The Nordic Independent Living Challenge

Are you a problem solver?

The five Nordic capitals have joined forces to solve one of the biggest challenges the Nordic welfare model has ever faced - and invite both new and established innovators to participate in the Nordic Independent Living Challenge running from February 2015 to June 2016.

9 June, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon of Norway will hand out the main prize of NOK 1 million to the winner of the Nordic Independent Living Challenge at the awards ceremony at Oslo City Hall.

Download invitation and full programme for the ceremony
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Take on a big challenge

Latest news

Welcome to the final awards ceremony

We are pleased to invite you to attend the final awards ceremony for the Nordic Independent Living Challenge Innovation competition. The winners will be announced by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon!

These are the five finalists

We are proud to present the five finalists of the Nordic Independent Living Challenge who compete for NOK 1 million.

Siren Smart Socks wins entrepreneurship prize

Siren Smart Socks, one of the five finalists in the Nordic Independent Living Challenge, won the entrepreneurship prize at the Danish conference CareWare 2016.

#realchallenge finalists gives advice to Prime Minister

Finalists AbleOn Medical met with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Minister of Finance Siv Jensen to discuss how the government can help entrepreneurs create innovative and sustainable businesses.

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Real
challenge

The Nordic population is ageing, and the demand for innovative solutions and technologies for the elderly and disabled is increasing.

Today, elderly people represent 25 % of the entire Nordic adult population. This number will rise to more than 40 % in 2030 and 45 % in 2050. At the same time, between 13 and 21 % of the Nordic adult population report that they have some kind of disability.

This means there will soon be a dramatic increase of people in need of solutions that can help them be able to keep living independently and increase their quality of life.​

Through this competition, we want to provide new solutions to the elderly and people with disabilities in order to make it possible for them to live independently in their own home.

We want to enhance participation and social inclusion. We want to support the feeling of dignity and capability of individuals. We want to create flexible solutions for people with physical and cognitive challenges.

At the same time, we want to make the job easier and more efficient for care professionals, and to support and help relatives.

*Get more information in the end user needs analysis under “Downloads“.

Design drivers

The challenge is characterised by a number of user needs that can be addressed through the development of products, technology and services. The design drivers for the primary target groups, the frail elderly and people with disabilities, can be summarised as:

  • Moving around
  • Staying in touch
  • Maintaining an active mind
  • Using technology
  • Finding the way
  • Staying in shape
  • Customising solutions

The caretakers and relatives can be seen as secondary target groups. The design drivers are:

  • Handling information and communication
  • Building and maintaining relationships
  • Improving working environment

The elderly

Getting older is often associated with negative “down” events such as deteriorating skills, illness and the loss of family and friends. However, there are plenty of possibilities to create and focus on positive “up” events, such as finding a new hobby or friends, or getting new tools that can enhance independency and improve life quality. How can we make the best out of ageing in the Nordic region? Can we find a way to create more “ups” while soften the “downs”?

The disabled

People with disabilities are a wide and heterogeneous group, meaning they require different solutions to similar problems – like getting access to places. They possess considerable knowledge and creativity, but due to inflexible working environments and social systems, they might find it challenging to apply their skills. What can we do to change this, and to increase the independency for the disabled?

The care workers and relatives

Care professionals say that the best part of their work is receiving gratitude and establishing social connections to their clients. For relatives it is important that their elderly and disabled feel safe. However, tight time schedules and low wages can result in stressful workdays for care workers and undermine the service they provide. How can we create solutions that help improve welfare services and at the same time make the job easier and more efficient for care professionals?

Who are you helping?

Meet the end users.

To get you inspired, we have done several etnographic interviews with frail elderly, disabled and care professionals in the five capitals to understand what independent living means for them. Based on their feedback, we singled out 10 different themes personalised into 10 different fictional personas. All the themes have a set of what we call “design drivers” – drivers that can help inspire your design for a new technology or solution.

Nice to meet you,
I am Sonja.

Download PDF

Enjoying freedom

I have been retired for over ten years and I have enjoyed every year of it. I’ve been lucky to stay healthy and fit. So far, the only real health problem was due to falling on my bike a few years ago. I hurt my knee and it was operated. It’s a bit stiff still, but I’m capable of doing anything I wish to and I try to do as much as I can. I enjoy having my calendar full. It’s important to leave your home every day, so you don’t get stuck just having a coffee, watching TV, doing crosswords and not getting any fresh air. I have a theory that people who don’t have any hobbies and interests age more quickly.

Design drivers

1. Help arranging activities for others

Some seniors act as social hubs by organising events for their network. They can spend considerable amounts of time doing it and are a valuable resource. Helping them coordinate better builds the whole community.

2. Design for seniors

Many seniors are open for new solutions and technology in their lives. Still, many programs are designed with a younger user in mind. New technology should take into account the specific needs brought by age.

Hello, I am Anni.

Download PDF

Healthy mind, frail body.

I’m eighty-six years old and live alone in my apartment. I feel lucky to live in my own home in the area where I was born and raised. I’m able to live alone, but I have physical constraints that make moving and cooking difficult for me. I still feel young and active, but I’m not able to do all the things. I’m concerned about memory sickness as my late husband suffered from Alzheimer’s. That’s why I keep my mind fit by following what’s going on in the world and local politics. Sometimes I feel like my body is holding me back but I stay positive and act within my limits.

Design drivers

1.Help socialise and connect

Elderly need to stay in touch with their friends and relatives, but physical limitations often make it difficult. We need to create ways of staying in touch and meeting despite failing health.

