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Project partners of the Interreg funded Certification D project met this month to mark the completion of the first half of the project with a mid-term conference.

Within the Interreg project, eleven organisations from North-West Europe, including Ulster University are working on products for people with dementia. The partners come from research and care institutions, companies and associations. The innovative project supports small and medium-sized enterprises in North-West Europe with product development and the design of dementia-sensitive products.

The aim of the project is to involve people living with dementia in development and testing of the products. Corresponding protocols and guidelines for the work in the Living Labs of the project partners have already been successfully developed.

Due to the pandemic the project partners had only been able to exchange information online for a long time. Various working groups have been meeting regularly via video conferences but this event saw many project partners come together to meet "face-to-face" for the first time.

At an internal partner meeting, the results of the partners' work in the first half of the project were presented and discussed. The second part of the partner meeting was the participation in the anniversary conference of the EAGP (European Association of Geriatric Psychiatry). Certification-D was integrated into a top-class speakers' programme, which conveyed the latest findings from medicine and research on the topic of dementia over two days.

The conference was presented as a hybrid event with more than 70 medical professionals, scientists and interested parties following the conference online.

GGT training manager Marcus Sauer (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gerontotechnik mbH), together with project manager Daniel Zerweck (Alexian Research Center Krefeld) and Francesca Toso (TU/e Eindhoven), presented background information on the certification process and the current "Voucher Wave" for small and medium-sized enterprises.

Dr Joan Condell, Senior Lecturer in Computing and Intelligent Systems is Ulster University’s lead on the project. She leads an interdisciplinary team spanning from the Faculty of Life and Health Sciences and the Faculty of Computing, Engineering, and the Built Environment.

She commented:

“The Cert-D project builds on Ulster University’s reputation for pioneering research into healthcare and is providing excellent opportunities for companies to test, market and certify new dementia products alongside key local and regional stakeholders across Europe to develop new industry-led standards.

“Co-design and co-creation with our EU partners are at the heart of the Cert-D project as we work together to improve the quality of life for people with dementia locally and internationally.”

"Certification-D" is an Interreg NWE project and is funded by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund). The project has a total budget of 3.7 million euros. The lead partner is the Dementia Research Centre of the Alexianer Krefeld GmbH.