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Cardiac-eu.org

 

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Coordination Action in R&D in Accessible and Assistive ICT

 

Grant Agreement: 248582
CARDIAC
Coordination Action in R&D in Accessible and Assistive ICT
FP7-Coordination Action
Date of latest version of annexe I of DOW: 10.02.2010

 

D-1.1: Report with background material needed to support SDDP-1 Meeting

 

Start date of Project: 01.03.2010
Duration: 36 months
Coordinator: Patrick Roe, EPFL, Switzerland
Tel: +41 76 329 47 36
Fax: +41 21 693 26 73
E-mail: patrick.roe@epfl.ch
Project Website: http://www.cardiac-eu.org/
Date of preparation: 25th of February 2011

 

Document Details

Project

CARDIAC

Title

Report with background material to support SDDP-1 Meeting

Version

V.04

Workpackage

WP1

Authors

Bryan Boyle, Bob Allen

Internal reviewers

Patrick Roe, John Gill

Due date

Month 8, 31.12.2010

Release date

V.01: 27.10.2010, V.02: 3.12.2010, V.03 22.12.2010, V04: 25.02.2011

 


Table of Contents:
0 Executive Summary                                                                                                                       
1 Introduction                                                                                                                                    
2 Technology Transfer                                                                                                                     
2.1 Introduction                                                                                                                            
2.2 Problems with Technology Transfer                                                                                      
2.3 Further Reading                                                                                                                       
3 The Structured Dialogic Design Process (SDDP)                                                                  
3.1 Introduction                                                                                                                            
3.2 Background                                                                                                                              
3.3 The SDDP Methodology                                                                                                           
3.4 How SDDP Works                                                                                                                
3.5 SDDP Techniques and Processes                                                                                           
3.6 Summary                                                                                                                              
APPENDIX I: Background Reading for SDDP 1 Participants                                                  
APPENDIX II: Summary of Online Discussions for Definition of Triggering Question (TQ)
APPENDIX III: Identification and list of stakeholders                                                              
APPENDIX IV: Short Biographies of SDDP Co-Laboratory Participants                             
Appendix V: Agenda of SDDP co-laboratory in Pafos                                                              

 


0 Executive Summary

The aim of this deliverable is to provide the participants of the SDDP-1 co-laboratory with all the necessary background information ahead of the meeting in Pafos, Cyprus. This background information includes both the subject matter itself, in this case issues relating to the theme of technology transfer, as well as a description of the SDDP methodology (Structured Dialogue Design Process) that is to be used to draw up the roadmap.


1 Introduction

The CARDIAC Project is a Coordination Action funded by the EU’s 7th Framework Programme which aims to improve the overall success of Challenge 7, ICT 2009 7.2 ‘Accessible and Assistive ICT’ by preparing research agenda roadmaps that highlight research priorities that will favour eAccessibility.

It aims to do this by looking into the wide range of issues that play a role in the availability of accessible and assistive ICT. The issues range from future research priorities, development and design aspects, right through to making the business case and the adoption or non-adoption of a particular technology or service.

One of the main objectives of the CARDIAC project is to generate a roadmap identifying issues in the area of Technology Transfer for Assistive and Accessible ICT’s.  This roadmap will be a document outlining mechanisms that will influence the success or failure of the process of bringing a product to market in the EU and ensuring the ongoing, longterm success of that product in a highly competitive global marketplace.

The purpose of this deliverable is to provide a background and context to the first Structured Dialogue Design Process (SDDP) co-laboratory of the CARDIAC Project which is scheduled for the 28th – 30th of October in Paphos, Cyprus. The purpose of this event is to generate a roadmap in response to the Triggering Question "What mechanisms would ensure successful technology transfer in accessible and assistive ICT products and services?". The process leading up to the definition of this Triggering Question is described in Appendix II.

Much has been written about the difficulties facing Accessible and Assistive ICT designers, researchers and manufacturers in ensuring that products can make a successful transition to the European marketplace.  A recent AAATE (Association for the Advancement of Assistive Technology in Europe) seminar held in Sheffield in the U.K., dealt directly with this issue. Background information regarding the process of technology transfer is presented in Section 2 of this deliverable with further reading material given in Appendix I.

When considering the various methodologies for generating roadmaps, the Structured Dialogic Design Process (SDDP) methodology was selected due to its robustness and efficiency in gathering the collective wisdom of a wide range of different stakeholders. The SDDP methodology supports democratic and structured dialogue among a group of stakeholders and is especially effective in resolving multiple conflicts of purpose and values, and in generating consensus on organizational and inter-organizational strategy.   A full description of the methodology and how exactly the methodology will guide the process of generating a roadmap is presented in section 3 of this deliverable.

The identification process and the list of relevant stakeholders are given in Appendix III. A short biography of the participants attending the event in Cyprus is given in Appendix IV.



2 Technology Transfer

2.1 Introduction

Technology transfer is the process of sharing of skills, knowledge, technologies, methods of manufacturing, samples of manufacturing and facilities among governments and other institutions to ensure that scientific and technological developments are available to a wider range of users who can then further develop and exploit the technology into new products, processes, applications, materials or services.

The market for Accessible and Assistive ICT products and services is complex and presents many challenges for successful technology transfer.  It includes an array of supply and sale mechanisms, from direct sales to consumers to indirect supply in specialised fields such as Assistive Technology. The ultimate determinant of successful research in the area of Accessible and Assistive ICT must be whether or not a product reaches the market place and is available to consumers throughout the EU. It is clear that much good research fails to result in new innovations transferring successfully to the market place.  Consequently in such instances, it may be argued that consumers do not benefit directly from the investment in research.

