Social Tech Project Blog

Check out MITI’s new social tech project blog for reports and tidbits from our study of 'social technology ecosystems in Sub-Saharan Africa’: www.ssa.m-iti.org
 

 

M-ITI wins Horizon2020 funded project in the field of energy

M-ITI is part of an international consortium, with a team made of four Madeira partners, that won a Horizon 2020 funded project for Intelligent Islands energy systems with a total budget of € 2,447m. The regional SMART IsLand Energy Systems team is made up of ACIF, EEM, M-ITI and the startup prsma that will lead one of the three technological pilot projects foreseen in the project.

In addition to Madeira, the SMILE project involves other two European islands (Orkneys in Scotland and Samsø in Denmark) where new technologies of smart grids that can enter the market in the short term will be demonstrated. The technological solutions are varied and include battery integration, heating, water storage, electric vehicles, power storage on boats and dynamic tariffs. These technologies will be applied to real pilots in the three islands, anticipating their impact and entering the market through the direct involvement of citizens.

In Madeira, the pilot project will have a particular emphasis on the integration of microproduction of electric energy. M-ITI is in charge of the scientific leadership, being responsible for analyzing data generated from innovative smart meters and user reactions. Metering technology will be provided by the prsma company. prsma is a M-ITI startup that has recently received funding from the Horizon 2020 PME Instrument, and was present at the Web Summit. EEM will be in charge of the integration of the technologies in the power network, as well as all the technical support related to the network management technologies. Finally, ACIF will be responsible for the aggregation of information produced at regional level as well as its impact on the business sector.

The SMILE project consortium involves a total of 19 partners from 6 countries for a global budget of € 14m for the four years of the project.


M-ITI participates in HoCare international workshop as stakeholder

M-ITI participated in the 1st International Thematic Workshop of the Interreg Europe project HoCare, "Generation of innovation by addressing unmet needs identified by formal and informal providers of health care", as part of Madeira stakeholder group.

The event took place at the Electricity Museum Congress hall, in Funchal, on 27 January 2017.

The goal of the HoCare project is to increase delivery of home care innovative solutions in regional innovation chains by strengthening of cooperation of actors in regional innovation system through a Quadruple-helix approach.

The Quadruple-helix approach is an innovation cooperation model or innovation environment in which users, businesses, research organizations or universities and public authorities cooperate in order to produce innovations.

M-ITI was invited by Madeira Government IDE to participate in HoCare as research organization.

Professor Sergi Bermúdez presented the R&D being done in the AHA (Augmented Human Assistance) project, a success case, to an international panel of stakeholders, and public. 

AHA is being developed under the international partnership with the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU).

Learn more about HoCare at www.interregeurope.eu/hocare

 

M-ITI hosts the 2016 Playtest Session

Building on the success of last year, M-ITI again hosted the Playtest Session, in which the students of the Game Design class demonstrated their final projects (games). The event was held at M-ITI premises, on December 12. For these projects, students from different programs (Master in Informatics Engineering - MEI, and Professional Master in Human-Computer Interaction - MHCI) had been working together in teams to develop interactive experiences as well as traditional games.

MHCI students make the final presentation of their Capstone Projects

Yesterday, December 15, the four teams of MHCI students made the final presentation of their Capstone projects, in an event that gathered their sponsors - Grupo Porto Bay Hotels & Resorts, More4You, Exictos and Collab - M-ITI's community, and local companies and organizations at the Rectory of University of Madeira.

In their Capstone projects, students in the professional masters in Human-Computer Interaction (MHCI) were asked by their sponsors to present out-of-the-box solutions for a problem/need handed to them at the beginning of the year.

The event started with the 2 Minute Madness, where students pitched their projects, followed by group presentations and demo sessions.

The MHCI is a two year dual-degree program, in partnership with the University of Madeira and the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, USA. This is an international program that attracts not only students from Madeira, but from all over the globe.
 

Team Pearl Collective worked with Porto Bay Hotels and Resorts. Their goal was to study exemplary hospitality services in order to understand how guests’ expectations are identified, fulfilled, and exceeded so
 that they could empower Porto Bay staff to be proactive in creating personalized experiences for each individual guest during their stay.
 

Team Metis worked with Collab on its OneSupervisor solution. Their goal was to streamline the operations of contact centers by empowering supervisors to assist and coach their agents more rapidly.

 

Team Explora worked with the tourism company More4You
to building an enhanced experience for tourists visiting their website visitingmadeira.com. Their goal was to understand the motivations and needs of tourists to design an innovative experience that will anticipate and exceed expectations through a comprehensive set of digital and offline tools.

 

Team Elementary worked with Exictos. Their goal was to understand how people interact with money so that they can build a contextually- aware consumer banking experience.

Representatives of the European Commission visit M-ITI

Yesterday, representatives from the European Commission visited M-ITI, namely: Eng. Georgios Yannoussis, the Director of FEDER, and Dr. Luca Marchetti, the Rapporteur da DG Regio of PO M14-20. Accompanying the visit were the national representatives of the PT2020 Agência de Desenvolvimento e Coesão (AD&C), and Instituto de Desenvolvimento Regional IP-RAM (IDR IP-RAM).
The visit was in the scope of the IV Meeting of the Monitoring Committee of “Madeira 14-20” that is taking place today, December 7, in Madeira.
During the visit, the M-ITI EXCELL, Beanstalk, the PIE News, and the ERA Chair projects were presented. After visiting M-ITI, the European Commission representatives also visited the Observatório Oceânico da Madeira (OOM).
 

 

M-ITI professor Nuno Nunes presents project about the Ocean of Madeira

Professor Nuno Nunes was invited to the 14th Annual National Academies Keck Futures Initiative (NAKFI) conference “Discovering the Deep Blue Sea: Research, Innovation, Social Engagement” from November 9-12 in Irvine CA, U.S.

Nuno Nunes talked about his vision of how future research on Oceans can be shaped by and from periferic places like Madeira. His vision focuses less on exploration of natural resources and more on the future of mankind. He also presented a project about building an ocean theme park in Madeira, in cooperation with the University of Texas at Austin. The theme park would be about 100 meters deep in the ocean, and allow scientists, and other interested people to observe and study its biodiversity.

Full interview about the project below.

See video

Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute (M-ITI) wins tender for research on ‘Social Tech Ecosystems in sub-Saharan Africa’ by British funders Comic Relief, Indigo Trust and Nominet Trust

The Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute (M-ITI) is delighted to announce that it has been commissioned to produce an ambitious piece of research on ‘Social Tech Ecosystems in sub-Saharan Africa,’ by a partnership of three key foundations making grants in the fields of social tech and international development: Comic Relief, Indigo Trust and Nominet Trust.

This major project will be supervised by Prof. Chris Csikszentmihalyi, a European Research Area Chair who has championed the field of tech and social innovation for twenty years. He will be leading an international team including expert researchers from Uganda, Zimbabwe, Jamaica, Europe and North America. “M-ITI has responded to this call because of an imperative: our team has a deep desire to foster sustainable innovation in sub-Saharan Africa (sSA), but equally deep reservations about many of the innovation narratives being pushed onto the continent. We look forward to finding successful local initiatives from which to build a fruitful theory and practice of sSA-appropriate models of innovation.”

Anne Radl, Programme Development Manager at Nominet Trust, who is coordinating this project on behalf of the three funders, said: “Comic Relief, Indigo Trust and Nominet Trust are excited to embark on this rich and varied research journey with M-ITI. The scope of the research is ambitious – but it is proportionate with the huge value that will come from understanding what sustains social tech innovations across sub-Saharan Africa and allows them to thrive. We look forward to being challenged on how to support social tech ecosystems to be robust and resilient, and to reflect new insights back on the social tech ecosystem in the UK.”

This major study will span the next five months and will cover Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone Africa in order to reflect the diversity of the continent. The methodology will involve both hands-on field work in six sub-Saharan African countries and an in-depth review of existing practices of social tech in the entire region through a peer nomination approach.

The process will be documented ‘in real time’ through a blog that will be created specifically for the project, featuring interviews, videos and analyses as the research progresses, as well as the final report when completed in April 2017.

The final report, an open source database and an interactive map of innovation actors in the region, will be disseminated to policy makers and funders of social tech and innovation in sub-Saharan Africa to foster better informed investment in social tech.

Findings from this research will also be presented at “Strategic Narratives of Technology and Africa”, a major international conference hosted at M-ITI and scheduled for September 2017, which will bring top African scholars, cultural producers, and entrepreneurs together to present and reimagine socio-technical possibilities in Africa.

This research has been commissioned by Comic Relief, Indigo Trust and Nominet Trust.

 

About the Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute (M-ITI):

The Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute (Madeira-ITI) is a not-for-profit innovation of the University of Madeira, founded by the University of Madeira, Madeira Tecnopolo, and Carnegie Mellon University. The institute was created in December 2009 in order to provide a home for the numerous collaborations between these partners, in both research and education. M-iti operates in the interdisciplinary domain of Human- Computer Interaction (HCI), encapsulating contributions from the disciplines of computer science, psychology and social sciences, and design, with the goal of engaging in important scientific and technological challenges.
 

About Comic Relief

Comic Relief is a UK charity which aims to create a just world, free from poverty - where everyone is safe, healthy, educated and empowered. Since 1985, Comic Relief has raised over £1 billion. That money has helped, and is helping, people living incredibly tough lives, both at home in the UK and across the world.

Comic Relief, registered charity 326568 (England/Wales); SC039730 (Scotland)
 

About Indigo Trust

The Indigo Trust is a UK based foundation which funds projects and organisations in Sub-Saharan Africa that leverage the power of mobile and web technologies, to foster active, informed citizens and accountable governments. 

Indigo supports civic tech communities and innovation hubs that use digital technologies for positive social change, in order to grow and strengthen the social tech sector in countries across Africa.  They also provide small and high-risk grants to early stage projects to stimulate innovative approaches to tackling social challenges.  They offer their grantees tailored, bespoke support and access to a wider network to amplify their impact and strengthen their organisations.  They also support wider sector initiatives and shared learning in the social technology sector.
 

About Nominet Trust

Nominet Trust is the UK’s leading social tech funder. It provides 100 per cent grant funding, mentoring and business support to organisations using the internet and digital technology to address significant social challenges including health and wellbeing, economic empowerment and sustainability. Since 2009, Nominet Trust has invested more than £25m in projects harnessing technology to deliver real social change. Through partnerships and campaigns such as the inspirational NT100, Nominet Trust mobilises new approaches that will influence and accelerate the use of tech for social good.

Nominet Trust was founded in 2008 by Nominet.

Nominet is a public benefit company, with 20 years’ experience running the .UK internet infrastructure.  Building on that expertise, Nominet is actively involved in connecting devices as well as people, helping people be safe and networks stay secure, and supporting the next generation of ideas and talent.  With the proceeds of its successful registry business, Nominet set up and funds Nominet Trust, its charitable foundation.
 

Contact in Portugal: Elise Leclerc, M-ITI Executive Director: +351 961 343 496

 

See video

M-ITI participates in the 9th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling

M-ITI researchers Professor Nuno Nunes, Professor Valentina Nisi, and the Digital Media PhD students Mara Dionisio and Paulo Bala are participating in the 9th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling, taking place from November 15-18, at the Creative Technologies, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA.

Paulo Bala is presenting "IVRUX: A Tool for analyzing Immersive Narratives in Virtual Reality," while Mara Dionisio is presenting "Transmedia Storytelling for Exposing Natural Capital and Promoting Ecotourism," which was selected as a finalist for the ICIDS best paper award.The team also presented a poster and a demonstrations session: "DreamScope: Mobile Virtual Reality Interface".

Mara Dionisio, Paulo Bala, Rui Trindade, Sandra Câmara, Dina Dionisio, and Valentina Nisi also exhibited at the ICIDS Art exhibition. The artwork was entitled "Moving through space and narrative" an interactive 360 VR story environment. Through this artwork, participants are able to fully explore an interactive environment called "The Old Pharmacy", experimenting with different input methods for movement and exploration of a digital narrative.

 

M-ITI participates in "Ciência no Mercado"

M-ITI will again participate in this year’s edition of  “Ciência no Mercado” taking place at the fish market of Mercado dos Lavradores, on November 22, 18:00-22:00. This event is organized by Arditi, and falls within the framework of the international Week of Science and Technology, and is an opportunity for the general public to interact and learn about the R&D done in Madeira.

 

 

M-ITI visits the Operational Nucleus for Information Society of Cabo Verde (NOSi)

While visiting Cabo Verde in a delegation from Madeira Autonomous Region, M-ITI was welcomed by the Operational Nucleus for Information Society (NOSi). 

This visit was an opportunity to learn about the new services and solutions being developed by NOSi, as well as to foster a closer cooperation between the two archipelagos in this area. Thanks to this cooperation, M-ITI was recently awarded ALERT4YOU, a project in the first call of the Macaronesia Regional Cooperation programme (MAC 1420), together with NOSi.

The delegation also had the opportunity to visit the new Data Center of the State of Cabo Verde, and to watch a presentation on Integrated Electronic Government.

 

M-ITI is awarded four projects, in the first call of the Macaronesia Regional Cooperation programme (MAC 1420)

M-ITI was awarded four projects, in the first call of the Macaronesia Regional Cooperation programme (MAC 1420).

The projects are in the field Communications for Civil Protection, sustainable Energy, HCI for Medicine and SME innovation through FIWARE software. MAC 1420 fosters cooperation between entities in the Canary Islands, Madeira and Azores. The associated international partners include Cabo Verde university (UNI CV), Cabo Verde National Civil Protection, Cabo Verde Núcleo Operacional da Sociedade de Informação (NOSI), and others, also from Mauritania and Senegal.

The total budget exceeds one million euros for M-ITI.
 

