V.In.T.Ag.E.

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V.In.T.Ag.E.

Foligno, Italy
Project Stage:
Scaling
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Valorisation of INnovative Technologies for AGing in Europe is a project implemented with the support of the GRUNDTVIG Programme of the European Union

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Since June 2006, with the Riga Ministerial Declaration on e-Inclusion, it has been officialised at European level the need of a deeper reflection about barriers and possible solutions for a more concrete relation between elderly people and ICT. Europe is a continent that aging more and more quickly, especially in rural areas, and European policies, from the Treaty of Lisbon in the year 2000 to the Europe2020 strategy, have always emphasized the importance to tackle the challenges associated with demographic ageing, especially through actions that empower older people to fully participate in the economy and society, continue independent lifestyles and enhance their quality of life. Our project idea finds its consistency within the frame of the "European i2010 initiative on e-Inclusion - to be part of the information society" which has been adopted by the Commission on the 8th of November 2007. Indeed, in the text of the communication, the Commission refers to the importance of accelerating effective participation of target groups at risk of exclusion and improving quality of life. In particular, it is said that "industry, user organizations, Member States, and the Commission must implement the EU Action Plan on ‘Ageing well in the information society’ (...)". In fact, the 14th of June 2007 - date of publishing of the EC Communication on the above mentioned initiative - can be considered the starting point of a wide and multidimensional work for the implementation of the action Plan on Information and Communication Technologies and Ageing in Europe. The project idea has been inspired by the results of the first step of the Grundtvig Multilateral Project "CAFE' in Europe - Civic Awareness For Elders in Europe", which has been selected for funding in 2010 and it was coordinated by the Municipality of Foligno. In fact, during the social research on "Educational needs of elders in Europe" has been shown repeatedly that elderly people feel frustrated if dealing with ICT. Therefore, the Association "Study Center" of Foligno has launched a partner search in order to investigate on this problem at European level and set up a partnership able to find innovative and sustainable solutions to overcome common barriers to the digital world for elders in Europe.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

On the basis of the "Ageing well action plan" have been promoted and financed by the Commission with different financing instruments: research on ICT, e-health initiatives, lifelong learning projects, senior volunteering actions and many others innovative ideas. The general objective of all the realized projects has been always to help the older individuals to improve quality of life, stay healthier and live independently for longer. One of the innovative characteristic of the project is the increase of its sustainability and the results effectiveness, by providing the end-user with the software and the hardware. This idea comes from the fact that often elderly people live in an economic situation that doesn't lead them to consider computer tools as an essential thing. With the re-use of old computers and adopting Open Source Software, it is possible to satisfy all the needs and at no cost. According to some studies carried out in 2009, an average user changes his/her computer every 2-3 years. The old computer only few times is used in other tasks, but most of the time, it is dismantled according to applicable regulations. If, however, these old computers are collected, tested and configured with a special operating system compatible with the available hardware resources, you have a fully functional computer platform and, at the same time, reducing the amount of waste for disposal. If one thinks on doing this with all the companies that each year dismantles their old hardware, you can get the potential of this operation. We believe that V.IN.T.AG.E, compared to other similar project funded by the EC, such as for example DEDICO (specifically about FLOSS), ActiveICT, SILVER, S@niors within the LLP and other projects realized under the AAL Programme (http://www.aaliance.eu/public/links/other-eu-projects-in-the-area-of-ict-and-ageing) or the 6thFP (VITAL), promotes an innovative methodology which places the senior citizen and his learning needs in the field of ICT in the center of an integrated system capable of providing the necessary resources in an efficient and long lasting way. In fact, the innovative idea of the project, not only related to the tools used, is to be as interdisciplinary as possible, combining training on multiple levels also with a horizontal policy for the environment protection.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

VINTAGE aims to make ICT more accessible and attractive, promoting their benefits to the quality of life and independence of the elderly, as well as including local stakeholders from different fields of the society in order to create a European network which might exploit project results even in the future, in different European countries facing new needs and problems. Equipping senior citizens with the skills that they need in order to cope with change and remain active in society is the core objective of the project. Other specific and transversal objectives: - the recovery and upgrade of obsolete hardware devices, the consequent reduction of dismantling costs and the protection of the environment - the promotion of open source software in all spheres of the civil society Therefore, we believe that the combined achievement of these objectives, together with a well-structured dissemination and exploitation plan, will result in a significant increase of the over-65 who feel confident in using ICT, as well as, in the long term, in the enhancement of digital skills of this target of citizens, as shown in the actions and priorities listed in the "Digital Agenda for Europe".
Sustainability

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Talking about the VINTAGE software, during the preparation of the project proposal, we were aware of the fact that the ICT world-wide market was already offering valid and customized operating system for elderly people. Entering the market with a new product, Open Source based and, then, not so much familiar to the public as the other licensed products, is always a challenging and, in order to make the success more realistic needs a well-structured business plan and a good marketing strategy. That is reason why our actual efforts are all orientated to the promotion and dissemination of the VINTAGE database, an online tool which represents the main assurance for the financial and operational sustainability of the project. The database represents something completely new which, framed as a social innovation intervention at EU level, can produce benefits for all the involved parties: - responding to private sector’s regulation on environment protection and social responsibility - providing hardware to be used for the representatives of the voluntary associations’ target groups - ensuring the achievement of the EU objectives in terms of active aging and digital divide
About You
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About You
First Name

Altheo

Last Name

Valentini

Implementer(s) and cooperation partners
Name

Associazione Centro Studi Città di Foligno

Type

Non‐profit/NGO/citizen sector organization

Country where main implementer is located

, PG, Foligno

How long has the main implementer been operating?