There are a variety of reasons why this is so, some of these are specific to the area in question, such as the complex supply chain in many countries, others however are more applicable to the transfer of ICT products in general, such as affordability, availability etc.

On the other hand, a number of approaches and solutions are available that support the ICT industry in implementing accessibility into their products and services in various stages of products development, maintenance and service provision. These “solutions” include methodologies, guidelines, knowledge bases and hardware and software components, tools for modelling, simulation or verification, as well as interfaces to external assistive technology.

Besides the application of such “solutions”, some industrial companies have established structures and procedures in their organisation that take care of accessibility aspects, be it a part of their product philosophy or just a matter of quality assurance. These can also include cooperation with other organisations from the same technological area, e.g. in associations like DIGITALEUROPE, with research organisations, with user-oriented organisations or with assistive technology companies.

2.2 Problems with Technology Transfer

It has long been accepted that companies and organisations find the technology transfer process difficult to navigate, often citing barriers to successfully placing products in the marketplace.  Some of these barriers including traditional difficulties encountered across many industries, however particular problematic issues emerge for the Accessible and Assistive ICT market, including the following:

  1. Heterogeneous Market

The market for Assistive and Accessible ICT is subject to great debate with people with disabilities representing a disparate and difficult to define market.  It is broadly accepted that categorising people with disabilities, let alone categorising their particular and individual needs is a fraught process with many influencing factors from contextual, interpersonal and cultural factors all having a bearing on the problem.

  1. Differing Market Distribution Methods

Across the EU, people with disabilities and the elderly access products designed for their use through many different systems, from statutory provision with highly regulated distribution to free and open economic models where individuals are private purchasers.  Often the contexts in which the person is expected to use the technology will have an impact on the method of distribution.

  1. Point of Access

One difficulty that often emerges as a result of the issues mentioned in point 2 above is that different customers are often expected to access the same technology from different providers.  For some people with disabilities, one technology will be available from providers working in a healthcare context, and the same technology is available from providers working to support those in education or vocational pursuits.  This is particularly evident when a country has a statutory distribution system for technology, with very specific providers working in each domain.

  1. Funding

Another issue often brought up over the years has been the cost of technology, and where the burden of cost is assimilated.  This is as a result of various factors, including the fact that the primary purchaser is sometimes seen as the State, and therefore typical market rules of economics don’t apply.

  1. Awareness

Organisations representing the elderly and people with disabilities often report that there is poor provision of information at national level within countries regarding the technologies that may be available and the benefits that can be accrued from their use.  This issue has been dealt with in a number of ways: however, potential users are often dependent on brokers such as service providers to provide opportunities to interface with vendors, manufacturers or distributors of technology.

2.3 Further Reading

 

A list of further reading material is provided in Appendix I.

 


3 The Structured Dialogic Design Process (SDDP)

3.1 Introduction

As mentioned in the introduction, the Structured Dialogic Design Process (SDDP) is a methodology that supports democratic and structured dialogue among a group of stakeholders. It is especially effective in resolving multiple conflicts of purpose and values, and in generating consensus on organizational and inter-organizational strategy.

The SDDP is specifically designed to assist non-homogeneous groups to deal with complex issues, in a reasonably limited amount of time. It enables the integration of contributions from individuals with diverse views, backgrounds and perspectives through a process that is structured, inclusive and collaborative. A group of participants, who are knowledgeable and have a stake in a particular situation are engaged in collectively developing a common framework of thinking based on consensus and shared understanding of the current and of a future ideal state of affairs.

The SDDP promotes focused communication among the participants in the design process and their ownership of and commitment in the outcome. The SDDP produces roadmaps which are efficient, but moreover are supported by those who have developed them.

3.2 Background

The Science of Structured Dialogic Design is a deeply reasoned, rigorously validated methodology for dialogic design, which integrates knowledge from mixed participants in strategic design settings. It is especially effective in resolving multiple conflicts of purpose and values and in generating consensus on organizational and inter-organizational strategy.

Structured Dialogic Design can be seen as a branch of systems sciences with applications in social sciences with its roots in cybernetics, application of systems sciences in social contexts and the science of complex systems which emerged in the early 1970s. Dr John Warfield is credited with the application of the principle of Interpretive Structural Modelling in the analysis of complex socioeconomic systems, which became a major consensus method in the application of SDD.  It was however, Dr. Aleco Cristakis and his group that are credited for the formulation of the science of Structured Dialogic Design in its present form.

During the past decade, we have witnessed an exponential growth in the number of dialogues organized using what is known as the science of structured dialogic design. An increasing number of facilitators, workshop organizers, participants, scientists, and lay people show great interest in learning more about this science.

The Cyprus Neuroscience and Technology Institute has a long history and experience using this methodology in a range of domains, from education to civil conflict and have in the past utilised the process to great effect in two COST Actions (COST 298 and COST 219ter).

3.3 The SDDP Methodology

Figure 1 illustrates the basic phases of this methodology. The “Triggering Question” (TQ) is used in order to constrain the breadth of the  dialogue.  One-sentence  responses  to  this  TQ  will  be

Diagram

 

Figure 1: The SDDP Process

posted on the Wikispace ahead of the meeting. There will be a further opportunity to articulate additional responses as well as give clarifications to any questions. No arguing over content is allowed at this stage as the intention is to understand each other. The next phase involves a bottom-up approach towards clustering the ideas according to common attributes. This and the previous process support stakeholders gradually developing a common language, shared understanding of the complex problem and highlights small but sometimes very important distinctions in the meaning of individual contributions. All participants then vote on which observations they consider most important. Usually they are given five coloured dots that they can stick on the observations of their choice, which are posted on the wall. These votes are tallied.