Source: Diário de Notícias da Madeira

 

M-ITI students and researchers visit the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC)

Within the framework of M-ITI visit to UT Austin from November 4-10, our Ph.D. students attended a few classes and had individual meetings with UT Professors with whom they share research interests. Besides, the M-ITI group partook in visiting UT Austin campus facilities such as Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), where they watched a presentation about several cutting-edge data visualization projects and also tried on virtual-reality headsets.

The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) designs and manages some of the world's most powerful computing resources. Their mission is to enable discoveries that advance science and society through the use of advanced computing technologies. 

 

M-ITI visits Cabo Verde


Aiming to strengthen and expand cooperation with Cabo Verde institutions, M-ITI will be traveling to Cabo Verde on November 10-11, along with a group of industrial and academic entities from Madeira. The meeting was organized by Madeira Regional Directorate for European Affairs and External Cooperation, and will be welcomed by the Portuguese embassy in the City of Praia, Santiago Island. M-ITI will  be visiting local universities, major companies, and other public institutions to present our R&D work, and develop long-term partnerships for INTERREG MAC 1420 and other scientific opportunities.

 

Prsma, a spinoff created by M-ITI researchers participates in the Web Summit 2016

Prsma, a spinoff created by M-ITI researchers is participating in the Web Summit 2016.

The Web Summit gathers more than 53,056 tech CEOs, founders, startups, investors and political leaders driving change across the world. Prsma will exhibit their work during the entire event, and expects to find funding and support opportunities, in order to make the leap into the international market.

 

M-ITI visits the University of Texas at Austin

A group of M-ITI researchers and students is visiting the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin), in the US. 

From November 4-13, this group of 12 researchers and students will meet faculty, participate in classes, attend or give lectures, and explore future research opportunities at UT Austin. This allows strengthening the partnership with UT Austin, through the establishment of long-term collaborative and sustainable research.

One of the most important moments of the visit is the “Art and Interactivity: Exploring Research Opportunities with Madeira” event, on November 10. This event will tackle important topics to Madeira, such as health, sustainable tourism, digital art and storytelling. Program and other details of the event are available here.

The visit falls within the scope of the Digital Media R&D partnership “UT Austin|Madeira”, between M-ITI and UT Austin. This partnership was made official earlier this year with the UT Austin’s Technology and Information Policy Institute (TIPI). A goal of this partnership is to facilitate and finance exploratory visits of students to Austin, the exchange of researchers and faculty, as well as other Digital Media related events.

The UT Austin|Madeira partnership is supported by Madeira1420 program, and fulfils a strategic priority to foster international partnerships for excellence in R&D. It builds on an academic partnership developed through the Digital Media doctorate program, on which M-ITI cooperates with UT Austin since 2015. M-ITI is supporting applications to the PhD in Digital Media (academic year of 2017/2018), expected to be open between May and August 2017. Interested applicants should contact M-ITI academic services, for any question or assistance with applications. 
 

M-ITI researcher receives congratulation vote from the Legislative Assembly of Madeira

The Legislative Assembly of Madeira voted last week, unanimously, a congratulation vote to M-ITI researcher Mónica da Silva Cameirão for her recent International Society for Virtual Rehabilitation's (ISVR) Early Career Investigator Award, acknowledging her contribution to the Madeiran community through the development of technologies that improve the quality of life of those with special needs.

The ISVR award was officially announced at the International Conference on Disability Virtual Reality and Associated Technologies in Los Angeles, California in September this year, where Mónica Cameirão delivered a platform presentation. Learn more here.

 

 

M-ITI researcher gives lecture in Oslo Innovation Week

On October 18, M-ITI researcher Mónica Cameirão gave a lecture at the Oslo Innovation week on a panel about Game Technology + Health = The Future.

Did you know that Virtual Reality (VR) combined with Game Design can make the rehabilitation of stroke patients much more efficient? And that children with  Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder  (ADHD) can train attention through playing a game? Virtual Reality will create great opportunities in the health sector. The workshop "Innovation, VR and gaming in health and rehabilitation” featured experts and innovators in VR and Games.

 

The Regional Secretary for Inclusion and Social Affairs visits M-ITI

M-ITI was visited by the Regional Secretary for Inclusion and Social Affairs, Dr. Rubina Leal, and the president of Regional Social Security, Dr. Rui Freitas, on October 19. At the NeuroRehab Lab our research helping the elderly and people with special needs, was presented through several demos. The new PIE News project, aiming to fight poverty was also showcased.

 

The Minister of Education of the Free State from the Republic of South Africa visits M-ITI

On october 18, the Minister of Education of the Free State from the Republic of South Africa, Mr Pule Herbert Isak Makgoe, visited M-ITI. The visit was organised by the Regional Secretary of Education. Along came key people from the Free State academia and engineering trainees working in Madeira.