More than 5 years

Please provide a short description of the main implementer.

As a training agency we have worked with and for different target groups, always starting from the assumption that an high-quality education and training are fundamental to the whole realization of the individual. “Education for all”, in our case, has meant in particular the realization of training courses and other formative interventions for disadvantaged groups. Unemployment, handicap, age, gender and racial discrimination, from one side, have been dismantled with adaptability, guidance and social inclusion, from the other side.

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Cooperation partner
Name

T4E Srl

Type

Private company

How does this cooperation partner support the initiative? What competencies and resources does this partner bring to the initiative?

T4E is a Spin-Off of the University of Perugia and cooperates mainly as technical "back-office" for the implementation of activities related to the development and use of technological innovations in the project. T4E researchers developed both the VINTAGE Ubunto op. system and the VINTAGE database.

Cooperation partner
Name

Comune di Foligno

Type

Public body

How does this cooperation partner support the initiative? Which competencies and resources does this partner bring to the initiative?

The Municipality of Foligno undertakes a constant and active promotion and dissemination of the project objectives and results at local and regional level. It has also awarded the project with a formal patronage.

Cooperation partner
Name

CESVOL Perugia

Type

Non-profit/NGO

How does this cooperation partner support the initiative? Which competencies and resources does this partner bring to the initiative?

CESVOL is a regional network of non-profit and voluntary associations. It ensures a wide exploitation of activities within the volunteering sector and it provides support for the regeneration of collected PCs and their distribution to the elders.

Cooperation partner
Name

Banca Popolare di Spoleto Spa

Type

Private company

How does this cooperation partner support the initiative? Which competencies and resources does this partner bring to the initiative?

BPS Spa was the first company which signed the Gentlemen's Agreement for the experimentation of the VINTAGE database. The local bank tested and evaluated the database and, finally, donated 20 PCs for the participants at the VINTAGE training course.

Problem and solution
Which of these fields of Active and Healthy Ageing are addressed by your initiative?

Social inclusion (intergenerational practice, work and volunteering).

If none of the above, answer here:

Learning to interact with new technology

Please describe if and how your stakeholders (cooperation partners, funders, users, etc.) have been participating in defining the problem and developing the solution.

The partner search for the project V.IN.T.AG.E. has drew the attention of numerous public and private organizations from almost all the European countries. The selection procedure has been based on different criteria, both geographical and related to the status of the single organization, with the final aim to create an efficient partnership whose competences could be spent in a collaborative way for the design and the successful implementation of the project.
The partnership consists of organizations with different institutional preconditions, expertise and from different parts of Europe. The diversity of the partnership ensures a variety of perspectives and raise the potential to discover new ideas beyond traditional structures. The overall management of the project is conducted by the Association "Study Center", which in collaboration with T4E S.r.l., a spin-off of the University of Perugia, can ensure the innovative character at scientific and technological level.
The EU partners which cooperated in the implementation of the project activities are: PACO Ltd (UK), the Governorship of Istanbul (TR), AidLearn (PT), the School Inspectorate of Iasi (RO), AKETH (EL).

Has your solution been tested in trials, experimentations, or pilot projects? If yes, please describe the process and outcome.

The project started in the year 2011 with a social research in 6 EU countries which laid the foundations for the definition and implementation of subsequent activities. At a preparatory stage, two different actions have be carried out simultaneously by the partnership: the adaptation of existing open source software on the basis of the information obtained from surveyed elders and the formal concretization of local networks with associated partners in each participating country. At the end of the first year we tested and evaluated the beta version of the software and we assessed the legal aspects and the logistic and administrative procedures for collaborating within the network.
Training represented the core activity of the second year of the project with an international workshop for volunteers and staff operating in the field of services for elderly people and six editions of a modular training course for elders which involved more than 240 participants. The last and present stage of the project is focusing on exploitation activities, in particular with reference to the VINTAGE database for the exchange and regeneration of obsolete hardware.

How long has your solution been in operation?

for 1‐5 years

Please select the relationship between your solution and related solutions currently established in our society. Is your solution…

substitutive (your solutions is substituting existing solutions because they do not meet needs or solve the problem appropriately)

What barriers might hinder the success of your initiative? How do you plan to overcome them?

