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Metallisation of Textiles to make Urban living for Older people more Independent Fashionable

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - MATUROLIFE (Metallisation of Textiles to make Urban living for Older people more Independent Fashionable)

Reporting period: 2018-01-01 to 2019-06-30

The objective of the MATUROLIFE project is to put creative and artistic design at the heart of innovation journey. Design is coupled with advanced materials innovations to produce high added value, aesthetically pleasing and functional products for Assistive Technology (AT) making urban living for older people easier, and more independent.
The new emerging AT products will address current and future societal challenge on urban living for older people whilst assuring competitive and sustainable development of SMEs.
The project is answering key challenges outlined in the health Action Plan 2012-2020 and more specifically the Strategic Implementation Plan of the EIP AHA.

The objective of the project is to use “design as a strategic tool” to produce highly innovative and appealing Assistive Technology (AT) products based on smart textiles thus making the lives of older people more comfortable, secure and independent.
The improvement in AT experience will be achieved through design innovation and facilitated by development of a novel selective metallisation process based on innovative nanotechnology. The result will be person-centric products employing highly conductive textiles which are more functional, lighter and have a greater lifetime than conventional textiles without existing technological constraints for example, added wiring.

The outputs of MATUROLIFE will achieve wide ranging impacts including;
Societal: the growing population of older people living in urban environments is a major European societal challenge. Using creative design driven approaches for the production of AT that is more fashionable, desirable and acceptable to older people will reduce abandonment rates of AT enabling older people to feel more secure and safe in their own homes, allowing them to live more independent and fulfilling lives. This will also reduce the number of visits to hospitals and prevent ‘bed blocking’ which is a wider societal issue.
During this reporting period the main work performed and results achieved are summarised below :
1. Co-creation Design: Early work activity has focused on delivering an integrated co-creation approach embedding emotional design principles by integrating a team of creative artists and designer partners. This design team along with regional participants has been working with older people/carer network partners to recruit stakeholders from older peoples groups across Europe to participate in co-creation workshops and inform the iterative design research process to create AT prototype concepts (WP2,3). The AT (WP6) are currently being developed and will be tested by stakeholders (WP7) in the next reporting period providing feedback for further iterative design (WP3).

2. Materials and Electronics: Early work has sought to develop the architecture, components and communication systems (WP6) for integration of electronics and sensors into fabrics/textiles with the further development of a novel low cost sustainable selective metallisation process for textiles based on functionalised copper nanoparticle (CuNP) catalyst and/or PVD seeding and electroless plating (WP 4, 7).

3. Superior smart textiles with improved lifetime: UM have been developing final finishes on textiles (WP5) for the protection of selectively deposited conductive tracks from degradation due to sweat, water, temperature and colouring. Additional functionality through the use of dyeing and functional pigments has also been evaluated and tested to ensure aesthetically pleasing and fashionable textiles can be produced whilst maintaining electronic conductivity. This has involved textile and coating testing and characterisation (WP7).

4. Demonstrate scalability: Focus has been on European industrial needs by building a small scale pilot line and running in semi-production mode enabling the development of selective metallisation manufacturing concepts on textiles and fabrics that are modular and versatile (WP8). A Pilot line design is now complete for the production of selectively conductive textiles.


The commercial objectives established in the MATUROLIFE project are:
1. Exploitation: Two exploitation plan documents were prepared in this 1st reporting period (WP10). The first collected business and market information and data from partner organisations. The second exploitation plan detailing a framework for an exploitation seminar that captured Key exploitable outputs whilst analysing commercialisation potential through commercial opportunity appraisal, SWOT, PEST, business model canvas and value proposotion canvas. These analysis and models will be further development in the 2nd reporting period.

2. Dissemination: Two versions of the project information sheet have been produced in this period (WP9). The project website and social media presence through twitter were established early on in the project and have been improved upon as the project progressed. 1st and 2nd dissemination plans have been produced along with project logo's, posters, stands, flyers. A dissemination log captures all dissemination activity and is reposited on the project extranet Sharepoint site. More than 40 events across the EU and internationally have been attended for dissemination of MATUROLIFE. MATUROLIFE also hosted its 1st Workshop in France attended by 20+ delegates.
The approach of using a co-creation, iterative and user centric design approach to developing AT concept prototypes is entirely novel and has resulted in three prototype concept designs in Clothing, Footwear and Furniture in the 1st reporting period, which are progressing towards prototypes that will be tested by recruited participants in the 2nd reporting period. The fabrics/textiles have been selected for sustainability and recyclability. Metallisation of conductive tracks has adopted novel selective techniques in the synthesis and formulation of chemistry and their novel application techniques onto fabrics/textiles incorporating novel protective coatings. The overall holistic approach is entirely beyond state of the art and will result in designs and creative solutions that are:

• Higher added-value: Addressing the under-use and abandonment of AT by older people.
• Better performing: Truly multi-functional metallised material with the feel and comfort of a textile which can be twisted, stretched and washed without loss of performance. Even more functionality will be achieved by using final finishes and functional dyes on the textile which will make the textiles respond to external stimuli such as sweat pH and body temperature.
• Sustainable: MATUROLIFE will employ sustainable design principles using materials that are from renewable resources, which can be recycled and have a low environmental impact.
• Versatile: pioneering research at CU has shown that polyesters, cottons, linen, lycra, viscose, silk and nylon can be successfully metallised using electroless copper. This will give the designers the versatility to work with a wide range of textiles and fabrics.
• Improved health, independence and security: As a result of the emotional and co- design process, AT solutions will be designed that are usable and accepted by the intended user group, and therefore the likelihood of appropriate product usage increases. Consequently, healthy behaviours and outcomes are expected as valuable health monitoring information is provided to support the independence, security and care of older adults.
Healthy, Fashionable and Urban Living
Design Management Approach