Hilscher Seniors workshop at the AUB

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

On March 30, 2016, representatives of the Hilscher Association (Hilscher Rezső Social Political Association / Hilscher Rezső Szociálpolitikai Egyesület) and the Andrássy University Budapest (AUB) jointly held a senior workshop at the AUB.

The workshop was organized as part of the event series “Senior Workshop – Generations among themselves” and was primarily dedicated to the presentation of the international research and development project “Experience keep people active – ExpAct” in which the Andrássy University is the Hungarian project partner.

During the fifth senior workshops of the Hilscher Association, representatives of the AUB, Katalin Bartha Velkeyné and Petra Bölöni, gave a short overview about the university in general, and shortly presented the objectives, the activities and the current state of the research project “ExpAct”. During the presentation of the design and the already available functionalities of the ExpAct software solution prototype, participants showed particular interest towards this online platform.

In the course of the debates following the presentations, questions linked to “Gainful employment and pension” and „Possibilities to increase the visibility of the platform” were discussed among other things. Ideas were also exchanged on how the project could be further developed and promoted (e.g. through the use of new media) in cooperation with the CedarNet program of the Erasmus Institute, cooperation partner of the AUB for the implementation of the Hungarian pilot. Also, the possible range of complementary services, such as advice on employment law was discussed during the debates. Last but not least, it was unanimously emphasized that special attention needs to be paid to data protection provisions, as older internet users may be at increased risk of abuse.

The Hilscher Association – named after Dr. Rezső Hilscher, the greatest Hungarian representative of progressive social policy of the interwar period – was established in 1989 at Eötvös Loránd University of Budapest. Its aim is to play an active role in influencing the way of thinking of the society on social policy topics and in shaping public life. The Association’s members participate in public discourses on social issues and analyze and develop resolutions that are passed both to specialists and the general public. Currently three series of workshops are being organized on the topics of “The World of Work”, “Seniors” and “History”. The Seniors working group, headed by Katalin Talyigás, is addressing the topic of relationship among generations in its ongoing workshop series.

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ExpAct team of AUB at the Joint Research Center Annual Event in Ulm, Germany

27th and 28th October 2015 in Ulm, Germany

During the annual conference of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) on the scientific support of the European Strategy for the Danube Region, a delegation of researchers from Andrássy University Budapest (AUB) presented the vision and current status of the international research project ExpAct – “Experience keep people active”.

The leaders of the project at the AUB, Prof. Martina Eckardt and Prof. Stefan Okruch together with Dr. Lukas Paa discussed results of ongoing research activities with representatives of the JRC, the scientific think tank of the EU commission, and with various top-ranking experts of the Danube region.

As part of the track „Smart Specialisation in the ICT Sector“, Prof. Okruch presented the idea behind the project ExpAct to the audience. He showed how ICT can be used for the inclusion of older adults by enabling them to assess and share their experience. He also highlighted how well the project fits to the pillars of the Danube strategy. Through the close collaboration of research institutes, end-user organisations and small and medium sized enterprises, ExpAct not solely contributes to the development of the Knowledge Society (Priority Area 7), but at the same time supports the objectives to support the Competitiveness of enterprises (Priority Area 8) as well as to invest in People and skills (Priority Area 9).

The three researchers established contacts with various colleagues in the very active field of ICT research in the Danube region and got to know their projects and initiatives. Additionally, Prof. Okruch was appointed member of a jury to evaluate potential future ICT project in the Danube Region.

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ExpAct at the “Conference of the Employers’ Forum for Equal Opportunities on the Topic of Teleworking”

21st October 2015 – Budapest, Hungary

The Hungarian association “Employers’ Forum for Equal Opportunities” (Munkáltatók Esélyegyenlőségi FórumaMEF) organised a conference on 21st October 2015 entitled “Teleworking – One more opportunity for employment”. Representatives of numerous well-known companies and organisations participated in the discussions about best practices on atypical forms of employment in general and on teleworking in specific. Petra Bölöni and Csilla Szentiványi from Andrássy University Budapest participated in the event in the frame of the research project ExpAct.

The topic of the conference is particularly relevant in the Hungarian and European context because flexible forms of employment are considered as a possible solution for dealing with demographic change and the related shortage of skilled workers. As an example, the introduction of teleworking may enable persons with reduced working capacity to enter the labour market more easily, leading to an increase in employment rates. Also, employee satisfaction may be significantly raised, thus making a contribution to the fight against brain drain.