The structuring phase includes only ideas that have received at least 1 vote. With the help of pairs of observations projected on the screen, the participants decide by super majority whether achieving observation A (or making progress in resolving the particular problem) would significantly help in achieving observation B. The exploration of influences of one idea on another is extremely important because it gradually produces consensus as to the leverage points on which investments would provide the maximum return. The otherwise exhausting task of comparing thousands of pairs is simplified by the transitive logic of supporting software, so that approximately 150 votes do the job in about 4 hours. In this process, the stakeholders are not burdened with trying to keep track of the bigger picture because the software manages the mechanical logic of how their decisions fit together. At the end of this process the stakeholders collectively produce an influence tree that graphically presents the conclusions they have reached. This ‘tree’ or roadmap reveals the leverage points for applying effective action to work out their complex situation.

3.4 How SDDP Works

The detailed breakdown of the various phases of the process can be summarised as follows:

  • Phase 1: Identification of relevant stakeholders. This process was initiated several months ahead of the SDDP workshop proper.  The importance of inviting relevant and appropriate stakeholders was of paramount importance.  Stakeholders that accurately represented elements of the Accessible and Assistive ICT Industry and are willing to positively contribute to the process are key to ensuring that the outputs of the SDDP will be of value.  An outline of the identification process is given in Appendix III.
  • Phase 2: Engagement and consultation with the relevant stakeholders in order to draft the triggering question. For the purposes of this process, it was decided that a full range of collaborative technologies such as Wiki’s etc., be employed to ensure that the Triggering Question was identified ahead of the face to face element of the SDDP.  Due to the importance of the TQ in the whole process, it is imperative that it has been reasoned and reflects the input of the project team as well as the external participants.  A summary of this discussion can be found in Appendix II.
  • Phase 3: Drafting of report with background material (this deliverable D1.1). Following definition of the TQ, it is important to provide the participants with the information required to fully engage in the face-to-face element of the process.  This includes provision of any background reading materials, any required resources, the TQ itself, and any information supporting how the TQ was defined.
  • Phase 4: Preparation of the SDDP Meeting. This report along with all the supporting material on the CARDIAC Wikispace will serve as background material to help the participants draft responses to the Triggering Question. All participants can post their responses to the Triggering Question under the “Round-1 Generation” heading on the CARDIAC Wikispace. There will be a further opportunity to propose responses at the beginning of the 3-day meeting.
  • Phase 5. The SDDP Meeting. The SDDP meeting will last three days during which the following tasks will be carried out:
  • Collection and clarification of the additional mechanisms using the Nominal Group Technique (NGT). All participants will be given the opportunity to propose new responses to the Triggering Question and give additional clarifications. The participants will then cluster all the mechanisms into meaningful groups. This will give a further opportunity to understand all the various dimension and perspectives of the different mechanisms before the voting stage
  • Voting by participants on what are the most important mechanisms.
  • Exploration of links between mechanisms using the Interpretive Structural Modelling (ISM) method, which uses mathematical algorithms to minimize the number of queries necessary for exploring relationships between mechanisms
  • Production of draft roadmap
  • Discussion and possible amendment of resulting roadmap
  • Phase 6: Production of roadmap report
  • Phase 7: Dissemination of results.

                                                                                                         
3.5 SDDP Techniques and Processes

Generating Observations Stakeholders generate responses to the triggering question in “round robin” style.  Their responses are entered into a computer, projected onto a screen, and posted on the wall of the meeting room.  These observations (and all subsequent products) are printed out and shared with participants in real time.

Clarifying ObservationsStakeholders clarify their observations and answer questions of clarification. No arguing over content is allowed at this step as the intent is to understand each other. Any dissent is accommodated by stakeholders posting dissenting observations.

Grouping ObservationsThe observations are grouped on the wall on the basis of their likeness to each other and given titles.

Importance VotingIndividual stakeholders vote on which observations they consider most important.  Usually participants are given 5 coloured dots that they can stick on the observations of their choice, which are posted on the wall.  These votes are tallied

Influence VotingStakeholders then work with the observations receiving the most votes.  With the help of pairs of observations projected on the screen, they decide by super majority whether achieving observation A would significantly help in achieving observation B.  Then:
• Would achieving B help in achieving A?
• Would achieving A help in achieving C?
And so on.

The otherwise exhausting task of comparing thousands of pairs is simplified by the transitive logic of the software, so that approximately 150 votes do the job in about 4 hours.  In this process, the stakeholders are not burdened with trying to keep track of the bigger picture because the software manages the mechanical logic of how their decisions fit together.

The Influence TreeAt the end of the third day the stakeholders will receive a computer printout of an influence tree that graphically presents the conclusions that have been reached. This tree reveals the leverage points for applying effective action to work out the complex situation.

Evaluating the Influence Tree - Stakeholders will have the opportunity to discuss whether the computer-generated tree accurately represents their perception of the situation.  Participants can make any revisions they deem necessary and any follow-up actions will be discussed at this stage.

3.6 Summary

The information presented here provides a background to the SDDP, by way of preparation for participation in such an event.  However, the process is quite “experiential” as such doing it justice in such a way is difficult. There is no substitute for the actual full SDDP experience itself.


APPENDIX I: Background Reading for SDDP 1 Participants

The information below is presented to allow participants to reflect on current thinking in the area of Technology Transfer, particularly in relation to defining the Triggering Question so as to establish a good starting point for the SDDP meeting.

This information has also been posted on the CARDIAC WikiSpaces collaboration site at:
http://cyprus-virtual-sdd-cardiac.wikispaces.com/Knowledge.


Introduction

Thanks to everyone for contributing to the ongoing WIKI over the past number of weeks. The challenge that we are now faced with is how we define "Technology Transfer" and how we as a group set the boundaries of this definition in order to allow us to develop an effective roadmap at the forthcoming SDDP Meeting.