2. Design for all senses

With a bad eyesight reading normal-sized letters and moving in new places becomes difficult. Other senses support dealing with vision-related tasks.

Hello, I am Aune and
this is Henri.

Download PDF

24/7 Caring

I’m seventy-nine years old and live with my husband Henri who is eighty-four. He is paralysed and I take care of him around the clock. I’m in relatively good condition myself, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to take care of him and we wouldn’t live in our own place. Most of my life revolves around taking care of Henri nowadays, ever since I retired. I’m fine with the current situation as long as my health holds up.

Design drivers

1. Facilitate finding people to share duties

All of Aune’s time revolves around taking care of Henri. Part of the problem is Henri’s strict requirements for people he interacts with. By helping her find people to share her duties she’d have time for herself as well.

2. Help deal with old belongings

Aune’s and Henri’s apartment is filled with their belongings and mobility aids, most of which are not used. These things take up much of the space and become a mental burden.

Hello, I am Esther.

Download PDF

Being Alone

I am seventy-five years old and I live alone in my own apartment. For me, life has always been a struggle. That’s why I am used to letting things go and living with less. I feel that the world is changing too fast and for the worse. At this age, meeting people is not my priority any more. Besides, I think that people look down on me wearing these old rags. My friends used to visit me at home, but since I cannot bake what can I serve them?

Design drivers

1. Create social support

Many seniors have trouble in establishing and maintaining social contacts. They need support in overcoming their insecurities and doubts when in new situations.

2. Maintain or introduce everyday practices

While getting older one gradually loses abilities that are related to one’s everyday life. Knitting relates to a sense of achievement and baking can be related to social life. Practices and routines are important in many ways and should be supported or if lost, replaced with new ones.

3. Make change less scary

Many seniors are struggling with change and would rather avoid learning new things. Especially technology can feel strange and most tend to avoid overly technical solutions. Solutions need to be easy and presented one small positive step at a time.

Hi there, I am Max!

Download PDF

Fit aeging

I work out every day to stay fit. I swim once a week and go to the gym three times a week. Earlier I used to play tennis, but lately I haven’t had anyone to play with. I enjoy exercising and I think it has kept me feeling much younger than I actually am. Sometimes I wonder how it’s possible that I am already eighty-six years old. I don’t feel like it. I believe that my mind is actually one of my muscles that needs work out of its own as well. And when I keep my body fit, my mind also feels more clear.

Design drivers

1. Support and encourage an interest to exercise

Exercising is often a social affair. Help people like Max encourage his peers to exercise by building or helping to build support networks.

2. Offer different ways to exercise the brain

Not everyone is as creative when it comes to training the memory and challenging the brain. Crossword puzzles seem to be a usual brain exercise, but there could be others suitable for different seniors.

I am Torhild,
nice to meet you!

Download PDF

Social butterfly

I have always been very social and I like being around other people. Since my husband died two years ago I live alone in my own house so I’m visiting my friends all the time. Even though I’m already eighty. I visit the elderly centre almost every day to meet with others, play cards and have lunch together. It would be so boring to just stay home alone, so I rather go and socialise with others. The phone is the most important technology I have in the house, because it gives me possibility to call my friends and it makes me feel secure as well.

Design drivers

1. Enable social contacts all days of the week

For people living alone the weekends might become lonely. Create possibilities for socializing during quiet times as well.

2. The social butterfly as creator of atmosphere

The social butterfly is nice to be around, she includes people in her network and is welcoming to newcomers. This ability can be turned into an advantage when arranging events or starting new groups.

Here is Signe!

Download PDF

Memory problems

I have a disability, which makes it difficult to remember even simple things like laundry. I need my days clearly structured and planned ahead. I love routines, they make it easier for me to organise my life. At times I miss being spontaneous. I use my mobile phone a lot to organise my activities. It reminds me when it’s time to do something. I still use my paper calendar as a backup, but it’s more like a diary where I can go back and forth, see what I did yesterday and what I’m doing tomorrow. With them, I get an overview of what I need. And it does it in my own way.

Design drivers

1. Give structure but allow spontaneity

There should be a careful interplay between order and breaking free of the constraints. The everyday routines should be in place and supported. On the other side there should be room for elevating the everyday by doing something different.

2. Design for slow and long use

Having a cognitive disability everything takes longer to do due to concentration and coordination difficulties. On the other hand, taking time to do things can give pleasure to the user. Services and technology should take this into account.

Hi, I’m Rasmus!

Download PDF

Being like everyone

When I was little, I had a brain tumour that was operated. I have difficulties in remembering and focusing on things. Despite my problems, I am aiming to live like a normal person. Actually, often people don’t even notice that I have a cognitive disability. I think everybody needs to be good in something. That’s why I am learning new things all the time. I have completed my training as a tailor and did an internship.

Design drivers

1. Strengthen independence in subtle ways

Independence means making it on your own, but with help and support. Address weaknesses such as remembering things or focusing in a subtle way.

2. Support and motivate creativity

People have ambitious plans in developing their craft and profession, but with disabilities, they need extra support and motivation. At times, they need a reminder or a push in the right direction.

Hey, I’m Björn.

Download PDF

Becoming a cyborg

I have a spinal cord injury that means I can’t move my legs at all and my arms only very roughly, so I need to consider accessibility in different ways to many others. I live in an apartment building of the union for people with physical disabilities. Like me, most people here move by electric wheelchairs, but still I notice every day that my apartment is not really well designed for that. I spend a lot of time on my computer, tablet and two smartphones, both working and enjoying my free time. I think that in the future we may all become cyborgs riding in our driverless vehicles.

