June 2019: Paula Dougan from ECHAlliance reflects on the progress made to date by SmartWork partners
SmartWork partners have had an industrious start to the project.
January 2019 began with a successful project kick-off meeting in Athens, where we met to formally launch the SmartWork project and agree how to work together effectively to achieve the vision of a smart system that will support older office workers to maintain an active professional life despite the ageing process and potential functional limitations, health conditions or care needs.
Since then, the first project Milestone has been achieved with the launch of the SmartWork website as well as the establishment of the social media channels, SmartWork logo and visual identity, which all feed into the wider Communication and Dissemination Plan (published here).
We have used these first few months to undertake a review of the existing commercially available solutions associated with the multi-dimensional features of the SmartWork system (findings published here). The first phase of consultation with end-users has just ended, consisting of an online questionnaire for office workers aged 55+ as well as interviews & focus groups with office workers, employers and carers. We have been working on the design of a first version of the overall SmartWork system architecture, and a data collection protocol for the gathering of data from the different end users of the system.
The profile of SmartWork has been steadily growing, with the project featuring in the programme of a number of international events, including the PROGRESSIVE Final Conference and CEN/CENELEC STAIR-AHA Platform meeting in Brussels in January, the meeting of the D4 Action Group of the EIP-AHAin Krakow in May, and the International Congress of Health and Well-being Intervention, in Portugal at the end of May.
Last week, SmartWork partners presented a number of conference publications in the area of smart age-friendly working environments at the PETRA conference in Rhodes, Greece (5-7 June 2019). Partners led the SmartWork Workshop on Smart, Personalized and Age-Friendly Working Environments, chaired by Otilia Kocsis (University of Patras) and João Quintas (Instituto Pedro Nunes).
Looking ahead, SmartWork partners will build on these solid foundations, using the results from the first phase of user consultation to move quickly towards the second project Milestone – the establishment of system requirements, use cases, co-design methodology and the ethics framework. We will have our second face-to-face Consortium meeting in Coimbra, Portugal 25-26 June, where we will take the opportunity to reflect on progress so far and plan for the next phase of the SmartWork project.
The first public SmartWork deliverables have been published here and we will add to this as the project progresses.