Workshop at e-Challenge 2015 "Addressing the Societal Challenge of Visual Impairment through European Procurers Platforms"

2015-11-26 00:00

Worldwide 246 million people are affected by low vision. This is a major societal challenge, considering that vision affects the independence of the individuals and has severe psychosocial and economic impact also on the family and society. Significant consequences of vision impairment include the ability to pursue education, high quality employment, risk of falls and to limit active independent life.

Innovation in terms of assistive ICT based solutions and services can lead to better efficiency, quality of life and to reduce adverse societal impact. However, public investments are hardly channeled towards innovative solutions, which may address the real and timely needs of people affected by functional low vision. Demand-driven innovation procurement, in the form of either Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) or Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions (PPI), can play a crucial intermediate role between the communities around visually impaired individuals and the (SME) companies supplying innovative fit-for-purpose solutions.


One of the main needs of people suffering from functional low vision concerns being constantly updated about the new technologies and new practices that can reduce their lack of autonomy and can improve their quality of life. On the other hand, technology suppliers should be ready to capture any signal indicating that new needs are emerging, while being motivated by innovative procurement initiatives towards those needs.

Inspired by the critical role that assistive technology and services may play in the life of visually impaired people, the workshop will focus on different issues regarding the networking and awareness creation in the field of demand-driven innovation procurement. Different perspectives will be considered coming from low-vision people and medical professionals as well as from solution providers and from public procurers of innovation.

The different presentations will aim at demonstrating that effective multi-disciplinary and multi-agency collaboration can be put in practice, with the support of tools by which medical specialists, patients, public procurement authorities and solution providers may share updated information on the emerging needs and solutions in a Europe-wide market.

Innovation procurers, researchers, solution providers, as well as end user organizations are warmly encouraged to participate. An intended outcome will be to arrange contacts with the target audience so as to establish a permanent communication channel with them, in line with the challenge to build a European demand-driven network of innovation procurers, targeted at visually impaired population.

Outline Programme

  •   Visual impairment- A need assessment methodology based on a systemic approach with the innovation as the paradigm
  •   A cross-border multifaceted contextual inquiry for problem domain analysis through a dedicated web portal
  •  The importance of a demand-driven innovation procurement –Case studies from end-user organizations
  •  Building a European network of innovation procurers - the state-of-the-art for visual impairment

All Dates

  • 2015-11-26 00:00

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