A key differentiator of CLARITY’s vision is the coherent integration of research programmes in an end-to-end application scenario. To this end, we have carefully chosen two areas for demonstrators:
- Personalized Health - addresses the fact that people are becoming increasingly conscious of their personal health and that the population in general is aging.
- The Adaptive Environment - addresses an increasing legislative and political framework compelling the use of increased monitoring of the environment in order to ensure regulatory compliance.
to meet the following objectives:
- They integrate outputs from the basic research programmes, ensuring that basic research is informed by real-world needs;
- They are focused on applications that will have a positive impact on ‘Quality of Life’;
- They bring together researchers from the various constituent research teams to meet joint research objectives;
- The direction and focus is aligned with the strategic objectives of our industry, agency and social partners.
Demonstrators will be realized by using the outputs of multiple basic research work packages and through resources provided by our industry partners, for example, through funded or embedded researchers. To facilitate integration, demonstrator ‘hand-over’ is specifically resourced in the early/late stages of each year of each research programme, ensuring phased delivery of outputs as they mature. The commercial and societal relevance of our selected application areas afford the potential to take individual demonstrator projects forward to commercial prototypes. One conduit identified to achieve this is through CLARITY’s strong engagement with the National Digital Research Centre. We are particularly aware of the exciting opportunities that will arise at the inter-sections of the demonstrators. For example, building personalized profiles and customising delivery for peoples preferences for interacting with media, resonates very strongly with similar requirements in the personal health and adaptive environment demonstrator projects. Likewise, technologies we employ for exercise monitoring in sports studies can also be used to monitor progress in rehabilitation in the home environment or in caring for the aged. These opportunities are only accessible through an initiative with the breadth of fundamental knowledge, and mix of academic/industry/agency/social partners that we will assemble through the establishment of CLARITY.
Demonstrator Area 1 - Personalized Health
We are under increasing pressure to play an important role in managing our health through diet and exercise. At the same time the population is aging (32.2% of the population of Ireland will be over 65 by the year 2011 ) and people have an increased expectation regarding their ability to live independent lives without the local family support structures that have traditionally been the norm. Helping people to more effectively monitor and manage their personal health and well-being is an important social and economic goal that has significant fiscal implications for our healthcare sector and the quality of life of individuals. In this demonstrator, we plan two projects that illustrate the benefits of CLARITY sensing technologies in this regard, both of which fall within the ambit of Ambient Assisted Living (AAL). In both projects, technology trials will be held using volunteers selected through rigorous screening processes, including formal ethical approval from the relevant bodies. This demonstrator will address key challenges in AAL such as ambient instrumentation of the self and the environment, determining an individual’s context, novel interaction and intervention modalities, and ethical issues related to preserving the rights of the individual.
Demonstrator Area 2 - The Adaptive Environment
Climate change has propelled environmental issues to the very front of political decision making, with consequent increasing focus on the impact of the quality of the environment on society, both locally, and globally. We will work closely with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Marine Institute (MI), on implementing emerging technologies that could contribute to a widely distributed sensor network for monitoring the quality of our environment, focused mainly on air and water quality. An increasing EU legislative context (e.g. Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC, Air Quality Directives 96/62/EC, Landfill Directive 1999/31/EC, and forthcoming directives on Noise and Soil) provides the opportunity for stimulating the emergence of indigenous high-tech companies that can effectively service this sector, and this is a major influence on strategic R&D investment by the EPA and Marine Institute under the next phase of the NDP (2007-2013). For example, the Marine Sector alone has been allocated e148 million in research funding, and Ireland currently spends around e1 billion per year on the environment, with approximately 6,000 jobs involved. Despite this, the EPA has highlighted that monitoring of the environment needs to be dramatically improved in the coming years [ref EPA report, January 2007]. Our goal therefore is to harvest fundamental breakthroughs in the Materials and Devices research programme (RP1), together with the outputs of the Platforms and Sensor Communities research programmes (RP2, RP3) for deployment and validation using infrastructure available through the Marine Institute and the EPA (e.g. ‘SmartBay’). A key challenge will be to build upon our technology pipeline established over the last three years to develop chemo-sensing platforms that are compatible the sensor network infrastructure in terms of price and performance. Input will also be required from Contextual Content Analysis and Personalization in Context (RP4, RP6), both of which will become critical as the volume and diversity of information grows in tandem with the need to target information to multiple stakeholders.