Co-designing, testing and piloting of innovative assistance technologies with senior citizens in private homes and care institutions.

A private foundation based in Switzerland is specialised in demographic change and the emerging market of assistance technologies for elderly people. They offer access to a range of testing and piloting environments for companies and research partners that are interested in direct user feedback, both in the development stage as well as with market mature products. The services comprise testing, data collection, evaluation and co-designing. Partners for research cooperation are sought.
Background and service propositions: The Swiss foundation works in two main areas: as an interest representation for people in the second half of their lives and as a service provider in the market for elderly people, consulting on the needs of the generations in and beyond the pensioning age. The foundation is involved in gathering research on user requirements, stakeholder-dialogues and the testing / piloting of products, facilities and services with the goal to support the generation-friendly shaping of products, services and infrastructures. Regular studies are conducted on diverse aspects of ageing, such as quality of life, mobility, health, finance, politics and living environments of elderly people. The goal of the foundation’s activities is the promotion of quality of life, independence and social inclusion of older adults. The foundation runs its own media campaigns for public agenda setting and public action. In this context, it offers dissemination support for project results / technological innovations with the goal to introduce new approaches for elderly people that want to cope with the challenges of demographic change. Living lab and reach to health sector stakeholders: The foundation has a reach to more than 400 subscribed volunteers, aged between 60 and 85 years who engage in the testing of products, facilities, infrastructure and services in their role as mature end-users and critical, informed customers. Using its network of private and corporate subjects, the foundation has access to older adults with diverse physiological, psychological and socio-demographic characteristics, environments and personal needs. This means that, levels of independence, types of housing background as well as characteristics related to specific physical conditions, including dementia, visual, auditive and / or motor impairments, can all be examined. Its reach also covers various partners from the nursing homes sector given the background of key personnel and core activities in quality control of nursing homes. To date, more than 200 quality surveys have been conducted in more than 90 nursing facilities, giving insights on employees’, volunteers’, residents’ and informal caregivers’ needs. Record of European projects: The foundation has been involved in 20 Active Assisted Living Programme (AAL) projects in the capacity of an end-user organisation, focusing on the development of assistance technologies for older adults in order to live at home independently for as long as possible. User-requirements analyses (e.g. surveys, interviews, workshops), conceptual design and prototype-tests (lab and field) as well as research activities regarding market- and policy-relevant issues have ranked among the foundation’s major responsibilities in this context. Involvement in grant applications: Research services, knowledge transfer and end-user access will be sought through innovation projects promoting quality of life, independence and public participation of elderly people. The conceptual design and writing of proposals can be supplemented with the foundation’s research output on end-user needs. The foundation seeks contact to partners from both Switzerland and beyond. Research institutes, private companies, media, public institutions and other partners are sought for partnerships in the frame of a research cooperation agreement. The foundation contributes to project partnerships in the capacity of an end-user organisation, with emphasis on co-design activities throughout the technology and service development process. This includes the analysis of requirements among end-users, secondary and tertiary stakeholders as well as reviews and tests regarding usability and consumer needs. Swiss-based field evaluations can be run and exploited to raise both public awareness and information about the project (dissemination activities).
Type (e.g. company, R&D institution…), field of industry and Role of Partner Sought: 
The specific area of activity of the partner: Developers of assistance technologies for elderly people (e.g. smart home technologies). Developers of services or infrastructures who want to seize older adults as users and consumers. The tasks to be performed by the partner sought: Deployment of products (market mature or in development stage) for conceptual review, co-creation, validation and piloting activities. Activities can take place as part of structured field studies or as part of agile development processes.
Stage of Development: 
Already on the market
IPR Status: 
External code: