SILVER (Supporting Independent Living for the Elderly through Robotics) is a research and development project funded by the EU. A Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP), which is aimed at product development for robotics solutions to support the elderly living at home, will be carried out in the course of the project. The project has participants from different countries; from Finland, the cities of Oulu and Vantaa are among them.
The objective of the Silver project is to ensure that in 2020 the same staff can take care of 10% more customers. The project aims to increase the independence of the care receivers and make the work of their family and the staff easier. At the start of the PCP process, a public sector authority defines the need for which a solution is sought but not the service to be bought. After this, the solution for the need is passed to the producers for their decision. The best two prototypes are then field-tested and compared with the users of the service. The end result of the pre-commercial procurement is thus a tested prototype instead of a finished end product.
Means to promote innovations
- A need-based approach: that is, the buyer defines the need but lets the suppliers create the solutions. This makes the creation of market-oriented innovations possible.
- Within the process, the product development process with the participation of the buyer and the end users provides a lot of information about the needs to the suppliers and ensures customer-orientedness.
- The process moves ahead by shifting through the most apt solutions or companies by stages. The companies will be committed to a product development process of a long duration by paying them remuneration for the work.
Benefits for different groups
- The end users obtained new solutions for supporting living at home, the quality of life improving.
- New cost-efficient solutions for living at home for the elderly will be generated. The aim of the municipalities is to increase the number of elderly people living at home, and the new solutions will improve the quality of the service as a whole for the elderly.
- The cost-efficiency of the service production is bolstered by strengthening the ability to live at home.
- The companies will get an opportunity for new innovations in the product development process in which the buyer gets financial compensation for its product development work.
- With the supported product development, the companies will get an opportunity to develop their businesses. As the process is to be implemented on the EU level, the business opportunity is international.