To do this we are posting a small amount of background reading for participants with a view to providing an opportunity to reflect on the topic and to canvas your views as to where we set the boundaries for what we will describe in the proposed roadmap as Technology Transfer.

The information provided is also available online for your convenience, allowing  you to browse at your leisure. We are also seeking short contributions from you regarding your thoughts in this area. This will be done by providing you with a chance to answer short questions that we can analyse and compare thus allowing us to get a better indication of how we can focus in an effective way. All answers provided, in conjunction with the responses to the WIKI will contribute to defining the overall direction of the SDDP and will be reflected in the eventual roadmap.
The information is presented in such a way as to encourage participants to read online resources that could be easily accessed in the lead up to our meeting.  Some brief points of guidance are also presented; these however are aimed at focusing the attention of participants on a particular area or topic.
This information is can also be found at the following url: http://cyprus-virtual-sdd-cardiac.wikispaces.com/Knowledge


Initial Reading: Definition of Technology Transfer

On the CARDIAC website http://www.cardiac-eu.org/, we have posted a short introduction to the area of Technology Transfer with a view to providing participants with a brief introduction to what is meant by Technology Transfer, particularly in the context of Accessible or Assistive ICT. A link to this information is provided below, as a refresher ahead of our meeting next week.

http://www.cardiac-eu.org/tech_transfer/

Further introductory information has been posted by the Technology Transfer service at the University of Buffallo in the United States. The link below is to a Powerpoint Presentation from a course they provide and presents a short introduction to the area.
http://t2rerc.buffalo.edu/pubs/training/mod1/mod1.ppt#256,1,Slide 1

Accompanying this Powerpoint presentation is a short, explanatory Word document
http://t2rerc.buffalo.edu/pubs/training/mod1/mod1text.doc

Barriers to Technology Transfer

Of interest to the overall discussion of the market for Accessible and Assistive Technology products and services is to outline barriers faced by researchers, developers, manufacturers and other stakeholders.

Much of the information regarding this is anecdotal; many of us have had conversations over the years, and experiences where a successful concept did not result in a new product or service for people with disabilities or for the public in general. Getting an appreciation for such barriers and articulating them will eliminate the need to go over "old ground" during the meeting next week and will provide all participants with a general appreciation of the difficulties faced by different stakeholders in the process.

To give you a general overview of some of the barriers that have in the past been highlighted, we have provided links to two documents. This first, many people will be aware of, it is a COST publication that many of the participants in this process were involved with producing regarding Technology Transfer barriers pertaining to the take up and development of practical broadband applications. This document is in Adobe PDF format.

http://www.tiresias.org/cost219ter/inclusive_future/(19).pdf

Furthermore a short paper from a United States perspective outlining what are termed, Barriers and Carriers in Assistive Technology Technology Transfer is also included here for your reading. As with the document above this is also presented as a PDF document:

http://www.atia.org/files/public/ATOBV6N1ArticleFour.pdf

Defining the scope of Technology Transfer

Finally, in order to help the participants respond to the Triggering Question, it is be important to set boundaries as to what we define as Technology Transfer and how we see it applied to ourselves as different stakeholders in the Accessible and Assistive Technology market.
To assist with reflection on this topic, another short article from a recent publication is linked below. Much of this article covers many of the areas covered in previous materials provided but may act to synopsise issues such as definition of stakeholders, identification of market variables etc.

http://www.atia.org/files/public/ATOBV6N1ArticleSix.pdf

From your own experience, we would ask you to consider some of the following questions.

· Can we speak of Assistive and Accessible Technology in one roadmap?
· What exactly do we consider is Technology Transfer?
· Are there examples of successes that can be pointed to?
· How do we set parameters on the scope of our discussion?

Additional reading material has been generated during online discussions with SDDP participants, these have been posted to the Wikispaces collaborative site and are summarised below:

 

Additional Resources: Case Studies in Technology Transfer

 Braille Writing Tutor

The links below provide some interesting background reading with regard to the development of a Braille Writing Tutor recently developed.

http://www.techbridgeworld.org/index.html

http://www.techbridgeworld.org/index.html

Technology Transfer and the Impact of Patents

http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/err15/err15e.pdf

 

New Supports for Technology Transfer in Europe

The link below provides a fairly comprehensive list of background reading materials for Technology Transfer, compiled by the FITT Project, a recent EU funded project where in the FITT Toolbox seven European transfer experts have codified their practices and condensed their experience.

http://fitt-for-innovation.eu/fileadmin/_fitt/bibliography/bibliography.html

Further information on this project is available from http://www.fitt-for-innovation.eu/

Another EU project currently examining the area is Digiteo, a research park located in Ile-de-France dedicated to information science and technology.  The purpose of this project is to provide a context for collaboration for EU based researchers in the area of Technology Transfer.  This project is very much built in conjunction with the FITT project mentioned above.

http://www.digiteo.fr/Digiteo_About_Us

Technology Transfer from outside of the EU

The article below provides an interesting introduction to the process of Technology Transfer in China.

http://www.rff.org/News/Features/Pages/Technology-Transfer-in-China.aspx

 

Alternative Methodologies to Support Technology Transfer

For your interest, several other articles have been suggested by supporters of this process and may be of some use during our ongoing collaborations and endeavours.

 

http://www.imeche.org/Libraries/Knowledge-Manufacturing/IWFAcasestudy.sflb.ashx

http://www.triz-journal.com/archives/1999/12/b/index.htm

http://www.realinnovation.com/content/c070507a.asp


APPENDIX II: Summary of Online Discussions for Definition of Triggering Question (TQ)

The purpose of this appendix is provide participants with an overall view of the discussion and consultative process that led to the selection of the Triggering Question "What mechanisms would ensure successful technology transfer in accessible and assistive ICT products and services?".

