domain www.pro4vip.eu has been adopted) and
- to raise synergy among Consortium partners (an intranet service has been provided, accessible through PRO4VIP web portal).
Four major dissemination events have happened so far. The figure below displays the events page in PRO4VIP Web portal.

OUTCOMES FROM ESLRR 2015 CONFERENCE.
The very first occasion to present PRO4VIP project has been at the European Society for Low Vision Research and Rehabilitation conference (ESLRR 2015). The conference was attended by over 125 people, who heard the oral presentation given by Dr. Michael Crossland (UCLPArtners) on the PRO4VIP project and who had the opportunity to view the poster presentation about PRO4VIP. Delegates were from multiple European countries (including the UK, Ireland, Spain, the Netherhlands, Sweden, Germany, Italu, Grance, Belgium), as well as Asia (China, South Korea, Japan), the Americas (USA, Brazil) and Australia. They included rehabilitation workers, scientists, engineers, teachers of the visually impaired, ophthalmologists, optometrists and people with low vision. There was considerable interest in the project from the attendees. The picture below shows the poster session.

OUTCOMES FROM EBU GENERAL ASSEMBLY
The 10th EBU General assembly was held in London England from 26-28 October 2015. 36 out of the EBU's 44 national members were represented. 36 accredited delegations were represented by 86 delegates, including 33 partially sighted people. In total almost 215 people, were registered as participants in the General Assembly. EBU Project Officer Mr. Romain Ferretti presented PRO4VIP to low vision experts and organisations active in this field, promoting EBU’s involvement in the survey on low vision people’s expectations with respect to innovative assistive solutions, as well as future focus group discussions.

OUTCOMES FROM P2P BROKERAGE EVENT AT MEDICA 2015
In the framework of the Healthcare Brokerage Event at MEDICA 2015 a special P2P-Brokerage Event for public purchasers and interested suppliers in the area of “visual impaired people” has been organized on November 19th by ZENIT and participated by participated by the Barcelona Macula Foundation: Research for Vision and by AQuAS (https://www.facebook.com/BCNMaculaFound/). In line with PRO4VIP objectives, the aim of this event was to assist purchasers to find partners (other public purchasers and interested suppliers) for joint cross-border procurement projects. The P2P-matching was intended to establish contacts with other public purchasers for joint procurement projects in Europe to enable them to buy or to let develop more innovative products and services while at the same time boosting innovation. For potential suppliers this event was also meant to easier the contact to public purchasers. During the event, AQuAS contacted with the following companies:
• “Healthcare projects Consulting & Management”
• “Fa. EYEBLINKER, Dr. Seemann”
• “Azbil Telstar Technologies S.L.U”
• “SiDLY Sp. z o.o. “
• “COSTAISA Group”
• “Top Medical Tech (Europe) Co., Ltd”
• “Nuromedia GmbH”

OUTCOMES FROM THE WORKSHOP AT E-CHALLENGE 2015
In the framework of the eChallenges e-2015 Conference, held in Vilnius, the University of Salerno has organized a workshop "Addressing the Societal Challenge of Visual Impairment through European Procurers Platforms" on November 26th 2015.
Inspired by the critical role that assistive technology and services may play in the life of visually impaired people, the workshop focused on different issues regarding the networking and awareness creation in the field of demand-driven innovation procurement. Different presentations were given by PRO4VIP consortium partners, with the aim of demonstrating that effective multi-disciplinary and multi-agency collaboration can be put in practice, with the support of tools by which medical specialists, patients, public procurement
authorities and solution providers may share updated information on the emerging needs and solutions in a Europe-wide market:
- Visual impairment- A need assessment methodology based on a systemic approach with the innovation as the paradigm, by Vincenzo Vella, AQuAS, Spain, and Sara Bedin, Italy
- Study of the state of the art for visual impairment technologies – initial findings, by Stephen Taylor, AREA Science Park, Italy
- A cross-border multifaceted contextual inquiry for problem domain analysis through a dedicated web portal, by Giuliana Vitiello and Genny Tortora, University of Salerno, Italy
The presentations attracted the attention of several eChallenge attendees, who expressed their warm interest in the topic of innovative procurement for low vision individ"

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

During the first period of the project it was planned to define a common methodology to implement need assessment in the visual impairment context. This document is the result of bringing together the experience of some partners on different PCPs project and the expertise of others in data processing instruments (such as ontology) and eye health conditions.
The needs elicitation activities are the deployment of the proposed methodology mentioned above. These activities are innovative as they are part of a phase 0 of a visual impairment-focused PCP.
Furthermore, collected techniques, approaches and other information is an added-value asset in the field of innovative procurement, as far as is can be considered a good practice and be an example for others projects.
PRO4VIP has designed and partially implemented a dissemination strategy that aims to ensure the visibility of the project results and the Innovative procurement among stakeholders as well as within the project partners.
Networking activities is a key element of the dissemination strategy to spread the instrument of public procurement of innovation and innovative procurement. PRO4VIP partners are substantially contributing in the knowledge of these instruments among potential suppliers and procurers for an eventual PCP or PPI process.

Related information

Record Number: 190402 / Last updated on: 2016-11-15
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