Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Previous programme


Programme funding

EUR 30 million

Official Journal Reference

L 240 of 1993-09-25

Legislative Reference

93/512/CEE of 1993-09-21
To stimulate the creation of an internal market in rehabilitation technology in Europe to facilitate the socio-economic integration of disabled and elderly people through the promotion of technology application and the stimulation of cooperation between industries in this area.


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

A TIDE pilot action (1991-1992) 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.

The objective of the initiative will be achieved through the collaborative activities of multidisciplinary teams whose detailed objectives are:
- Understanding, making clear and adapting technology to respond to the needs of the user groups;
- Developing new applications for rehabilitation technology such as intelligent houses for elderly people and advanced hearing aids;
- Encouraging innovation and technology transfer in rehabilitation technology;
- Accelerating the development of technical norms and standards.

The work to be carried out in TIDE conforms to five interlinked principles:
- User-focused principle:
Users are involved in projects and projects should deliver statements of end user requirements and make statements of anticipated benefits of the technological solution to the end users;
- Market orientation:
Projects will take advantage of the opportunities presented by the completion of the internal market and will lead to the development of technology-based prototype products and services;
- 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 a field which requires social, economic, educational and clinical expertise as well as technological expertise;
- Technology verification:
The technology applications are to be evaluated with real or potential consumers in field trials or by using scenarios.

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

For the purpose of the Community action, rehabilitation technology is defined as technology provided for the use of elderly and disabled people so as to enable them to live independently and be more integrated in the socio-economic life of the community. "Disabled people" or "people with disability" means all persons with all kinds of disabilities resulting from impairments as listed in the World Health Organization's international classification of impairments, disabilities and handicaps.


Four action lines:

- Access to communications and information technology and support for interpersonal communication:
. Access to, and interaction with, multimedia environments;
. Technology to facilitate personal communications;
. Accessible services and applications;

- Environmental control technologies for daily living:
. User and system interfaces;
. Robotics systems;
. Mobility and transport control systems;

- Restoration and enhancement of motor and cognitive functions:
. IT for individualized plans for assessment, rehabilitation and maintenance in the community;
. Technology for rehabilitation and maintenance of motor functions;
. Substitution devices for motor functions;

- Integrated systems technologies:
. Smart environments and systems;
. Orientation and navigation systems for mobility;
. Working environments for disabled and elderly people.


The Commission is responsible for the implementation of the initiative, assisted by a committee composed of the representatives of the Member States and chaired by the representative of the Commission. The Commission will assure the coherency and complementarity of the activities within TIDE and with other Community programmes and actions.

The Community's financial contribution to projects shall be adapted to the characteristics of the specific case. It may take the form of a direct or indirect subsidy, an advance on own capital or any other form. The Commission shall as a general rule implement the TIDE action by way of calls for proposals, published where appropriate in the Official Journal of the European Communities. The Commission's co-contractors must, except in the case of studies and services provided for the Commission, bear the major cost of financing, and at least 50% of the total cost. In exceptional cases, however, a Community contribution in excess of that percentage shall not be excluded, in particular for the purposes of taking account of the special difficulties encountered by regions of lagging development or in industrial decline, in participating in transnational activities. Projects eligible, other than studies and services, must involve participation of at least two participants from different Member States. At least two of the partners should be industrial undertakings. Bodies and enterprises in the countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) may, in accordance with the procedure laid down in the Decision and on the basis of the criterion of mutual benefit, be allowed to become partners in a project undertaken within the initiative.

An evaluation of the results achieved shall be conducted by the Commission, which shall report to the Council and the European Parliament.
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