Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

TIDE results of 1993 call

TIDE (the Technology Initiative for Disabled and Elderly People) is a Community RTD initiative in the field of rehabilitation technology (RT), also known as assistive technology. The central aim of the TIDE programme is to facilitate the creation of a single market in RT in Eu...
TIDE (the Technology Initiative for Disabled and Elderly People) is a Community RTD initiative in the field of rehabilitation technology (RT), also known as assistive technology. The central aim of the TIDE programme is to facilitate the creation of a single market in RT in Europe.

A pilot phase was launched in 1991, under which 21 projects were begun. Work on ten of these was extended following a 1992 call for proposals for extensions. Further, horizontal activities were also undertaken with the launching of the HEART project in 1992.

Following the successful launch of TIDE, the Commission foresees the possibility of a comprehensive set of rehabilitation technology actions in 1995 under the Fourth Framework Programme. To maintain the momentum generated by the pilot action and to expand and consolidate work in preparation for the TIDE main phase in the context of the Fourth Framework Programme (1994-1998), the Commission initiated TIDE 1993-1994 to form a bridge between the pilot action and the future main phase of the programme.

The TIDE 1993-1994 call for proposals was published in April 1993 and evaluation of the total of 293 proposals received in response took place in September. These proposals covered all major aspects of the workplan:

- Access to communications and information technology and support for interpersonal communications;
- Control technologies;
- Restoration and enhancement of functions;
- Integrated systems technologies;
- Horizontal activities including (a) adding value to technology projects by harmonizing, organizing and collating results, and (b) exploratory, preparatory and stimulatory actions in support of the TIDE objective of stimulating a single market in RT in Europe.

The response to the call represented an overall request for funding of some ECU 270 million. The Evaluation Team considered 147 projects worthy of further consideration, and commented on the high standard of many of them, especially in regard to their industrial potential, relevance to user needs and technical merit.

The members of the consortia making proposals (in total 1,746) showed a good mixture of industry (697), universities (341), research establishments (212), user organizations and other non-profit making organizations (403) and others (93). Small and Medium-Sized enterprises (SMEs) were also well represented, at the same time a number of proposals involved major companies such as Bosch, Philips, Thomson, Olivetti and Fiat. The balance of industrial research and user-organization interests is well reflected in the work proposed. It is evident from this response that the products which industry wishes to bring to the market meet real user needs but also require significant multidisciplinary research before product development can be undertaken.

In its meeting of 27 September the TIDE Committee of National Representatives gave a positive opinion on the funding of a first series of 21 projects and three horizontal, activities, as listed below:

- ACCESS: Development platform for unified access to enabling environments;
- EPI-RAID: Evaluation of prototype and improvements to Raid Workstation;
- MATHS: Mathematical access for technology and science for visually disabled users;
- SATURN: Smart card and terminal usability requirements and needs;
- HARP: An autonomous speech rehabilitation system for hearing-impaired people;
- HEARDIP: Hearing aid research with digital intelligent processing;
- OMNI: Office wheelchair with high manoeuvrability and navigational intelligence for people with severe handicap;
- HS-ADEPT: Home Systems, access of disabled and elderly people to this technology;
- HELP'ME: Handicapped elderly lonely person's multimedia equipment;
- COMBAT: Corporate marketing to overcome the barriers facing disabled users;
- MOBIC: Mobility of blind and elderly people interacting with computers;
- HYPIT: Human resources and management product interface;
- OPEN: Orientation by personal electronic navigation;
- DICTUM: Development of an interactive communication training system using multimedia;
- POVES: Portable opto-electronic vision enhancement system for visually impaired persons;
- DEFIE: Disabled and elderly people flexible integrated environment;
- TACIS: Tactile acoustic computer interaction system;
- LAMP: Laser mouse;
- FESTIVAL: Functional electrical simulation to improve value ability and lifestyle;
- MOVAID: Mobility and activity assistance systems for the disabled;
- SIGNBASE: Development of multimedia signed language database;
- USER: Usability requirements elaboration for rehabilitation technology;
- TT-RT-SMEI: Rehabilitation Technology business opportunity creation for SMEs.

It is expected that TIDE funding for a further series of projects will be decided before the end of 1993.

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