This should be of particular value to those participants who were not able to participate in the on-line discussions and bring them up to speed with the evolutionary process that led to this Triggering Question.  Furthermore, because the process of defining the Triggering Question is in itself an informative process, it should provide all participants with useful background material and an insight into how different people approached the problem of Technology Transfer.

The process itself was held in two phases. The first one ran from mid September until the 11th of October where discussions centred around five proposals for the Triggering Question. In response to the discussion and lack of consensus, a second phase was launched until the 27th of October with two possible Triggering Questions. At the end of this phase an e-vote was held via Doodle and the "What mechanisms would ensure successful technology transfer in accessible and assistive ICT products and services?" was selected as the Triggering question.

These discussions are summarised below in a “Digest” which is designed to be easy to read and provide an overview of the discussions toward the definition of the TQ.

The raw material of the discussion can be found on the CARDIAC Wikispaces site at http://cyprus-virtual-sdd-cardiac.wikispaces.com/message/list/About+Your+TQ and the rest of the material can be found at the following url  (CARDIAC Wikispaces): http://cyprus-virtual-sdd-cardiac.wikispaces.com/Knowledge

 

Digest of discussion leading up to selection of Triggering Question.

As preparation for the Cyprus SDDP Meeting we have compiled a “digest” of everyone’s participation in the WIKISpaces based collaboration to identify an appropriate Triggering Question.

As a starting point for discussion, Patrick Roe posted the following “potential” Triggering Questions, to stimulate comment and conversation from SDDP participants. The initial list of potential TQ’s presented by Patrick Roe for participants were as follows:

➢ What obstacles prevent the transfer of successfully developed assistive ICT technology concepts into products?
➢ What research actions could facilitate the transfer of successfully developed assistive technology concepts into products?
➢ What obstacles prevent IT companies from adding an accessibility product philosophy in their production strategy?
➢ What type of research or other support would facilitate the launching of successfully developed assistive technologies from the lab to the EU market
➢ What are the obstacles holding back successful technology transfer in the area of accessible and assistive ICT products and services

John Doran’s initial contributions were as follows:

“Hi everyone, I am new to this process, but I have been asked to express my opinion. It is difficult to choose a question from your list. In my opinion, Q3 "What obstacles prevent IT companies from adding an accessibility product philosophy in their production strategy?", would be the starting point for any company interested in this area. For companies that are new to accessibility however, this question might follow another which is "Why SHOULD we add an accessibility product philosophy in our production strategy". I am not sure if this is the place to bring new questions to the table?”

Patrick Roe responded as follows:

“Many thanks for your input.
Yes, this is exactly the time to bring new questions to the table. It may in fact be that the point you make is one of the obstacles/factors in response to the Q3, i.e. if companies do not understand why they should be adding an accessibility product philosophy in their production strategy, why would they do it"

A final response to this thread of discussion was posted by Bob Allen:

Thanks for joining our working group, I have made this point to Patrick as well, but in response to your comment.

In my day to day work this is the question that figures most. "Why should we do this?" As a team we have to listen to many voices internally from designers, manufacturing teams, finance, management, the list is sometimes endless. I am worried reading the other triggering questions that we might bite off more than we can chew in such a short time frame.

Again, thanks for your contribution.”

Julio Abascal responded to the initial list as follows:

“TQ 3 (What obstacles prevent IT companies from adding an accessibility product philosophy in their production strategy?) and TQ 1 (What obstacles prevent the transfer of successfully developed assistive ICT technology concepts into products?) would help us to identify the reasons for the low interest in accessibility market shown by the mainstream industry. And, what is better, to draw a roadmap of actions (to be started by EU) to counteract these tendencies.”

Anton Civit also responded to this list with the following comment:

“I agree that TQ2 is more proactive but, anyhow TQ3 and TQ1 are very important and should somehow be more clearly included”

Ilse Bierhoff added her thoughts:

“From the current list number 4 has my preference. In general I would argue to use a positively formulated triggering question. Might be refressing to not always focus on obstacles. That is why I also mentioned that it might be good to have insight into a market that has succeeded in making a specialised product mainstream. For instance a lot of technology is developed in the army and later made available for everybody.
Furthermore I'm wondering if it is wise to also specify market players and user groups in the triggering question. The triggering question at the moment seem a bit broad but that might also be of help. My experience with the methodology is too limited to judge which approach is the best. Maybe the experts can comment on this.”

 

In order to stimulate further thought on the TQ and in a effort to concentrate everyone’s decision making, Bryan Boyle posted some supplementary materials to read:

“In order to generate some further discussion on the TQ, and to help clarify everyone's thinking - I am suggesting that people look at the following article. It is quite long so I'd just draw you attention to TABLE 1 on page 131 (page 3 of the pdf) for your consideration. It highlights the phases of the traditional Technology Transfer process, listing the CRITICAL EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES.
It may be useful to reflect on the TQ or other issues based on reading this list.
http://www.atia.org/files/public/ATOBV6N1ArticleSix.pdf

John Doran responded with the following thoughts:

“After reading your article, it seems to me that the TT model presented in this table is very linear and suggests that there is a correct order to the model. My experience has been that the data that is collected at the Product Development phase should be included earlier in the process and should be available to key decision makers prior to resources being allocated to prototype development. In my industry prototype manufacture is an expensive process requiring go/no go decisions on developing/building moulds, boards etc. If the information is not there for decision makers at this stage of the process then someone will decide not to waste time or resources on a prototype build.
Reflecting on the TQ, I suggest that we examine if a model can be developed that reflects the decision trees that key people have to consider in a successful TT process.”

 Bryan Boyle added to the debate by posing a further short article suggested by Joseph Lane of the T2RERC centre.

