Welcome to the November 2013 edition of AT R&D News, a free monthly newsletter from Foundation for Assistive Technology (FAST) with the latest on research and development in the field of assistive technology.
Our aim is to help researchers stay up to date with national developments, local initiatives and research projects relevant to the AT community. There are also regular updates on sources of funding, AT jobs, conferences, resources and opportunities to share knowledge within the AT sector.
FAST also publish a monthly AT Policy newsletter, view it here.
Follow us on Twitter or on Rebelmouse for day-to-day updates.
JISC have announced an Innovation through technology funding call which intends to improve learner experiences and increase the capability and capacity of the workforce across further education and skills providers. Technology and disability related projects have been funded through previous calls. Be quick as the call closes on the 6th of December 2013!
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) will issue a call for research to evaluate supports for long-term conditions in children and young people. There will be a supporting workshop on the 5th of February 2014, book here.
NIHR Evaluation, Trials and Studies (EME) also have a call for research around Autism spectrum disorders which ends on the 3rd of February 2014.
NIHR’s Central Commissioning Facility (CCF) web site also has details of a number of funding routes available thru the Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB), Programme Grants for Applied Research (PGfAR) and Programme Development Grants (PDG) funding initiatives.
CCF also has a regular newsletter.
The Technology Strategy Board have released details of the 5th SBRI SMART Call, which is aimed at SME’s to promote engagement with research. The Call closes on 30th of January 2014.
The European Union Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, which replaces FP7, has an informative website.
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Nice to see that assistive technology projects are beginning to use the internet and social media to communicate their achievements more effectively. A video from the Backhome - Brain-neural computer interfaces on track to home – Development of a practical generation of BNCI for independent home use project illustrates the use of a brain computer interface for an individual who has a neurological and physical impairment.
The COMODAL project aims to support the development of a consumer market for electronic Assisted Living Technologies (eALT) and has recently developed 4 business models designed to create new ways of thinking about the eALT market. Give feedback via an online questionnaire. The questionnaire is available until the 2nd of December 2013.
Living It Up, a three year funded DALLAS project is investigating ways to enable people to improve their health and well-being. The project has recently launched the Living It Up Portal, which is an online source of information and support.
The AALIANCE2 - European ambient assisted living innovation alliance project has developed a report on standards and certifications in AAL. The project would like you to share your experience, opinions and comments. Download the report here.
FAST has a freely searchable database of over 1400 assistive technology research projects across assistive technology funded in the last 20 years.
3. FAST Website Annual Update
FAST have an online database where you can find out about UK assistive technology Projects, Organisations, Funders, Publications, Events and Jobs and is freely accessible to all. We welcome contributions throughout the year to keep this information up to date.
FAST are focusing on updating the information we hold on assistive technology R&D projects in the UK between October and December 2013, in order to signpost the excellent range of academic, NGO and commercial partnerships that develop future technology. Thanks to everyone who has replied so far.
If you have received an email from us requesting an update, please respond either by email or via our online update form here. If you have a new project that is not listed on the FAST website, let us know about it here. Please pass this information on to your contacts who also work in UK assistive technology research.
Good quality publicly funded projects ending between April 2013 and March 2014 are possible candidates for the 2014 Annual Parliamentary Report, written by FAST for the UK Department of Health. Research groups who are mentioned in the report can make reference to this in their own final impact report and when they make bids for new funding.
4. AT in the news
The excellent RAatE 2013 conference took place on 25th of November 2013. It was a great opportunity to see a wide range of presentation across assistive technology, meet existing colleagues and make new contacts. We’d encourage anyone who works in AT to consider attending or presenting next year. After the RAatE organisers have had a well-deserved rest.
CATCH, the Centre for Assistive Technology and Connected Healthcare was launched at an event in the Millennium Galleries, Sheffield on the 19th of November 2013. With funding from the University of Sheffield, CATCH intends to accelerate the pace of assistive technology research and development in the UK with a multidisciplinary team working in collaboration across the university. Reviews of the event via Telecare Aware and the Tinder Foundation.
One of the participants in CATCH's Vivoca project was interviewed at the launch event, see the video here. FAST encourage all project researchers to think about using videos and social media to let the world know about their achievements.
The Disabled Living Foundation (DLF) is a national charity that provides free, impartial advice on their helpline (Tel: 0300 999 0004) and website about all types of daily living equipment for adults with disabilities and disabled children, older people, and their carers. The DLF now have a Loan Library of memory aids, devices to notify carers that someone may require assistance and products to aid people who are blind or partially sighted. You can borrow equipment for 2 weeks anywhere in England which will be sent by post. See if it works for you to decide whether or not the equipment is worth purchasing.