Design drivers

1. Enable sharing of clever fixes

Many create ingenious solutions to help them in their everyday life, but there are no established ways of sharing this knowledge with others. Leveraging new technology and new mentorship models and social media can enable sharing of the solutions with others.

2. Stretch the limits of the accessibility

Aim for products and services that support wider participation in the society by removing physical and social barriers. Support people with disabilities to engage with motivational incentives.

My name is Johanna.

Download PDF

Services at home

I have been working for the municipal home care service for the past ten years. I visit fragile elderly, bring them food, help them to get up from the bed, do grocery shopping and help with many other things. I like helping people and enjoy the mobile nature of my work. Lately my job has become more and more hectic and pressured as everything is scheduled to the minute. There is little or no flexibility for judgment calls on what would be good for the individual. It feels like I can’t give enough.

Design drivers

1. Mediate communication of caretakers

Caretakers have a lot of knowledge about their customers, but no efficient way of sharing it. There needs to be a way for caretakers to share knowledge.

2. Help to deepen relations despite the lack of time

At the moment, caretakers find it difficult to give personalised service or build relationships with their customers. They experience chronic time pressure at their work due to tightly regulated processes.

Interviews

HEALTHY MIND, FRAIL BODY
01.22
ENJOYING FREEDOM
01.14
BEING ALONE
01.11
FIT AGEING
01.53
SOCIAL BUTTERFLY
01.48
MEMORY PROBLEMS
01.45
BEING LIKE EVERYONE
01.43

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Participate in the Nordic Independent Living Challenge

Competition

We are inviting new and established innovators to come up with solutions that can help the frail elderly and people with disabilities live independently in their own home.

The five Nordic capitals have created the Nordic Independent Living Challenge in collaboration with Nordic Innovation. By launching this competition together, we want to boost innovation and collaboration in the welfare technology industry – and create a joint Nordic market.

The Nordic Independent Living Challenge is open for everyone in the Nordic region – from established welfare solution providers to students and startups. We also encourage elderly and disabled with an innovative spirit to sign up. Here is some reasons for why you should join:

  • You will get the possibility to introduce your solution to a growing Nordic market and to collaborate with the capital cities.
  • You will get help turning your ideas into real products and testing them with real users.
  • You will get a chance to meet and network with fellow Nordic colleagues in the field.

The main prize is 1 million NOK. In addition, there is a 200.000 NOK cross-Nordic collaboration award and a 100.000 NOK student award.

For teams to be eligible for the student awards, they must fulfill the following criteria:

  • The students must have a considerable role in the project
  • The students must have been part of a project from the beginning and/or must have been present at the matchmaking meeting in Copenhagen 4 and 5 May

The competition runs in four stages:

The launch

The competition launched 5 February 2015. Participants was invited to send in their solution or idea before 18 March 2015. Of the solutions received, 75 were chosen by the Nordic jury to proceed to stage two of the competition.

The matchmaking

The teams behind the 75 solutions selected to proceed to stage two of the competition were invited to a matchmaking event in Copenhagen 4 and 5 May 2015. Here they were given tools to further develop their solution and dig deeper into specific user needs, design and usability. They also got the opportunity to interact and team up with other applicants from across the Nordic region.

The development (current stage)

After the Nordic matchmaking event, the 75 teams are invited to submit a new application, which is mandatory in order to qualify for the later stages of the competition. New people can be added to the team at this stage, but at least one partner that has been part of the competition from the start must be included. Out of these applications, up to 25 proposals will be invited to the next stage of the competition – and receive mentoring and support to develop the concepts further, including business plans and preparation for testing on real users.

THE TESTING

Five finalists will be able to test their solution in the Nordic capitals. They are asked to make a plan for implementation and the estimated impact on end users. The finalists will receive financial support of 300.000 NOK to cover expenses. Finally, one winner will receive the main prize of one million NOK. In addition, there will be a 200.000 NOK cross-Nordic collaboration award and a 100.000 NOK student award.

Jury

The applications will be evaluated by a Nordic jury. The jury consists of members with complementary knowledge, experience and expertise within the content area of the challenge, including technology and business development. The jury is appointed for the entire competition and supported with administrative functions by Nordic Innovation

Norway

Gunn Ovesen
Former director of Innovation Norway.

Gunn Ovesen graduated as civil engineer at Norges tekniske høgskole (NTH). In 2008 she was rated the 17th most powerful woman in Norway by financial paper Kapital. As the director of Innovation Norway, Ovesen has worked systematically to promote commercial and economically profitable development throughout the country. Her focus has been on triggering districts and regions' economies through contributing to innovation, internationalisation and promotion. She also put a considerable effort into restructuring the innovation agency during her time as director.

Onny Eikhaug
Programme leader at the Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture.

Eikhaug is responsible for promoting the Centre's activities in the fields of people-centred design and Design for all. She works with introducing the Design for all programme as an effective business tool for innovation. She is committed to sustainable people-centred design, and aims to demonstrate the potential of this approach. Eikshaug writes, publishes, and lectures both in Norway and internationally, and works closely with designers, education institutions, industry and government using projects and other knowledge transfer mechanisms to achieve this.

Sweden

Eva Frunk Lind
Director of the elderly services administration in the City of Stockholm.