The most probable barrier for the long term success of VINTAGE is the lack of funds and resources. The current partnership has already agreed to implement a survey, before the end of the project itself, in order to investigate on sustainability opportunities and suggestions.
In fact, although the Association Study Center City of Foligno is already planning to submit a VINTAGE2 project proposal within the framework of the future calls of the Programme Erasmus+ 2014-2020 (as well as at local or national level if there will be the occasion) we are sure that other similar or complementary initiatives are taking place and that their promoters could be interested to think about an integrated action for the achievement of an higher level of IT literacy among the elders in Europe.

Organization and funding
Regularly paid employees

8

Volunteers

3

Trainees

1

External advisers and experts

5

Others (please specify)
What are the specific professional backgrounds and competencies your team brings to the initiative?

Our staff is qualified and experienced in the management of European projects. The Association has been the coordinator organization of two LDV mobility projects, but during the years we have provided consultancy to many other public and private organizations in the Umbria Region for the administrative and financial management of European projects and initiatives, such as the Grundtvig Multilateral Project “CAFE’ in Europe – Civic Awareness For Elders in Europe” coordinated by the Municipality of Foligno. Staff at T4E, the other Italian partner, ir resposible for the technical managment.

Please describe your management or coordination structure in the initiative.

The Association is the coordinating beneficiary of the V.IN.T.AG.E. project. Its role is to lead the administrative and financial management of the activities for the overall duration of the project, providing support and consultation as well as encouraging partners for active engagement in project activities.
All partners are equally involved in managerial activities, internal and external monitoring, partner’s meetings organization and external evaluation. Agreements have been signed in order to guarantee fruitful and intensive cooperation between project coordinators and partners.

Please provide the total yearly budget in Euro that your initiative spends on implementing the solution.

€ 200.000

National public funding

%

European Union public funding

75%

Economic return from own products/services

%

Foundations and philanthropy capital

%

Single donations from private individuals

%

Donations from private companies

%

Crowdfunding platforms

%

Participation fees

%

Other (please specify)

25% (Partners' own funding)

Target group, scale and impact
Which target group(s) do you want to reach with your solution?

The main target group of the project V.IN.T.AG.E. is the over-65 population in the seven countries of the partner organizations. Specifically, because the project aims to promote innovative technologies for better aging in Europe, all activities are designed to reach the largest possible number of elderly people and to raise the awareness of the potential benefits that they can obtain through the use of computers and the Internet.
Secondary target groups, but essential to the success of the project are: staff and volunteers involved in adult education; private companies and public bodies.

Please estimate the number of persons within your target group (users, clients, etc.) that you currently reach directly with your solution.

3000

In which local/regional/national area(s) is the solution currently implemented?

Umbria Region (Italy), Istanbul (Turkey), County of Iasi (Romania), Thessalia (Greece), Lisbon (Portugal), Peterborough (UK)

What is the impact on your target group (users, clients) you want to generate?

Starting from the social research with which, in fact, we faced the problem of the digital exclusion at international level, up to the exploitation activities of the various results and products of the project, the consortium is taking into consideration the needs and peculiarities of the over-65s, or at least of all those people who have never had anything to do with a keyboard and mouse. Also, through the use of periodical newsletters, the website, as well as through the contribution of the associated partners, it is expected to reach a total of 100000 stakeholders.

What is the wider impact on society you want to generate?

The project website and all its advanced features, as well as the VINTAGE software, represent the most important tool to reach the target groups even after the project is finished.
In the future, a central role will be played by the volunteers of the associations that were involved in the project as associated partners. In fact, we provided them with all the knowledge and instruments useful for continuing in the sensitization action about the benefits of ICT for elderly people, as well as in order to be able to organize training initiatives which could be addressed directly to their members.

What are the impacts on your target group you already achieved?

The main target group has been reached during the two years of the project through:
- the implementation of social research with which more than 2500 individuals were interviewed with methods of quantitative and qualitative research
- the organization of a 58 hours training course implemented in 6 national editions, for a total of 240 senior students who received a computer (only 54 of them) and a software designed on the basis of the survey results
Approximately other 800 elderly people where reached during international meetings, dissemination activities, information days, etc.

How has the impact of your initiative been assessed?

Self-evaluation (you used qualitative and/or quantitative methods to assess impacts), External evaluation of impacts based on qualitative methods (interviews, focus groups, etc.), External evaluation of impacts based on quantitative methods (quantitative measurement of impact indicators).

Public information and strategy
What information on your initiative is publicly available?

Mission and strategy, Organisational structure, Information on team members, Evaluation report, Activity report, Working method and 'theory of change'.

Please indicate webpage or contact for obtaining the respective information.
What are your milestones for further developing, implementing, and establishing your initiative in the next three years? Please describe 1-3 milestones.

The main milestone for further developing of the project is the final event which will take place in Brussels on December 2013. A communication campaign is going to be implemented in order to invite all the European and not European stakeholders, including NGOs, European Commission functionaries, public and private representatives of the institutions, in addition to the local civil society. The event will last one day and all the results of the project will be presented. In particular T4E will explain in detail the characteristics and potential of the European VINTAGE PCs platform.

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