Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Successor programme


Programme funding

EUR 18 million
To stimulate the creation of a single market in assistive technology in Europe with a view to enabling elderly and disabled people to live more independent lives and become more integrated in the Community.


TIDE is a pre-competitive technology research and development initiative in the field of assistive technology for the elderly and disabled. The technologies concerned cover a broad range, including information technologies, communication technologies and control technologies.

TIDE was initiated and prepared by the Commission services in consultation with a multi-disciplinary panel of independent European experts, many from the COST 219 project "Future telecommunication and teleinformatics facilities for disabled people." Experts cooperating in TIDE come from industries of all sizes, university and handicap research institutes, and organizations representing the disabled and elderly people.

Work in TIDE conforms to five main principles:
- Market orientation:
Projects should emphasize taking advantage of the opportunities presented by the completion of the Single Market and lead in the short term to the development of technology based prototype products and services with good commercial potential;
- Technology adaptation and innovation:
Emphasis is on innovation and the adaptation and advanced application of new technology and its integration with appropriate international standards;
- Multi-disciplinary approach:
Projects will harness the scarce scientific, technical and commercial resources in the Member States, providing significant added value from pan- European cooperation, with due account taken of the social, economic and regulatory context of the technical work;
- Technology verification:
Assistive technology is to be evaluated with real (potential) consumers in field trials or by using scenarios;
- User-focused approach:
Users are involved in projects, and projects should deliver statements of end user requirements and make statements of anticipated benefits of the technological solutions to the end users.

All technology projects are expected to participate in the TIDE initiative horizontal activities, including consensus, market study, cost benefit and effectiveness and standardization.


Four technical areas:

- Control technology:
Environmental control systems, powered wheelchairs, robotic aids, etc.

- Communication technologies:
. Terminals (accessibility, personal communications, etc.);
. Signal processing (alarm systems, improved hearing aids, etc.);

- Integrated systems technologies:
Smart house concepts, navigation systems, etc.;

- Manufacturing techniques:
Application of CAD/CAM to the manufacture of orthoses and prostheses, etc.


The Commission is responsible for the implementation of the programme, assisted by a committee of experts.

Projects are the subject of shared-cost contracts, with Community financial participation not normally exceeding 50%. Contracts must, as a general rule, be concluded following a selection procedure based on calls for proposals published in the Official Journal of the European Communities. The first call for proposals, published on 21 March 1991 (OJ C 76), may be considered to be the starting date of the programme.

A budget of ECU 8 million was allocated for the 1991 phase of the programme to carry out 21 pilot projects and to assess the feasibility and the need for carrying out a more comprehensive set of actions. A budget of ECU 10 million was allocated to continue the programme in 1992.
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