Lind has 30 years of experience as health and medical director in Stockholm County Council, and has worked as HR director in the City of Stockholm for 10 years. 1 April 2015 she will retire as director of the elderly services administration.

Johanna Ulfvarson
Programme manager in the Life Science Department, Health Division at Vinnova.

Ulfvarson is the national contact person for the EU program AAL in Sweden and works with welfare technology and healthcare issues for elderly. She has extensive experience as a clinically active nurse before joining Vinnova.Ulfvarson also har experience from research in nursing and clinical pharmacology. She has also worked as a clinical associate professor at Karolinska Institute.

Iceland

Thor Thorarinsson
Senior Social Care Advisor in the Department of Welfare Services, Ministry of Welfare, Iceland.

Thorarinsson has extensive experience in the various fields of welfare services through 30 years of work. He and his team were twice commended by the state for outstanding work in the field of services for the disabled and has been awarded the Icelandic Quality Award. One of Thorarinsson's main tasks has been putting together Icelandic policies and strategies in a wide range of areas like family and welfare policies, strategies for people with disabilities, personal assistance services, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, deaf people, as well as people with learning impairments and blindness. He is also an adjunct at the Faculty of Social Studies at the University of Iceland.

Denmark

Nanna Skriver
Manager of the Center for Caring under the Health and Care Administration in Copenhagen municipality.

Skriver previously worked as area manager in the municipality of Copenhagen and was project manager in the municipality's ethical council.

Christian Bason
Chief Executive at Danish Design Centre (DDC).

Prior to joining DDC, Christian Bason has headed MindLab, a cross-governmental innovation lab, as well as the public organisation practice of Rambøll Management. Bason is also a university lecturer, and has held presentations for and advised governments around the world. He is a regular columnist and the author of five books on leadership, innovation and design. He holds a M.Sc. in political science from Aarhus University, has studied at Harvard Business School and the Wharton School, and is a doctoral fellow at Copenhagen Business School.

Finland

Arja Peiponen
Service district director in the Helsinki City Department of Social Services and Health Care.

Peiponen has extensive experience in the field of elderly care, and was previously the director of the Social Services Department of the City of Helsinki in the field of elderly care.  Peiponen is an active part of the European Network for Social Authorities (ENSA) where she has been a member a working group named "Elderly" since 1998.  She is also a member of the National Advisory Board on Social Welfare and Health Care Ethics (ETENE), and a specialist at the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (VALVIRA). Due to her vast experience in the field, Peiponen has also contributed to several research projects within elderly care.

Christian Lindholm
CEO of Korulab, Co-founder of the Vertical Health Accelerator.

Lindholm is co-founder of Korulab, a wearables startup. He is also head of Innovation at Vertical, the health accelerator, and one of the founders of HealthSPA, a cluster with more than 200 health, wellness and wearables startups. He is chairman at Aalto University's Service Factory's Business Advisory Board, and guest lecturer on innovation, service strategy and design. Lindholm has a background as an innovation officer for Fjord, helping the company grow into one of the global service innovation powerhouses, growing from 28 people in two offices to 200 in 8 offices. Accenture acquired Fjord in May 2013. Previously he headed Yahoo's mobile team and was responsible for User Experience at Nokia mobile phones.

Who can participate?

The challenge is
open for everyone in the Nordic countries.

From established welfare solution providers to students and startups. We also encourage elderly, disabled or care professionals with an innovative spirit to sign up.

A good idea is simply all it takes!

Why should I participate?

The competition is open to everyone. Here are some reasons for why you should join:

Established solution providers:

You will get an opportunity to introduce your solution to a growing Nordic market and the opportunity to collaborate with the capital cities

startup companies:

You will get help turning your brilliant ideas into real products and testing them with real users.

Academics:

You will get the chance to work with real-life problems and collaborate with a variety of competent stakeholders.

End users:

You will be able to share your ideas and solutions with others – and perhaps turn them into reality.

Students:

In addition to the cash prize, you will get a chance to meet and network with key players in the field.

Video Gallery

Info and Pitching
04.22
SLUSH 2015
03.50
Business support workshop
03.38
Matchmaking event
06.06
Juha Jolkkonen presents Matchmaking Event
00.31
Nordic Home Market
00.30
Matchmaking Event Pt. 1
00.31

News

Finding new solutions is a necessity

Dagfinn Høybråten, Secretary General for the Nordic Council of Ministers, says that the Nordic Independent Living Challenge represents what Nordic cooperation is all about: finding solutions together to ensure equal opportunities, welfare and sustainability.

– New and innovative welfare solutions in the Nordic region are a necessity in order to preserve the Nordic welfare model in times of financial challenge, and in order to give the elderly population and people with disabilities the best possible quality of life. Most people prefer to live in their private homes for as long as possible. I am looking forward to seeing how the Nordic Independent Living Challenge can enable more independent living in the Nordic countries, he says.

Main prize of 1 million NOK – open for everyone in the Nordic region

The Nordic Independent Living Challenge aims to increase the quality of life for the frail elderly and the disabled, and at the same time make the job easier and more efficient for care professionals. The main prize is 1 million NOK and there will be special awards for cross-Nordic collaboration and student projects. Everyone with a good idea can participate, and participants will be offered mentoring as well as inspirational workshops and matchmaking events – and not least a unique opportunity to work directly with the Nordic capitals.

Dramatic increase

Today, elderly people represent 25 % of the entire Nordic adult population. This number will rise to more than 40 % in 2030 and 45 % in 2050. At the same time, between 13 and 21% of the Nordic adult population report that they have some kind of disability. This means there will soon be a dramatic increase of people in need of solutions that can increase their quality of life and help them be able to keep living independently.