The conference served as a forum for discussing the topic of teleworking from different angles. Not only the current legal and regulatory frameworks were outlined, but also current and future trends were discussed. The Hungarian occupational health and safety regulations in place were cited as the most important barrier to the take-up of teleworking in Hungary, deterring many employers from making use of this opportunity. Therefore, the employers’ forum proposes, on the basis of ILO Convention 177 on Home Work, to modify the relevant passages of the Hungarian Labour Code and to adapt them to current requirements. By redefining the term “workplace” and by distributing responsibilities concerning occupational safety more equally between employers and employees, an important precondition could be created for a wider implementation of teleworking.

In the afternoon a panel discussion with representatives of Magyar Telekom Nyrt., MOL Nyrt., E.ON Hungária Zrt. and BP Magyarország Kft. was organized on best practices concerning teleworking in these companies. Participants highlighted the positive effect of teleworking on employee satisfaction and reported a significant decline in employee fluctuation, whereas the previous concerns of some managers regarding a feared decrease in labour productivity have not found any confirmation.

Within the frame of ExpAct project, the wider introduction of atypical forms of employment is considered as an important step towards facilitating the access of older adults who wish to remain active to professional or voluntary fields of activity. Thanks to the informal atmosphere of the conference, new contacts with several companies could be established, with whom possibilities of cooperation linked to the Hungarian pilot will be explored.

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The ExpAct project at the AAL Forum 2015 in Ghent, Belgium

22th to 25th September 2015 – The AAL Forum 2015: Aspirations in active ageing – engaging people, services and Technology

The ExpAct project was presented at the AAL Forum 2015 that took place in Ghent, Belgium, under the slogan “Aspirations in active ageing – engaging people, services and technology”. The ExpAct consortia presented the project to different stakeholders who came along the project booth.

The forum invited to network with stakeholders and colleagues in order to talk about upcoming and promising AAL solutions. Further, interactive sessions encouraged the exchange of experience in previous and current projects: the sessions inspired to discuss about challenges and opportunities in engaging in AAL project and provided the attendees with new inputs, inspirations and ideas.

We are happy to announce that the next AAL Forum 2016 will take place in St. Gallen, Switzerland.

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ExpAct poster presentation at the AAATE conference in Budapest

9th to 12th of September 2015 – 13th edition of the AAATE conference in Budapest, Hungary

The ExpAct team at the Andrássy Univesity represented the idea of the project at the “Advancing Assistive Technology and eAccessibility for People with Disabilities and the Aging Population” Conference which took place in the Convention Center in Budapest. ExpAct was presented to the audience as part of the poster presentation in which 31 concepts from all over the world were displayed. The poster presentation, as well as the participation in several lectures, mainly in the AAL-track, and the networking events provided a great opportunity to get in touch with potential partners and colleagues.

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Consortium meeting in Bozen and presentation of ExpAct Project to Italian stakeholders

Monday, 31st August 2015 –  European Academy of Bozen, Italy

The ExpAct consortium hold a further consortium meeting in Bozen. The project partners discussed itensively about project findings so far and planned the upcoming activities in detail. Further, the ExpAct project was presented to Italian stakeholders in order to inform them about the importance of the subject in general and the solution that is being developed in special.

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“ExpAct” project presented at the AAL Practice Forum SMARTER LIVES 2015 in Innsbruck

Thursday, 11th June 2015 – University of Innsbruck, Austria

The first AAL-Practice Forum SMARTER LIVES 2015 was organized on 11th June 2015 with the tagline “New Solutions for an Ageing Society”, initiated by the Department of Strategic Management, Marketing and Tourism of the University of Innsbruck as consortium leader, together with the Institute of Gerontology and Demographic Development of the UMIT (Health & Life Sciences University) and the Clusters ‘Information Technology’ and ‘Life Sciences’ of the Business Promotion Agency Tyrol.

