Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


ALHTOUR Report Summary

Project ID: 692311
Funded under: H2020-EU.4.b.


Reporting period: 2016-01-01 to 2017-03-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The Lisbon region’s Smart Specialisation Strategy identifies a) tourism and hospitality, and b) health research, technologies and services as two priority thematic areas. At the cross of these two areas stands a high growth potential sector for the region: health tourism.

Acknowledging this, ALTHOUR puts forward a plan of activities that, through collaboration with and knowledge transfer from the Katholic University Leuven (KUL), University of Maastricht (UMAS) and University of Macerata (UNIMc), aims to strengthen and stimulate scientific excellence, and innovation capacity at ULISBOA in three key domains: health tehcnologies, innovation in care and active ageing and tourism; and will help to set-up a ‘Living Lab for Assistive Technologies for the Health Tourism sector’ (HEALx-Lab).

Within these general goals the ALHTOUR will work to:

• Raise the research profile of ULISBOA and of Early stage/Experienced researchers involved in this domain, namely by boosting opportunities for research collaborations with the partnering institutions;
• Support a better integration of ULISBOA with the local business system;
• Promote a culture of entrepreneurship in ULISBOA’s community of postgraduate students and early-career researchers;
• Contribute to innovation-led development and expansion of the health tourism sector in the region of Lisbon;
• Leverage the academic excellence of KUL, UMAS and UNIMc, as well as synergies between the Smart Specialization Strategies of the 4 regions involved.

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

With the view to strengthen and stimulate scientific excellence, and innovation capacity at ULISBOA in the project’s key areas (health tehcnologies, innovation in care and active ageing and tourism) a number activities have already been carried out.

In March 2016, ULISBOA organized an Initial Workshop, which convened researchers and representatives from local business to assess the ULISBOA’s R&I gaps and needs.

With the view to raise the research profile of ULISBOA in the ALTHOURconsoritum organised 4 Academic Symposiums, where researchers from all participat instituions can present and discuss their work in topics relevant for the ALHTOUR Project. Building on these Academic Sympoisums, and with the view to consolidate the transfer of knowledge and expertise from UMAS, KUL and UNIMc, the ALHTOUR consortium is organizing 9 Staff-Exchanges. These Staff-Exchanges are organized in two phases. In the first stage, ULISBOA researchers will go to the host institutions to learn through a job-shadowing methodology. In the second stage researchers from the host institutions go to Lisbon and, applying cross-functional mentoring methodology, help to consolidate the transfer of knowledge. The second stage of the 9 staff exchanges will be completed during the second semester of 2017.

With the view to boost innovation capacity at ULISBOA, Senior researchers from the ULISBOA have conducted onsite visits - to Living Labs, Business Incubators, innovative companies, seniortTourism facilities, and nursing homes - in the regions of Flanders (Belgium), Marche (Italy) and Limburg )Netherlands), to learnt about different Living Labs methdologies and best practices in innovation. Moreover, is organizing 3 Joint Seminars, to discuss best practices and successful experiences in the cooperation between academia and the local business stakeholders. Two Joint Seminars have already taken place (UMAS, April 2017; KUL, May 2017). The final Joint Seminar, will take place in June 2017, at UNIMc.

With the view to support a better integration of ULISBOA with the local business system, the consortium is currently building a Community of Practices, which will allow the sharing of knowledge and experience between researchers from the participant organisations and local stakeholders with regards to topics relevant for ALHTOUR project. The Community of Practices will include:
• An e-learning repository;
• 3 thematic forums on: Active ageing and tourism, Health technologies and Innovation in care;
• A shared calendar with events relevant to the stakeholders.
This will be complemented by a series of ‘Lunch and Learn’ Events, where , as well as a Venture-Lab

With the aim of promoting a culture of entrepreneurship in ULISBOA’s community of postgraduate students and early-career researchers, we will organise a Summer School on Entrepreneurship and Innovation, which will take place in the second semester of 2017.

In order to maximise the impact of the project, we will implement a comprehensive strategy of dissemination and exploytation, which includes setting a project website and social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter and Linked-In), press-releases and press conferences in key project events, dissemination of project information through brochures, factsheets and ellectronic bulletins, and engaging relevant international stakeholders through networking and participation at relevant international events, and through the organsition of the Final Conference and Brokerage Event.

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)

The expected results until the end of the project are:

• An improvement of research and innovation capacity at ULISBOA and a boost of scientific production in the key topics of the project: health technologies, innovation in care, and active ageing and tourism. This will be measured by an increase in scientific production on these topics and submission of applications for funding;
• An improvement in entrepreneurial spirit in the students and early stage researchers. This will be assess by the level of participation in the ALHTOUR Summer School, and the development of innovative business plans by participants;
• Improving the collaboration between academia and the local business community, which can be assessed by the presentation of start-up proposals by ULISBOA researchers and students, and the creation of agreements with business associations in the 4 partner regions of the project

In addition to these more specific results, we expect ALHTOUR to have a broader impact, namely:
• It will make a substantive contribution to the implementation of the Smart Specialization Strategy of the Region of Lisbon;
• It will help the Region of Lisbon to respond to the needs of its ageing population, namely by helping to boost the provision of services and solutions for active ageing and independent living;
• It will help to strengthen the links between ULISBOA and the local business community, thus enhancing its capacity in the transfer of research to the market.

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