The Nordic cities Copenhagen, Oslo and Helsinki increased their social expenditure with 27% from 2007 to 2012, and this is expected to continue increasing in all the five capitals. Together the cities represent a substantial and rapidly growing market, and the idea is that this joint competition can help bring innovation in the health and welfare industry to the next level.

News

Learn more about the Nordic Independent Living Challenge

During January and February, you can get more information about the Nordic Independent Living Challenge by visiting seminars in the five capital cities.

The launch of the Nordic Independent Living Challenge is not far away, and all those interested will now have a chance to get more information.

Each of the five Nordic capitals will hold local information meetings during January and February. We hope that as many as possible will attend the meetings, which will give you more information about the competition scope and process. Some of the events will be standalone events, whereas others will be held in connection with bigger events.

Helsinki is the first to hold an event in relation to the Terveysteknologia & eHealth 2015 fair on 8 January. Thereafter follow events in Stockholm on 21-22 January, Oslo on 29 January and Reykjavik 30 January, before Copenhagen rounds it off with their event on 5 February.

Event dates

Below is a list of the five national information events. Some of the events require registration.

News

The registration for the
Nordic Independent Living Challenge is open

Do you have a solution that can make it possible for elderly and people with disabilities to live independently in their own home – at the same time making the work easier and more efficient for care professionals?

The five Nordic capitals and Nordic Innovation have launched this competition to boost innovation and collaboration in the welfare technology industry, and provide access to a joint Nordic market.

Participants will get help turning their ideas into real products and test them with real users. They will get the possibility to introduce their solution to a growing Nordic market and collaborate with the capital cities – and to meet and network with fellow Nordic colleagues in the field.

The Nordic Independent Living Challenge is open for everyone in the Nordic region – from established welfare solution providers to students and startups. Elderly and disabled people with an innovative spirit are also encouraged to sign up.

The main prize is 1 million NOK. In addition, there is a 200.000 NOK cross-Nordic collaboration award and a 100.000 NOK student award.

The registration is open until 18 March 2015.

News

You can still solve a real challenge!

There has been a great interest in taking part in the Nordic Independent Living Challenge, and to make it easier for all of you still considering joining the competition, or working on an application, we have decided to prolong the deadline to 18 March.

Nordic Innovation and the Nordic capital cities also proudly present the jury of the Nordic Independent Living Challenge – consisting of prominent members from all the Nordic countries with complementary experience and expertise within the theme of the competition. The jury members cover a wide spectrum of knowledge, including technology, business development and user driven innovation. They represent both ministries, municipalities and relevant organizations.

Low threshold for participation

The Nordic Independent Living Challenge is an open idea competition launched by the five Nordic capitals in collaboration with Nordic Innovation. The aim of the competition is to stimulate the development of new solutions that can make it possible for elderly and people with disabilities to live independently in their own home – and at the same time make the everyday life easier and more efficient for care professionals.

The threshold for participation is low: Everyone in the Nordic region with a good idea – from established welfare solution providers and startups to students and end users – can sign up.

From ideas to products

Participants in the Nordic Independent Living Challenge will get help turning their ideas into real products and test them together with real users. They will get the possibility to introduce their solution to a growing Nordic market and collaborate with the capital cities. In addition, they will get to meet and network – or even team up – with fellow Nordic colleagues in the field.

The main prize in the competition is 1 million NOK. In addition, there is a 200.000 NOK cross-Nordic collaboration award and a 100.000 NOK student award.

News

Overwhelming interest in Nordic competition within welfare innovation

415 proposals from across the Nordic region have been submitted to the Nordic Independent Living Challenge – providing innovative solutions to how elderly and disabled people can live independently in their own home.

The proposals come from startups, students, academia and established companies as well as from caretakers and end users. Moreover, they cover widely different thematic areas, such as mobility, social life, exercise, technology and communication.

We were aiming at 150 applications and got almost 3 times as many. It is fantastic to see that the interest in taking part in the competition has been so huge, and we believe that this will boost innovation and collaboration in the Nordic welfare sector, says project leader Mona Truelsen, senior innovation adviser at Nordic Innovation.

A Nordic jury will now go through the proposals and on 10 April it will be announced which 75 solutions are invited to take part in a Nordic Matchmaking Event in Copenhagen 4th and 5th May 2015. Here the innovators will get inspiration and tools to further develop their idea. They will also get the opportunity to interact and team up with other applicants from across the Nordic region. Collaboration on a Nordic level is not a requirement for participation in the competition, but will be rewarded.

After the Nordic Matchmaking Event, participants will be invited to submit a new application. Out of these, up to 25 proposals will be invited to the next stage of the competition – and receive mentoring and support to develop the concepts further, including business plans and preparation for testing on real users. Five finalists will be selected to test their solution in the Nordic capitals and receive financial support of 300.000 NOK to cover expenses. Finally, one Nordic winner will receive the main prize of 1 million NOK. In addition, there will be a 200.000 NOK cross-Nordic collaboration award and a 100.000 NOK student award.

The Nordic capitals, Stockholm, Oslo, Reykjavik, Helsinki and Copenhagen, have launched the Nordic Independent Living Challenge together with Nordic Innovation to stimulate the development of new solutions that can make it possible for elderly and people with disabilities to live independently in their own home. Another aim of the competition is to make the everyday life easier and more efficient for care professionals.