“Thanks for your contribution, I agree, it may be important to restructure the Triggering Question so that it appears less negative. For many of the obstacles there may not be easy to define solutions.
I spoke recently to Joseph Lane from the Tech Transfer centre at the University of Buffalo, and he mentioned an article that he felt was useful:
http://www.implementationscience.com/content/5/1/9

In this article he speaks of Need to Knowledge transfer and lists six approaches to solving a problem with knowledge - in #4: "Need to development and production to KT--An invention based on unmet needs and prior discoveries, transformed into an innovative device or service, with its utility communicated to stakeholders."
I would be curious to know if you feel that the information in this article is a starting point for your suggestion?”

In response, Ilse Bierhoff replied:

Thanks for pointing me to this very interesting article. It clearly states what we at Smart Homes have been experiencing within projects that a different mind set is necessary to move from results that are interesting from a research point of view into results that are useful from a business point of view. Especially involving external stakeholders is something that we always encourage. On page 4 'implementation science' is mentioned and I think that this is an important field of expertise that is not always covered by researchers.
'Implementation science' exists as a topic of discussion because the methods used to create new knowledge are not designed to facilitate effective communication to a ranged of stakeholders, nor are they intended to ensure actual use by these stakeholders in practice.
At Smart Homes we put a lot of effort in involving stakeholders as part of the user-centred design process. Part of that work is defining methods that allows us to integrate input from stakeholders in the design of technology and services.”

In order to further hone the suggested list and to stimulate further discussion regarding the wording and content of a Triggering Question Patrick Roe commenced a new thread focussed on this task.

“TQ4 (and TQ2) are more in line with the overall aim of CARDIAC of generating research agenda roadmaps. TQ5 looks at the issue of technology-transfer from a broader perspective and would be a suitable TQ if this is to be the priority.”

In response, John Gill commented further:

“I prefer TQ4, but I would like to widen the scope to include accessible ICT products and services. I think that the problems of technology transfer for special assistive devices are different from the problems of accessible mainstream devices and systems.”

Furthering the consensus on the issue, Helmut Heck suggested:

“I prefer TQ4 because it is a positive question and broader than TQ2. I agree to John's point to include accessible ICT products and services. "to the market" would be sufficient without reference to "EU".

Certainly it will be helpful to change one's view and to look at potential "obstacles" during the later discussion, but as a TQ that would be to narrow. “

Similarly, Katerina Mavrou made the following comment:

“I also agree with John Gill that issues for special AT and issues of accessible mainstream technology are indeed different, and therefore differently influenced by research and development. I believe TQ4 is more to the aims of the project, since it targets the role of research. On the other hand, taking into consideration that our aim is both special AT and mainstream accessibility, TQ5 can be a good one to start with. Probably something that will combine the two (4 & 5)?”

However, reflecting the breadth of experience amongst the participants of the process, John Doran responded to all of the above as follows:


I possibly have a different perspective to some of the rest of this group, so in my opinion TQ4 is the more relevant to existing commercial organisations. For example, many of the organisations I have experience of do not consider "research actions", unless they are assured that they can be completed to a successful outcome. As I mentioned in a previous entry, TQ3 is a useful starting point for discussion.”

This comment prompted further discussion, notably from Gunela Astbrink who added:

“I'm going to complicate matters by making some additional suggestions to some of the TQs.
I agree that it's preferable to use positive language in the TQ if possible.
We do have a potential problem in how to include both assistive technology and accessible ICT in the one TQ as the issues are very different.
Could we decide to concentrate on one or the other rather than to be too ambitious?
If we do go ahead with a broad TQ, I suggest that TQ5 could be amended to read "What mechanisms would ensure successful technology transfer in accessible and assistive ICT products and services?"
If we concentrate on assistive technologies, I suggest TQ4 and to delete EU in the statement.
If we decide to concentrate on accessible ICT products and services, I suggest that TQ3 could be amended to read "What will encourage IT companies to add an accessibility product philosophy in their production strategy?"
Personally, I am keen to on using TQ3 as I think this is a vital area where accessibility in mainstream products can have an impact on a very large percentage of people with disabilities as well as older people.”

In an effort to further focus collaboration on the overall objective of achieving consensus on a single Triggering Question, Bryan Boyle after discussion with Patrick Roe posted two new discussion threads focussing on two distinct TQ’s:

Following a good online discussion last week, I thought it would be useful to start a new discussion on the re-formulated Triggering Questions - the first of which is:

"What will encourage IT companies to add an accessibility product philosophy in their production strategy?"

And

"What mechanisms would ensure successful technology transfer in accessible and assistive ICT products and services?"

Ilse Bierhoff made several contributions to this, second stage of debate including the following comments:

“This triggering question is in my opinion a bit more 'theoretical'. The other triggering question is more practical. So I guess all depends on how specific we would like our roadmap to be. This one will result in more general issues to be addressed (maybe more on a research level) and the other will result in more concrete issues that need to be addressed (maybe a more marketing point of view).”

Patrick Roe joined the debate with an effort to establish consensus amongst participants:

“In my opinion, both triggering questions are relevant and worthy of an SDDP and in an ideal world it would be great to be able to generate both roadmaps. Obviously for Cyprus we have to make a choice, but there may be a possibility to organise a 'virtual' follow-up session to generate 2nd roadmap after the Cyprus meeting.
I see this question as a more general question looking at the issue from a broader perspective. Indeed the other potential TQ could be a factor in this roadmap. i.e. if more companies adopt and accessibility product philosophy into their production strategy, this could enhance technology transfer.
I also see the potential for this roadmap linking more easily into the research agenda roadmaps that we are to generate in years 2 and 3.
For example, the emergence of a Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure (GPII or NPII) could also be a factor in this roadmap and could link into the other Research Agenda roadmaps.”

