InclusiVerse Paves the Way for Disability Inclusion in Helsinki

InclusiVerse Paves the Way for Disability Inclusion in Helsinki

InclusiVerse, the groundbreaking virtual reality application developed by CTRL Reality, has successfully completed its pilot phase, marking a significant milestone in the journey towards disability inclusion. Designed to enhance the social and digital skills of individuals with developmental disabilities, InclusiVerse provides a safe and immersive virtual environment where users can engage in social interactions, practice daily routines, and explore new situations. Through real-time collaboration and customizable environments, it empowers users to navigate the complexities of everyday life with confidence and ease. Throughout the pilot phase, CTRL Reality worked with approximately 150 end users, witnessing firsthand the transformative impact of virtual technologies on their lives. From improved social interactions to increased confidence, the results speak volumes about the power of inclusion and accessibility in shaping a more equitable society. CTRL Reality remains committed to expanding the reach of InclusiVerse, to break down barriers, foster understanding, and build a more inclusive world for all.

CommuniCity Info Session (9th April 2024)

We are happy to share the upcoming “CommuniCity Info Session” dedicated to cities interested in joining the third round of Open Calls to be held online on the 9th of April 2024 from 14.30 to 16:00 CET.

During the Third Open Call, the CommuniCity project aims to launch over 60 pilot projects across Europe. CommuniCity invites cities to join its Info Session where the project and the third round of Open Calls are discussed in greater detail. Attendees have a valuable opportunity to learn more about the initiative while gaining insights from the experiences of other replicator cities involved in the project. Additionally, participants can explore the potential benefits for their cities by participating in our upcoming round of Calls starting in September.

More Information on the Third Open Call can be found on this page and on this news post.

The agenda of the event can be seen below:

AGENDA

14:30 –Welcome 

14:40 –Overview of the CommuniCity project and introduction to the 3rd Open Call

Josephine Di Pino – OASC

15:00 – Learnings from the 1st and 2nd CommuniCity Open Calls

Anne-Mari Sandell & Silja Peltonen – Forum Virium Helsinki 

15:15 –Technical framework and Porto’s experience

Adeeb Sidani – Porto Digital

15:30 – Amsterdam’s experience 

Machteld Combé – City of Amsterdam 

15.45-16.00 – Q&A Session 

Click on the button below to registerfor the Info Session:

Shape the future of your city: Join the CommuniCity Open Call

Does your city or NGO struggle with social or urban challenges? Join the upcoming open call and let the CommuniCity Consortium help you tackle these pressing challenges by utilising innovative technologies. The third CommuniCity Open Call will be launched on 10 September 2024 and it seeks technology-driven solutions to bridge the digital divide and enhance the well-being of marginalised communities. 

Building upon the success of the previous rounds, the third CommuniCity Open Call expands its reach by inviting participants from cities and NGOs across Europe. While the initial rounds of open calls focused on a relatively small group of participating cities, this final CommuniCity Open Call fosters a broader and more inclusive initiative. Therefore the CommuniCity consortium calls for NGOs and new cities to present novel challenges and join the open call as “challenge owners”.

Unlock innovation potential!

The CommuniCity Open Call presents a compelling opportunity for European cities to address pressing social and economic challenges while encouraging digital inclusion. Through a unique collaboration between city representatives, professionals, residents and technology providers, the project fosters the development and co-creation of innovative solutions tailored to each city’s specific needs. 

Participating cities gain valuable insights into supporting marginalised communities and improving the services provided by the cities. Additionally, the participating cities have the chance to replicate best practices identified in previous open call rounds, accelerating progress towards more inclusive and resilient cities. 

Ready to tackle challenges in your city? 

The CommuniCity Consortium warmly welcomes new cities to participate in the upcoming Open Call and is eager to collaborate on tackling urban challenges. Beyond cross-European networks, participating cities and NGOs gain valuable expertise in co-creation methodologies as well as future technologies including Artificial Intelligence. Additionally, the participating cities are supported with step-by-step guidance for successful agile piloting, ensuring a smooth and efficient process. 

Throughout the open call phases, dedicated digital tools and support activities are offered to participating cities, ensuring a seamless and effective piloting process. This includes bi-weekly meetings hosted by the CommuniCity project, along with tailored support provided when specific needs arise. Furthermore, cities gain access to a wide range of technical components and tools developed by the project.

The deadline for applications to the third CommuniCity Open Calls is 31 October 2024. Following this, expert juries nominated by participating cities will evaluate the applications. In December, the winning applicants can begin piloting technological solutions in their respective cities and can continue their experiments until May 2025. The CommuniCity project will grant each winning team a minimum of €12,500 Eur grant to support their solution development and pilot implementation efforts.

Pre-register and attend the Upcoming Q&As and Info Sessions

Are you interested in going forward with an urban challenge that the CommuniCity project can help to solve? If so, we encourage you to pre-register by filling out the Pre-Registration Form and sharing your preliminary ideas. This allows us to better understand the needs of your city or NGO and tailor our support.

