WP7: Training – Year 2

Semi-annual update – March-August 2017: Training activities, Events and Co-research

In the first half of the second year, there have been six exchanges, one to Brisbane, Australia, two to Spain (Barcelona and Valladolid/Salamanca), and one each to Luxembourg, The Netherlands (Enschede and Deventer) and the UK (Wolverhampton). The secondments continued to develop the mindful design and dementia care framework, to complete the data collection and analysis, and to advance the design development. A pattern of training and knowledge exchange activities has been conducted across the secondments and is described in the following.

Site Visits:

An important part of the training and knowledge exchange included visits to different partner sites to learn about the national differences in dementia care management, practice and policy and to see facilities for computer software and robotics development for various aspects of healthcare support and rehabilitation:

  • Workshop by the Alzheimer Centre, Salamanca, where 4 cases receiving music therapy intervention were presented as well as dynamic exercises for the attending professionals. Esther García Valverde, expert in music therapy in dementia (and professional violinist), explained the humanist psychological philosophy and music therapy dynamics underpinning her wellbeing and communication approaches which are centred on the person and their capacities of creation and self-realization.
  • Visit to the ‘centre da vida independent’ (CVI), Barcelona, offered an insight into all the devices and tool available to support people with dementia and other disabilities in the home to maintain an independent life style. http://www.cvi-bcn.org/en/
  • Visit of the Technical Research Centre for Dependency Care and Autonomous Living (CETPD) https://www.epsevg.upc.edu/cetpd//index.php (ES)
  • Visit of the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBAC) Robotics Lab at UPC. http://ibecbarcelona.eu/robotics (ES)

Presentations and training workshops:

Again, the research team continued knowledge transfer through a series of presentations, workshop and training sessions and events at each secondment. In particular, this included introductory presentations by the new project partner UPS, with scientific project presentations about dementia care and policy and state of the art technology in the fields of computer software and robotics for various aspects of healthcare and rehabilitation.

  • Presentations on qualitative and quantitative data nalsysis techniques (QUT);
  • Presentations of data collection results from the three teams (DE, NL, ES) in Luxembourg;
  • Presentation and discussion with the Alzheimer Europe Working Group (LX): Working with the European Working Group for People with Dementia (EWGPWD). The purpose was to present and discuss the results of the data collection phase as well as get feedback on (a selection of) design themes identified through the data collection. (LX)
  • PhD project presentations by Michaelle Bosse, Afsaneh Abrilahij, and Kathryn Partington about their PhD project work (LX, NL) as well as supervision meetings with relevant colleagues;
  • Presentation and discussion of the draft Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) pages (LX)
  • Design theme presentations developed in Luxembourg (LX, BA, NL)
  • Introductions and project presentations of all colleagues and workgroups involved from UPC (ES)
    • Kristina Niedderer – Introduction to the MinD project and the MinD design themes
    • Ulises Cortés – work of the Knowledge Engineering and Machine Learning group (KEMLg)
    • Cecilio Angulo – work of the Social Robotics group (GREC
    • Andreu Català – Centre for autonomy and independent living (CETpD),
    • Alicia Casals – Robotics and Vision group (GRINS ) which deals with robotics related to physical
  • Demonstration of the project “A-Walker” at the UPC Department of Computer Science. Besides a briefly introduction into the topic of the intelligent rollator, which supports both everyday living and rehabilitation. The project team talked to the involved researchers at UPC and tried out the functional prototype

Co-research & career development:

Visiting researchers worked with, and accompany host researchers and care professionals, for example as part of the data collection visits to help with the delivery and note taking during the interviews and focus groups with people with dementia and their carers. ECRs also work with and learn from experienced researchers during the visits, and healthcare and design specialists learn from each other to better understand each other’s requirements, and of ways of working and seeing the world, e.g. during the design development sessions where healthcare professionals learn about and participate in how designers work, and at the same time offer insights and subject knowledge to designers.

Researchers continue to work together on literature review and writing papers, exploring and navigating the ins and outs of interdisciplinary methodologies and publications.

Participation in several external conferences related to the MinD project were also part of the secondments. External presentations and attendances of MinD project partners at other conferences, such as the Design and Dementia Symposium, Brisbane organized by QUT.

Through its training and co-research, the MinD project offers also great opportunities for career development to younger researchers: two of the participating researchers from Germany are also using their work on the MinD project to complete their doctorates, one in design and one in medicine. PhD students from other countries (UK, LX) are also using the project to gain insights into inter-disciplinary working, data collection and evaluation and the co-design process.

Public presentations and external training:

Events organized by the MinD project included the 2nd MinD symposium and design workshop, which took place during the secondment in the Netherlands at Panton Design Studio. There were about 30 attendees, including the MinD team and external experts. Prof. Tischa van der Cammen, from Delft University gave the keynote speech about design for ageing. The formal part in the morning was followed by an introduction to and opportunity for participation in the design work of the project.