SMARTER LIVES 2015 aimed at creating awareness for some of the greatest challenges of demographic change – especially regarding health and long-term care – in order to generate sustainable solutions with the active involvement of end users and stakeholders concerned. Both providers of solutions which are available on the market as well as solutions from research were presented in an interactive way to a broad audience. The one-day international event provided participants with various possibilities of access and exchange according to their fields of interest and needs. This included not only technical and practice-oriented lectures as well as the AAL fair, where providers of solutions for tackling the challenges of an ageing society had the chance to introduce themselves, but also match & meet discussions and short presentations. To strengthen the visibility of AAL solutions, participants also had the opportunity to visit two show flats of the project “West AAL”, in which benefit-oriented, innovative Smart Home and Smart Service solutions based on latest information technologies were installed and are being tested.

The Andrássy University Budapest, co-organiser of SMARTER LIVES 2015, presented its current European research project “ExpAct – Experience keep people active” to a professional audience in the form of a pitch. Further questions on the university’s fields of activity in general and on AAL activities in particular were answered at the booth of the AUB in the exhibition area, where promising contacts were established. More Information about the conference may be found here.

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Symposium “Guiding light” – Innovative light technologies to support the autonomy of older People

Thursday, 23th April 2015 – TIS innovation Park, Bozen / Bolzano, Italy

A wish of the today’s society is to longer live autonomously. Research partners, technology developers and project consortia (from AAL and similar funding programms) discussed within the scope of the Symposium “Guiding light” how technological solutions may help to meet this wish. A special emphasis was placed on the subject “light” as light influences in the long run – even though subtile – wellbeing and mobility.

A parallel running “Mini-Exposition” gave AAL project teams a place to present their projects. The European Academy of Bozen / Bolzano (EURAC) presented besides other exhibitors the AAL Projects “Personal Protection und Caring System (2PCS)” and “Experience keep people Active (ExpAct)”.

The Symposium was organized by the AAL project consortium “Guiding light” in cooperation with the TIS innovation Park. The “Guiding light” project team works on a light assistance system for the spatial and temporal orientation of older adults. More Information and the slides of the presentations can be found on the TIS-Website.

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Presentation of the ExpAct project to Hungarian stakeholders as side-event of the consortium meeting in Budapest

Monday, 9th February 2015 – European research project focussing on the wealth of experience of elderly people presented at Andrássy University Budapest.

The Andrássy University Budapest (AUB) is participating in a research project financed by the European Union together with partners from Germany, Italy, Austria and Switzerland. The project with the title „Experience keep people active – ExpAct” aims to find solutions for counteracting the gradual devaluation of the elderly generation’s underused experience and expertise after retirement as well as the feeling of loss due to having no regular daily activities. The wealth of experience of the elderly represents a considerable asset in today’s society. Due to the demographic trends in Europe, a broad section of the population will leave the traditional workforce in the near future. Although this age group will still be physically and mentally able to share their knowledge and their experience for a long time after their retirement, these assets are not yet available to the society and to the industrial base to the desired extent.

The „Ambient Assisted Living Joint Programme (AAL-JP)“ project ExpAct has the objective of improving the quality of life of the elderly by strengthening social integration, improving social interactions and by increasing self-esteem. To achieve this, the consortium aims to create several online platforms that allow the professional expertise and the experience of life of seniors to be transferred and used. One of those platforms will be established in Hungary and administrated by the AUB. In order to foster the know-how exchange between partners in the consortium, potential future partners in Hungary and potential Hungarian end-users (seniors), the AUB hosted a public event on 9 February, attended by a total of 50 stakeholders. Four highly interesting lectures about the ExpAct project itself, about the socio-demographic situation and future trends in Hungary, about similar initiatives in Hungary and about the challenges and opportunities the demographic situation in Europe represents were held. During the event and in the discussions that followed promising contacts were established which are to be intensified in the future.

The AUB initiated a follow-up workshop under the title “The wealth of experience of elderly people – a benefit for society” which will take place on 23 February at 5:00 pm at the university premises. The workshop is open to the public and may be attended by any interested stakeholder, however, prior registration is required.

Further information can be found on the website of the Andrássy University. The full programme of the event can be downloaded here.

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The ExpAct Project at the AAL Forum 2014 in Bucharest

9th to 12th September 2014 – The AAL Forum 2014: Broader, Bigger, Better – AAL Solutions for Europe

The ExpAct project was presented at the AAL Forum 2014 that took place in Bucharest, Rumania, under the slogan “Broader, Bigger, Better – AAL Solutions for Europe”. The event in the Palace of Parliament invited to network with stakeholders and collagues in order to talk about upcoming and promising AAL solutions.

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