Mada, the Qatar Assistive Technology Centre has launched an Assistive Technology portal to support people with disabilities in Qatar and across the Arabic speaking world and is available in Arabic and English.
Presentations for the recent eAccess 2013 conference, which took place in October 2013, are now available to view and download.
An interesting article about hacking Google Glass and $25 worth of materials to allow gaming via eye gaze, with accompanying videos.
Martin Littler, CEO of Inclusive Technology thinks that Touch and pads open the door to SEN ‘dream device’. Read and comment?
Competition in the eye gaze industry seems to be warming up with a recent announcement of a new eye gaze system from myGaze on the market and price reductions by Tobii. Eye gaze systems that would cost upwards of £11,000 a decade ago are now retailing below £2000.
To demonstrate that just about everything seems to be becoming printable, here's a New technique to print ink-based electrical circuitry using a desktop printer.
Another fantastically innovative project is using conductive paint to create switches and imaginative interactive environments and is looking for funding on Kickstarter.
A number of charities are going down the crowdfunding route to support their work, the latest being designbility (formerly BIME) who are seeking funding for their Wizzybug powered wheelchair for younger children. See further information on the Crowdfunder website.
Similarly, developers of a Simple Music Player for People with Dementia are looking for funding via Indiegogo.
A battery-powered robotic arm that can amplify human strength was the winner of the 2013 James Dyson award. The device has the potential to support workers who regularly lift heavy objects or to assist in rehabilitation.
Another Dyson finalist was Handie prosthetic, which uses 3D printing and smartphones to manufacture cheaper bionic hands.
More 3D printing ideas, this time from a group of students in South Africa, who built their own 3D printer which also can be controlled by a smartphone.
The European Commission has released a report from a Study on Assessing and Promoting E-Accessibility.
The Papworth Trust has issued a report entitled Home solutions to our care crisis which examines the potential of technology, but also the difficulties people are having in obtaining equipment and adaptation for their homes from local authorities. Despite the potential of technology to allow older and disabled people to stay in their own homes, the postcode lottery in local government awareness and service provision continues...
CeBIT 2014: UK SME free stand competition – apply by the 23rd of December 2013 for a free stand at CeBIT 2014 on the 10th - 14th March 2014 in Hannover, Germany.
There is increasingly so much assistive technology related news to report which is outside of the limits of a monthly newsletter. Do consider following FAST via Twitter or Rebelmouse – details below.
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5. Call for Papers
Healthcare Technology Letters will be a new online-only source of peer-reviewed content across the modern healthcare engineering and technology field and launches in 2014. It will focus on advances in engineering, computer and information science for healthcare. Further information about submitting a paper from the journal website.
IEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems has a Special Issue on the topic of “Ambient Assisted Living – sensors, methods and applications”. Papers should be submitted by 1st of March 2014.
PETRA 2014, which focuses on the area of healthcare and assisted living, has a call for papers which closes on the 15th of December 2013.
The British Journal of Health Informatics and Monitoring also welcomes journal articles in the area of mHealth, eHealth, telecare and telehealth.
A special issue of the Journal of Personalized Medicine will be devoted to Mobile Health. The Deadline for submissions is the 31st of January 2014.
BAPO - British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists annual conference 2014 takes place on the 14th of March 2014. BAPO have issued a call for conference papers – submit a paper by 31st of December 2013.
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Quieter on the jobs front again this month. However, You can normally find assistive technology Jobs on the FAST website.
November 2013 is RNIB’s Switch on to technology month, with a range of events and resources available to download.
BHTA have announced their latest range of healthcare and assistive technology CPD courses for 2013/14.
You can find over 40 Events across assistive technology on the FAST website.
The Interaction Design Foundation has a large number of online open education materials. In one section, Professor Kirstin Dautenhahn of the University of Hertfordshire discusses Human-Robot Interaction.
The British Journal of Educational Technology has an ICT-Supported Learning and Special Educational Needs: A Special Virtual Issue available to access for free.
Some ideas to promote accessibility for Linux users with open source and free applications reviewed here.
JISC TechDis have guidance about accessibility apps for Android Smartphones.
RNIB have materials to guide Assistive technology assessments for pupils with a visual impairment.
The European Commission have issued guidance on 'Medical apps, is certification required?'
MindApps.org is website run by mental healthcare professionals and academics, who promote the positive use of self-help tools to improve wellbeing. The team have a knowledge resource on mental health and review wellbeing apps.
9. Other Useful Newsletters
Rica’s November 2013 newsletter is here.
SENICT (Special Educational Needs ICT Training and Consultancy Services) has a monthly newsletter about technology, training and support for children with additional educational needs.
FAST now have a Twitter account covering day-to-day News, Research, Jobs, Events and Debate in Assistive Technology with nearly 500 followers.
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