Finally Gunela Astbrink added:

“While I initially supported TQ1, I think that CARDIAC's goals more closely align with TQ2. However, it is very broad and cuts across both assistive technologies and accessible mainstream ICT which may be difficult to handle as we go through the process as the issues can be quite different from each other.
It's really a matter if we do an all-encompassing TQ or a more focussed TQ.
If we do TQ2, the factors in TQ1 may be raised during our Cyprus SDD and I hope they are because that will e a vital component in achieving change. However, if they are not raised in enough detail, Patrick's suggestion that we could do a virtual follow-up session for a second roadmap is very welcome.
While the virtual process using web conferencing can never be as effective as a face-to-face meeting in my pinion; as we become accustomed to the tool, I think it will be useful.”

This reflected a valuable change of mind following discussion and reflection on the topic. 
Finally, following a vote, it was agreed that the following Triggering Question would constitute our starting point for further discussions.

"What mechanisms would ensure successful technology transfer in accessible and assistive ICT products and services?"

 


APPENDIX III: Identification and list of stakeholders

Of primary concern to the consortium was to invite a range of stakeholders that would represent a range of differing experience in the technology transfer process specific to the area of Assistive and Accessible ICT.  During the kick-off meeting in Lausanne in March 2010, the consortium partners identified broad categories of relevant stakeholders.  From within the consortium then, suggestions were made as to what individuals would best match the profile of the categories identified. Several factors were highlighted as criteria for participation in the SDDP; that included the following:

  • They must represent a stakeholder in the technology transfer process
  • Have sufficient experience in the area that their opinions be well grounded
  • Be prepared to share their experiences and opinions on what constitutes successful technology transfer

 

The table below shows the list of relevant stakeholders identified by the consortium partners. For each of the stakeholders, one of the partners has been responsible for contacting potential participants. This process has been through several iterative phases before ending up with the final list of participants given in Appendix IV

Stakeholder/area

Company/organisation

Partner

 

 

 

Mainstream Industry

IBM, Google, SUN, Microsoft, Yahoo

CNTI, GSA, FTB

Mainstream (cont)

Siemens, ABB, Hager, Berker, Gira

SMH

AT Industry

Otto Bock, Omnitor, Doro, Elumo

FTB, EPFL, SMH

AT Industry (cont)

Kompagne, Optelec, AssistiveWare

SMH

Network Provider

BT, Telefonica

EPFL

Standards Policy

ANEC, CENELEC, AENOR

JGT, SMH, ES

Regulators

PTS

EPFL

Users

EDF, AGE (WDF, WBU, EBU, ENIL, IFOH etc.)

EPFL, FMH

Insurance companies

 

FTB

Government Agencies

CEAPAT, BRE

JGT, EHU

Venture Capitalists

Laika Bank

CNTI, IIT, GSA

SME Sector

GEWA nl

SMH

Psychologist/Social workers

 

FMH

Marketing

Hewlett Packard, Vodafone

CRC

Researchers

CARDIAC Partners, BRAID

EPFL

Legislators

EC, THL

FORTH

Parliamentarians

Lamber van Nistlerooy, Lord Erroll

SMH, JGT

Local Authorities

Mon Ami,

SMH, EPFL

European Commission

Research, Innovation

CNTI, EPFL

Table of relevant stakeholders.

APPENDIX IV: Short Biographies of SDDP Co-Laboratory Participants

A brief biography is given below of the people who will be attending the SDDP meeting in Pafos, Cyprus.

Prof. Yiannis Laouris
Has over 15 years of experience in designing and implementing structured dialogue design systems.  He works at the Cyprus Neuroscience & Technology Institute which conducts research in areas related to the human brain and learning, technology and social change, accessibility, Web 2.0, global society, conflict transformation and global peace.
Dr. Laouris will take a lead role in facilitating this Co-Laboratory

Prof. Patrick Roe
Works with the Acoustic Group of the Laboratoire d’Electromagnétisme et d’Acoustique (LEMA) at EPFL, one of the two ‘Ecoles Polytechniques Fédérales’ in Switzerland. He has worked as a senior researcher on several European projects including the three COST219 Actions, where he acted as Chairman for five years of the COST 219ter Action “Accessibility for All to Services and Terminals for Next Generation Networks”. 

Dr. Bob Allen
Is currently Director of Technology Research and Development. He has been involved in EU funded projects for the past 20 years and has been responsible for establishing such research at the Central Remedial Clinic. The CRC’s Technology Research Department specialises in participating in research programmes dedicated to the development and promotion of technologies for people with disabilities and the elderly.

Mr. Bryan Boyle
Works as a researcher with the Technology Research and Development department at the Central Remedial Clinic.  He is also involved in the delivery of the CRC’s National Assistive Technology  service.

Mr. John Doran.
Works as Lead Designer with Hewlett-Packard in Leixlip, Co. Kildare, Ireland.  He has worked in Japan, the USA and in Europe.  His interests include the application of TRIZ methodologies for technology development, innovation and problem solving.

Dr John Gill OBE DSc FIET
Has worked for over 37 years in the area of scientific and technological research for people with disabilities.  Based in the U.K. his research has included the design of fonts, public access terminals, tactile communication, orientation systems, automated production of braille and large print, and access to telecommunication systems and services.

Ms Ilse Bierhoff
Is a research project manager at Smart Homes, an independent expert centre for smart houses and smart living based in the Netherlands.  She graduated as human-technology engineer and has specialised over the past 8 years in user centred design and technology for older persons. Her main activities at Smart Homes are in the field of the use of smart home technology for independent living and more efficient care delivery

Kjell Åge Bringsrud
Is employed as an associate professor in the research group for distributed multimedia systems at the Department of Informatics, University of Oslo, Norway.