Number of applications per country
  • Sweden: 75
  • Finland: 137
  • Denmark: 75
  • Iceland: 64
  • Norway: 59
  • Other: 5

News

Nordic innovators matchmaking for independent living

130 innovators met to develop their ideas into a winning proposition in the Nordic Independent Living Challenge in Copenhagen 4 and 5 May.

– You need to challenge us in how we give services, because everything can be turned upside down, was Juha Jolkkonen’s clear message on the first day of the Nordic Independent Living Challenge matchmaking event at AFUK in Copenhagen, hosted by Nordic Innovation and the five Nordic capitals.

The competition’s steering group chairperson and division director of the City of Helsinki’s health and social care services opened the matchmaking event in what may be described as not your average conference venue. The 130 competition participants were gathered in a large hall with candle light candelabras, coffee mugs from flea markets and curious installations.

The unorthodox surroundings may have had an influence on the participants, who went into the workshops and matchmaking activities with much enthusiasm and smiles throughout two intense days.

Working together and understanding the user needs

As the name of the event implies, the goal of the day was to match the participants. Since several of them are working on related solutions, while also having different kind of competencies, there could potentially be a lot to gain from working together. By teaming up, the participants could come a step closer to the final competition prize.

Working together, also on a Nordic level, could turn profitable as well.

– The Nordic countries as one home market is an element that I think we should use more when cooperating with businesses and developing ideas, said Mr. Dagur B. Eggertsson, the mayor in the City of Reykjavik.

– We have different strengths in the Nordic countries, and combining that with similar economic and demographical challenges means there is a significant market potential in the Nordic region, said Dennis C. Søndergaard from the Nordic Centre for Welfare and Social Issues.

Through both inspiring keynotes and workshops, they were also given the opportunity to better understand the needs of the end users.

– A big limitation for me is to reach the top of the shelves and cupboards in my home. I have a special chair I can use to reach up, but I am afraid of falling so I don’t use it, said Ruth Forsberg, who was one of the end users who gave the participants valuable expert insights in one of the workshops.

Download event schedule

– A great event

The participants also had the opportunity to match with each other and ask questions to representatives from all the five Nordic capitals. Although the participant groups was a heterogeneous one, including students, startups, health care professionals and established companies, they seemed to enjoy the two days.

– It has been a great event. It is nice to have the city representatives here, and I have had good talks with several of the end users, said Nicolai S. Laugesen who works at large Danish company Falck. Other participants benefitted from being challenged on their own ideas.

– This have been a really amazing experience for us. We’ve met creative and inspiring people and are so motivated to continue our project, said Finnish student Tilda Jyräsalo.

– We’ve also got some really challenging questions that we’ve had to answer. We have learned to see our project from a different angle, added teammate Lotta Köhler.

25 will proceed in the competition

The matchmaking event in Copenhagen was a part of the second stage of the Nordic Independent Living Challenge. The 130 participants were part of 75 teams selected by an independent Nordic jury to further compete for the main prize, after more than 400 ideas had been submitted in the initial stage.

In the beginning of June, the jury will pick 25 of the 75 teams represented at the matchmaking event to progress in the competition.

– I have seen smiling faces and disagreements, and that is always a good thing! We want to wish all of you good luck further in the competition, said Juha Jolkkonen as he rounded up after two intense days of matchmaking in Copenhagen.

Hopefully the participating innovators were inspired by both Jolkkonen’s opening words and the acrobatic dinner entertainment – and turn things upside down.

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In bed with the enemy: Why matchmake with your perceived competitors

Curious about why matchmaking is mandatory in the Nordic Independent Living Challenge? Watch the competition participants explain what they thought about the Nordic matchmaking event 4-5 May in our summary video.

Our competitive spirit usually leaves us inclined to see fellow participants in a competition as competitors. However, they can also be seen as resources, which is the rationale behind having a matchmaking event as a mandatory part of the Nordic Independent Living Challenge. You can read more about the matchmaking event here.

Firstly, great minds think alike. By combining silmilar-themed ideas and solutions, you might end up with an even better solution.

Secondly, strenght lies in differences. By securing competencies you or your team members may lack, you will get a stronger team.

Teaming up also lets the teams benefit from different competencies and strengths within the health and welfare sector in the Nordic countries, which is why we also have a special award for the best cross-Nordic team.

To see what the participants themselves thought of the matchmaking event, watch this summary video:

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These are the 25!

The Nordic jury have now made their verdict – these are the 25 solutions selected to proceed to stage three of the Nordic Independent Living Challenge.

The level of all 71 solutions in contention for the 25 spots in stage three of the Nordic Independent Living Challenge was high and left the Nordic jury with some tough choices to make. However, after an intense jury meeting in Copenhagen, they reached their verdict. We are proud to present the 25 solutions they picked out.

Download a document with short descriptions of the 25 solutions.

