22.05.2017

d-LAB selects two projects to empower people with visual disabilities and total paralysis

d-LAB, the Mobile World Capital Barcelona (MWCapital) digital transformation programme that boosts the use of mobile technology to improve people’s lives, has held the Premios d-LAB awards ceremony this afternoon. The names of the two winning projects of the first challenge, aimed at boosting mobile and digital solutions to empower people with disabilities, have been announced at the event held at the Antoni Tàpies Foundation.

The awards ceremony has held in Funcació Antonio Tapies and it has also seen the participation of Aleix Valls, CEO of Mobile World Capital Barcelona, Barbara Vallespín, Director of d-LAB, Genís Roca, President of RocaSalvatella, Nuria Mendoza, Jury of the Queen Letizia Award 2016 for Accessibility Technology and David Zanoletty, Head of Accessible Technology and R&D at the ONCE Foundation.

One of the winners is Irisbond, who have created a digital system that allows a computer cursor to be controlled with eye movements by means of a standard webcam. Wayfindr, from the United Kingdom, is the joint winner, having created a digital navigation system designed for people with visual impairment that works with auditory instructions. The two winning projects have been selected from among more than 50 submissions, 40% of which are international initiatives from 14 different countries including the United States, Canada, Slovenia and Israel, among others.

This first challenge has benefitted from the advice of four ambassadors during the evaluation process: Vodafone España Foundation, the ONCE Foundation, the CERMI (Spanish Committee of Representatives of People with Disabilities) and the CEAPAT-IMSERSO (State Reference Centre for Personal Autonomy and Technical Aid), which have offered their expertise to the companies taking part in the challenge.

The two winners, Irisbond and Wayfindr, have been selected by an Advisory Committee, a group of external experts that support d-LAB with their expertise in technology, business and social impact. The committee have been formed by: David Altabev, Senior Programme Manager at NESTA; Boyd Cohen, Deputy Director of Research and Professor of Entrepreneurship and Sustainability at EADA; J. Eskelinen, Director of Innovation and Technology at Future Cities Catapult; Eva Fabry, Director of ECWT; Genís Roca, cofounder of RocaSalvatella and Marc Vidal, Digital Transformation analyst.

d-LAB will support the two winning initiatives in undertaking a pilot test. Initially, the programme will accompany them in the development phase to analyse their needs and identify possible partners in the consortium. Following this first phase, d-LAB will also participate in the projects’ execution phase for the launch and implementation of an initial pilot test in Spain and provide them with the necessary tools for communication and diffusion.

The launch of the programme’s second challenge has also been announced at the Premios d-LAB awards ceremony: “Transforming the use and governance of personal health data”, which will be open until 27 June. The aim of this challenge is to encourage the design of new solutions that allow citizens to share and use their personal health details to contribute to accelerating research and to the sustainability of the public health system. The winning proposals will be announced in September 2017.

The awards ceremony has also seen the participation of Aleix Valls, CEO of Mobile World Capital Barcelona,Barbara Vallespín, Director of d-LAB, Genís Roca, President of RocaSalvatella, Nuria Mendoza, Jury of the Queen Letizia Award 2016 for Accessibility Technology and David Zanoletty, Head of Accessible Technology and R&D at the ONCE Foundation.