Join the upcoming CommuniCity Open Call Q&A and Info Sessions to increase your understanding of the project. The upcoming  Q&A session will take place on 18 June 2024 14:00-15:00 CET .

During this event, you can hear more about the open call and the next steps for joining cities. Additionally, you have the unique opportunity to connect with representatives from the partnering cities of Amsterdam, Helsinki, and Porto. Click the button below to register for the upcoming sessions.

The CommuniCity Consortium would like to finalise participating city recruitment soon. Contact us or join the next Info Session to learn more! 

Empowering Low-Literate Citizens of Amsterdam with Toklie´s help​

Tolkie, an innovative AI-powered tool, developed in Amsterdam, is a pilot from CommuniCity first round of Open Calls, aimed at empowering low-literate citizens in Amsterdam. The tool has been designed to enhance reading assistance capabilities by simplifying entire texts for those with low literacy levels. The piloting process involved ideation, testing, and design iterations to refine the tool’s functionality. Key features include the conversion of text to accessible language below Dutch B1 level, presented in a user-friendly bullet-point format with a single button press. This groundbreaking innovation makes texts more accessible without imposing additional time or effort on organizations.

Crucially, co-creation activities were integral to the pilot, ensuring the tool’s effectiveness and usability through testing with the target audience. Feedback from participants has been overwhelmingly positive, with users appreciating the simplicity and effectiveness of Tolkie in bridging literacy gaps.

Tolkie’s efforts are more crucial than ever, particularly with the increasing effects of an aging population, immigration, and the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. With approximately 16% of the Dutch population reading below the Dutch language B1 level, Tolkie aims to scale the implementation of the tool, continuously refining it based on user feedback, and fostering collaboration for a broader impact in addressing literacy challenges. This development is expected to have a positive impact on society by empowering individuals and enabling them to access information that was previously beyond their reach.

PortoPilot – Digital Technologies to Decrease Loneliness/Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS

Developed in Porto, the PortoPilot – Digital technologies to decrease loneliness project has successfully tackled elderly loneliness through tailored digital technologies. Seniors were equipped with smartphones and trained in communication and entertainment applications, revealing a surprising preference for cognitive stimulation games. This challenges stereotypes about seniors’ reluctance to engage with digital solutions, highlighting their enthusiasm for technology adoption. Crucially, caregiver participation exceeded expectations, ensuring the sustainability of activities beyond the project’s duration. The project not only emphasises technology’s potential to enhance seniors’ well-being but also underscores the significance of caregiver collaboration for long-term success. As PortoPilot continues, it remains dedicated to evolving solutions that address the evolving needs of elderly individuals, further solidifying its role in alleviating loneliness in this demographic. The initiative stands as a beacon of innovation, showcasing the transformative power of technology when coupled with genuine understanding and collaboration to improve the lives of the elderly in Porto.

Photos: Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS
Text: Sociedade Portuguesa de Inovação 

CommuniCity Info Session

We are happy to share the “CommuniCity Info Session” dedicated to the cities interested in joining the third round of Open Calls, held online on 12th March 2024 from 14:30 to 16:00 CET was a notable success.

During the Third Open Call, the CommuniCity project aims to launch over 60 pilot projects across Europe. CommuniCity invited cities to join its Info Session where the project and the third round of Open Calls were discussed in greater detail. Attendees had a valuable opportunity to learn more about the initiative while gaining insights from the experiences of other replicator cities involved in the project. Additionally, participants could explore the potential benefits for their own cities by participating in our upcoming round of Calls starting in September.

The agenda of the event can be seen below:

AGENDA

14:30 Welcome 

14:40  Overview of the CommuniCity project and introduction to the 3rd Open Call

Josephine Di Pino – OASC

15:00 – Learnings from the 1st and 2nd CommuniCity Open Calls

Anne-Mari Sandell & Silja Peltonen – Forum Virium Helsinki 

15:15  Technical framework and Porto’s experience

Adeeb Sidani – Porto Digital

15:30 – Amsterdam’s experience 

Machteld Combé – City of Amsterdam 

15.45-16.00 – Q&A Session 

The next Info Session will be held on 9th April from 14:30 to 16:00 CET. Don’t miss out! The agenda will be the same as the one in the previous event.

Interactive DigiGuide well received by Rehabilitative Work Activities in Helsinki

Stereoscape Ltd, headquartered in Helsinki, has introduced an innovative interactive map for social services. A web-based solution called DigiGuide was developed in collaboration with the City of Helsinki’s Rehabilitative Work Activities department. It aims to transform how customers discover pertinent services and units offered by the city.

Accessible online via any smart device with a web browser, the interactive map underwent an extensive client-centric design process, incorporating feedback from collaborative sprints and user testing sessions. Developed iteratively with Stereoscape and the city department, the DigiGuide on Mapme platform facilitates seamless navigation and access to crucial information.