These are the 25:

  • Biotherapeutics to accelerate wound healing in patients with diabetes
  • MobiDent – The Mobile Application for Elderly Home Care in the Context of Oral Health Promotion
  • Pilloxa - smart pillbox
  • E21 – Safe and Independent Ageing
  • Navigation of Sound
  • MOTIview
  • Tramprullstolen Idun
  • AssiStep - the walker in the stairs
  • Admone - En applikation for demente på vej ud af døren
  • Aura - modular lighting solution
  • Intelligent Trygghetsalarm med Nato godkjent kommunikasjonsprotokoll og GPS Sporing
  • GazeDriver
  • DAP Design - Clothing Solutions for Differently Abled People
  • Carecode communication platform
  • Multi Puff
  • Thermal Winter Garden for Nordic Environment
  • Wundies trosa för kvinnor med lätt och medelsvår inkontinens
  • Gode Vandvaner – aktiv forebyggelse af dehydrering hos ældre
  • Siren - Sensor Embedded Textiles for the Prevention of Diabetic Foot Ulcers
  • Nyutvecklad duschpall
  • Neighbourhoods Of Care (NOC)
  • Helping Hands
  • Postkasse 2.0
  • Agile Traveler
  • AbleOn ShowerSystem

The jury’s evaluation was based on the criteria found in the Competition Rules.

We want to congratulate those who have proceeded in the competition. We also want to thank everyone who has competed but not made it to the next stage and wish you good luck with your future endeavours.

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The business development begins

It is time to get serious as the 25 teams begins the business development stage with a three-day working session in Oslo.

After being carefully selected by the Nordic jury, the 25 most promising teams left in the Nordic Independent Living Challenge will begin the business development stage. The teams will meet up in Oslo 30 August to 1 September for a three-day working session where they will work closely with experts and mentors to start developing their solutions even further.

During the working session, the teams will need to clarify and plan the next steps in their product and business development, reflect on their respective critical issues, as well as start building a relationship with the cities. The teams will need to prepare a three-minute pitch as a starting point from which to work.

In the business development stage of the Nordic Independent Living, the teams go through exciting work together with experts and mentors to develop their solutions towards the testing stage, which will begin in 2016. It will be exiting to follow the progress of the teams until the final pitching session in Stockholm in December.

These are the 25 teams in the business development stage:

  • Biotherapeutics to accelerate wound healing in patients with diabetes
  • MobiDent – The Mobile Application for Elderly Home Care in the Context of Oral Health Promotion
  • Pilloxa - smart pillbox
  • E21 – Safe and Independent Ageing
  • Navigation of Sound
  • MOTIview
  • Tramprullstolen Idun
  • AssiStep - the walker in the stairs
  • Admone - En applikation for demente på vej ud af døren
  • Aura - modular lighting solution
  • Intelligent Trygghetsalarm med Nato godkjent kommunikasjonsprotokoll og GPS Sporing
  • GazeDriver
  • DAP Design - Clothing Solutions for Differently Abled People
  • Carecode communication platform
  • Multi Puff
  • Thermal Winter Garden for Nordic Environment
  • Wundies trosa för kvinnor med lätt och medelsvår inkontinens
  • Gode Vandvaner – aktiv forebyggelse af dehydrering hos ældre
  • Siren - Sensor Embedded Textiles for the Prevention of Diabetic Foot Ulcers
  • Nyutvecklad duschpall
  • Neighbourhoods Of Care (NOC)
  • Helping Hands
  • Postkasse 2.0
  • Agile Traveler
  • AbleOn ShowerSystem


Download a document with short descriptions of the 25 solutions.

News

One step further towards independent living

The 25 teams in the Nordic Independent Living Challenge made great progress on their solutions in an intense three-day business development workshop in Oslo 30 August to 1 September.

Sunday 30 August lived up to its name, as the last sun of the Oslo summer shone brightly on the 25 teams of the Nordic Independent Living Challenge gathered at Eventhallen in Oslo to kick-start the business development stage of the competition together with a panel of city representatives, experts and mentors.

From the first pitching session Sunday to the final war cry marking the end of the three-day workshop, most of the 25 teams made major leaps in their development plans.

– We spoke with some of the design experts and other participants, and it made us look at our product in a different way, said Ingvild Vik, whose team ended up with brand new design sketch for their MultiPuff solution during the workshop.

Intense days

The first day of the three-day workshop mainly consisted of the 25 teams performing three-minute pitches of their solutions to the cities, experts and mentors who were there to challenge and guide the teams on their projects. The cities also did reverse pitching for the teams to further clarify their needs, before everyone gathered for dinner.

Day two started where day one ended – the sun was shining and the spirit among the participants were high. The teams started with defining and clarifying key issues of their product and business development, before attending specific master classes after lunch. The themes of the master classes were UCD and prototyping, IPR, financing, as well as IoT, robotics and sensors.

After the master classes, the teams had one-on-one meetings with mentors and experts to get even more into specifics of their challenges.

Aim for the big prize

Day three, the teams had to make a more detailed plan on how to go to the next step. After lunch, they presented their plans in mentor groups and got feedback from both the mentors and experts.

– It has been inspiring, and we have learned a lot. We have seen our project from outside our own box, and now have a new focus. We are looking forward to start working tomorrow, said Lotta Williams from the Wundies project as she got on stage during the sum-up.

To truly sum up the intensity of the three days of workshopping, the participants finished off with a loud war cry that filled the hall in Eventhallen.

The teams now need to take their work and feedback with them and continue developing their solution, and as competition project leader Mona Truselsen from Nordic Innovation put it: “Aim for the big prize!”

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Local workshops for the teams

The teams will participate in local workshops during the autumn, as part of the business development stage of the competition.

The 25 teams will initially attend the workshop in their home countries, but they also have the possibility of attending workshops in the other countries as well. Most of the workshops will contain master classes and other exciting tools for developing the teams’ solutions further. Below is an overview over the workshops. Note that they are for the participating teams only and not open to the public.