Dr-Ing Helmut Heck
Coordinates R&D projects at the Research Institute for Technology and Disability at Evangelische Stiftung Volmarstein, Forschungsinstitut Technologie und Behinderung in Germany. His current interests relate to computer/robotic applications, human-machine-interaction for people with disabilities, accessibility of IT systems, as well as AAL.

Mr Michael Huch,
Is a Senior Consultant working with VDI/VDE-IT in Germany. He ever worked in projects related to European research and innovation topics and contributed to studies and evaluations of technology funding programmes. In his current project portfolio, he advises policy-makers in the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) on the German Hightech-Strategy.

Dr. Noemi Bitterman
Is the head of industrial design in the Faculty of Architecture & Town Planning at Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Israel’s primary technological university.  The research interests of her group include “Social Design”- addressing the needs of special populations, such as elderly, disabled and the ill.

Dr. Anton Civit
Is director of the Department of Computer Architecture at the University of Seville in Spain. He is author of over 100 publications in the fields of embedded systems, bioinspired systems, robotics and accessibility

Leonor Moniz Pereira
Is a doctor in the area of special education and rehabilitation and is a professor at the Faculdade de Motricidade Humana at the Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal.

Gunela Astbrink
Is based in Australia and is the Principal of GSA Information Consultants an organisation specialising in conducting research and policy development in many facets of ICT for people with disabilities.. She has 20 years of international experience in research and policy with a focus on regulatory processes to benefit people with disabilities.

Pier Luigi Emiliani
Works at the Institute of Applied Physics (IFAC) in Florence, Italy. The IFAC Department on Information Theory and Processing is involved in research on the theory and applications of signal and image processing and information technology (communications, biomedicine, non-destructive testing, user interface and aids for disabled persons).

Prof. Julio Abascal
Is Professor of the Computer Architecture and Technology Department at the University of the Basque Country located in Northern Spain.  He co-founded the Laboratory of Human-Computer Interaction for Special Needs that has participated in several R&D projects at national and international level.

Sifis Klironomos
Is member of the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory and Centre for Universal Access and Assistive Technologies of ICS-FORTH – Hellas, one of the largest research centres of Greece.  Laboratory carries out research activities focused on developing user interfaces for interactive applications and services that are accessible, usable, and ultimately acceptable for all users.

Mr. Simon Hall
Is currently chair of the European Seating Symposium incorporating Assistive Technology, a pan-European organisation responsible for the delivery of ongoing professional education and training for professionals working in the Assistive Technology and Wheelchair industry.  He is also director of a Medical Devices SME in Dublin, Ireland.

Mr Michael Huch,
Is a Senior Consultant working with VDI/VDE-IT in Germany. He ever worked in projects related to European research and innovation topics and contributed to studies and evaluations of technology funding programmes. In his current project portfolio, he advises policy-makers in the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) on the German Hightech-Strategy.

Dr. Katerina Mavrou
Works as Assistive Technology Coordinator at Ministry of Education / European University in Cyprus.  She has interest in Assistive Technology and other solutions for students and learners with disabilities.

Mr. Peter Ball
Is Associate Director - Strategic Research, BRE – the Building Research Establishment in the U.K.  The BRE provides expert, impartial research, knowledge and advice for the built environment sector and beyond. 

Prof. Panayiotis Zafiris
Works as Associate Professor at the Department of Multimedia and Graphic Arts of the Cyprus University of Technology. Before returning to Cyprus he was a Reader at the Centre for Human-Computer Interaction Design, School of Informatics of City University London where he still hold the title of Honorary Senior Visiting Fellow.

Mr. Demetris Sparsis (Cyprus)
Works as a venture capitalist and is employed by the Laika Bank in Nicosia in Cyprus.  He has a long interest in funding potential projects and technology development processes

Mr. Robert Hecht
Works with the Swedish Post and Telecom Agency and is intimately involved in the process of public procurement.

 


Appendix V: Agenda of SDDP co-laboratory in Pafos

AGENDA
Thursday, 28 October 2010


Time

Structured Dialogic Design Process

09:0009:30

Welcoming addresses: Patrick Roe
Overview of day’s events by local Cordinator: Georgina Shitta
Overview of SDD Process by Yiannis Laouris
Introduction Round

09:30
10:00

Presentation: Framing of the problem, context situation and Triggering Question by Patrick Roe

10:00
11:00

TQ
Defining the vision/problématique
Idea Generation

11:00
11:15

Coffee break

11:15
13:00

TQ
Defining the vision/problématique
Idea Clarification

13:00
14:30

Lunch at the hotel

14:30
16:00

 TQ
Defining the vision/problématique
Idea Clarification

16:00
16:15

Coffee break

16:15
18:00

TQ
Defining the vision/problématique
Clustering

 


Friday, 29 October 2010


Time

Structured Dialogic Design Process

09:0011:00

TQ
Defining the vision/problématique
Clustering - Voting

11:00
11:15

Coffee break

11:15
13:00

TQ
Defining the vision/problématique
Structuring

13:00
14:00

Lunch at hotel

14:30
15:30

TQ
Defining the vision/problématique
Structuring

15:30
16:00

TQ
Defining the vision/problématique
Structuring (continues)

16:00
16:15

End of session


Saturday, 30 October 2010


Time

Structured Dialogic Design Process

09:0011:00

TQ
Defining the vision/problématique
Discussion of Road Map and presentation of individual interpretations

11:00
11:15

Coffee break

11:15
13:00

Discussions in separate action groups

13:00
14:00

Lunch at hotel

14:00
16:00

 Strategy generation and planning of next steps

16:00

End of SDDP