During the design sprint, workshops with city employees nurtured open communication, ensuring alignment with client expectations. Through user testing and one-to-one interviews, valuable insights were gathered to enrich user experiences and refine functionality.

Recognising a disparity between the initial concept and client expectations, the team pivoted towards a solution aligned with user needs, prompting the exploration of new software and platforms. This experience not only honed communication strategies but also deepened comprehension of accessibility considerations, ultimately enhancing workflows and user experience practices.

By prioritising user needs and fostering collaboration, DigiGuide pledges to streamline access to rehabilitative services, marking a significant milestone in digital innovation for Helsinki’s workforce.

 

Photo: Stereoscape Oy
Text: Sociedade Portuguesa de Inovação 

XS2Content Launches AI Video Avatar for Vaccination Program Enhancement in Amsterdam

To enhance understanding of the Dutch National Vaccination Programme among all citizens, including those with limited literacy and diverse backgrounds, the Amsterdam municipality collaborated with XS2Content, a Dutch startup, on a pilot initiative. This project focuses on using video content alongside traditional text to effectively communicate with people who are not so comfortable reading Dutch.

The objectives of the project were ambitious yet clear: streamline video creation processes, transform healthcare information into accessible video formats, and ensure broad dissemination across social media and web platforms. As an essential part of the CommuniCity project, stakeholders, including researchers, representatives of the Amsterdam municipality, healthcare workers, and the target groups, have collaborated in co-creation efforts. In particular, people of the target groups watched the videos and helped to choose the looks and voices of the video avatars to be used.

The primary results of this Amsterdam pilot are promising, with the target audience showing a positive reception to the video content, which underscores the efficacy of video content in conveying crucial healthcare information. Despite some challenges such as time constraints and budget limitations, the pilot has made significant strides in developing a tool capable of delivering multilingual video content tailored to diverse communities.

Looking ahead, the focus remains on refining the tool based on user feedback, with plans to expand its utility across broader health-related initiatives. The success of this pilot highlights the potential of AI-driven solutions in public health communication, while also underscoring the importance of inclusive approaches in addressing complex societal challenges.

The CommuniCity project seeks to implement 100 tech pilots all over Europe in a bid to address urban challenges and reach marginalised communities through innovative solutions. The third round of Open Calls will invite cities from all over Europe to join the initiative and will be launched on  September 10th 2024.

For further information on this pilot click here.

Photo: Amsterdam Intelligence
Text: Sociedade Portuguesa de Inovação

WeSolve’s Innovative Approach: Enhancing Elderly Inclusion and Quality of Life

The WeSolve, Inclusion of the Elderly project was developed in the city of Porto, representing a collaborative effort with the Association of Cerebral Palsies of Porto (APPC) to address social isolation among the elderly, fostering community cohesion through a tailored digital platform.  

The WeSolve platform emerged as a crucial element, seamlessly facilitating digital collaboration among caregivers, employees, and stakeholders. Beyond merely improving communication, it served as a hub for gathering valuable experiences from the elderly, fostering a sense of community that extended beyond the digital realm.

An integral part of this initiative was the collaborative co-creation events held in Porto, where leaders from APPC, WeSolve, Fraunhofer, Hoivita, the University of Porto, the Department of Social Cohesion, Domus Social, and the Center of Social Innovation (CIS Porto) came together. These events facilitated constructive discussions, the sharing of insights, best practices, and the exchange of innovative ideas.

APPC is enthusiastic about expanding the implementation of the WeSolve platform. The success of the project, combined with collaborative co-creation in Porto, underscores the crucial role of community engagement in healthcare. The initiative sets the stage for future advancements, ushering in a new era of reshaping elderly care through technology and collaborative community endeavours


Text: Sociedade Portuguesa de Inovação
Images: Porto Digital

WeSolve’s Innovative Approach: Enhancing Elderly Inclusion and Quality of Life

The WeSolve, Inclusion of the Elderly project was developed in the city of Porto, representing a collaborative effort with the Association of Cerebral Palsies of Porto (APPC) to address social isolation among the elderly, fostering community cohesion through a tailored digital platform.

The WeSolve platform emerged as a crucial element, seamlessly facilitating digital collaboration among caregivers, employees, and stakeholders. Beyond merely improving communication, it served as a hub for gathering valuable experiences from the elderly, fostering a sense of community that extended beyond the digital realm.

An integral part of this initiative was the collaborative co-creation events held in Porto, where leaders from APPC, WeSolve, Fraunhofer, Hoivita, the University of Porto, the Department of Social Cohesion, Domus Social, and the Center of Social Innovation (CIS Porto) came together. These events facilitated constructive discussions, the sharing of insights, best practices, and the exchange of innovative ideas.

APPC is enthusiastic about expanding the implementation of the WeSolve platform. The success of the project, combined with collaborative co-creation in Porto, underscores the crucial role of community engagement in healthcare. The initiative sets the stage for future advancements, ushering in a new era of reshaping elderly care through technology and collaborative community endeavours.