Reykjavik workshop:
When: 8 October 2015
Where: Reykjavik
Contact person: Þórhildur Egilsdóttir

Helsinki workshop:
When: 21 October 2015, 13.00 – 16.00
Where: Kampin palvelukeskus / Kamppi Service Center. Salomonkatu 21 B, 00100 Helsinki
Contact person: Susanna Kaisla

Copenhagen workshop:
When: 27 October 2015, 11.30 – 16.30
Where: Living Lab Strandvejen, Strandvejen 119, 2900 Hellerup
Contact person: Gunhild Sander Garsdal

Oslo workshop:
When: 30 October 2015, 10.00 – 15.15
Where: Almas Hus, a showroom for welfare technology. Trondheimsveien 235, 0586 OSLO, Building 21A
Contact person: Anne Romsaas

Stockholm workshop:
When: 3 November 2015, 10.00 – 16.30
Where: Rosenlundsgatan 44 (morning) and Stadshuset, Ragnar Östbergs plan 1 (afternoon)
Contact person: Maria Kleine

News

The teams proving themselves at GE’s Health Innovation Village

As part of the Slush 2015 startup conference, the 25 teams got a chance to demo their solutions at GE’s Health Innovation Village in Helsinki.

This year’s Slush conference drew more than 15.000 participants to Helsinki 11 and 12 November. With investors and entrepreneurs crowding the city, it was only natural to bring the 25 teams to the Finnish capital as part of their business development programme.

The main purpose for coming to Slush was attending the GE Healthcare’s Slush Digital Health Demo Event at their Health Innovation Village 11 November. The teams got their own demo desk and the opportunity to interact with other health startups and top international investors.

The event was well visited, and the teams had plenty of opportunity to talk to and connect with both other entrepreneurs and investors.

The next day, the teams were free to explore the Slush conference in Pasila on their own. On the programme were keynotes on the future of health care, as well as a segment on wearable healthcare devises.

Check out some photos from the event:

Nordic Independent Living Challenge: Slush 2015

News

Learn more about the Nordic Independent Living Challenge and the 25 teams

Nordic Innovation and the five Nordic capital cities are proud to present 25 innovative solutions for our common future health and welfare challenges and the innovation tool that brought them forth.

We would like to invite you to join us in Stockholm 15 December 2015 to learn more about how the five Nordic capital municipalities together have worked with the Nordic Independent Living Challenge. This challenge prize competition is inspired by how Nesta and other UK organisations work to mobilise broadly to solve the challenges of today and tomorrow.

In a Nordic context, the Nordic Independent Living Challenge represents a new and needs-driven way for municipalities to work with innovators. You will hear about the five municipalities’ experience so far, as well as international experience with user-centric and needs-driven innovation.

You will also hear the 25 teams that are currently in the competition pitch their exciting solutions for helping elderly and people with disabilities to live more independently in their own home.

See you in Stockholm!

When: 15 December, 13.30 – 18.30 (optional standing buffet from 18.30 – 21.00)
Where: Münchenbryggeriet, Torkel Knutssonsgatan 2, Stockholm (find on map)

Please click here to register before 3 December

The agenda includes international speakers as well as the teams pitching their solutions. Download agenda here (PDF)

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The testing stage is under way

The five finalist teams in the Nordic Independent Living Challenge met in Copenhagen to kick-start the testing stage – and getting valuable feedback in the process.

Since being chosen by the jury to proceed in the Nordic Independent Living Challenge, the five finalist teams have all been busy preparing for the testing stage.

10 February they were again called into action in Copenhagen, where they all met to present their solutions in focus groups with users, municipal staff and city representatives.

Getting valuable feedback

Assistep, AbleOn and Pilloxa started the day at Living Lab Strandvejen, a facility for testing welfare technology. The three teams presented and discussed their solutions with elderly citizens who gave their valuable opinions about what they liked, what could be improved and if it would fit their needs.

Siren and Nifty Neighbour started their day at the co-working space Dare2mansion. The Nifty Neighbour team had focus groups with elderly citizens and city staff, while Siren mostly worked with city staff.

Then everyone met at Dare2mansion for lunch and another round of focus groups with city staff and the teams’ support teams consisting of municipal representatives.

Nordic Independent Living Challenge: Focus groups

Testing in three cities

The focus group event in Copenhagen is the last time all five teams will be gathered together before the final award event in Oslo 9 June.

Before that, all the teams will perform tests in at least three of the capital cities during spring. The goal is for them to improve their solutions as much as possible, before handing in new documentation to the jury 25 May.

We wish all the teams the best of luck with their testing and look forward to monitoring their progress.

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#realchallenge finalists gives advice to Prime Minister

Finalists AbleOn Medical met with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Minister of Finance Siv Jensen to discuss how the government can help entrepreneurs create innovative and sustainable businesses.

AbleOn Medical founders Camilla Strand and Vilde Lepsøy were in the middle of testing the prototype of their innovative shower system with elderly citizens in Oslo as part of the testing stage of the Nordic Independent Living Challenge when Strand’s phone started ringing. As all her attention was focused on the testing, she ignored the call. The phone, however, kept ringing and Strand had no choice but to turn it off.

At the airport, waiting for the flight back to Bergen where the two AbleOn founders are based, Strand turned her phone back on again to find a text message – from the Office of the Norwegian Prime Minister inviting the startup to lunch with the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance.

Support for prototyping

The lunch was held at the Bergen based incubator Nyskapingsparken where AbleOn Medical is located. Prime Minister Solberg and Minister of Finance Jensen wanted to hear the local entrepreneurs’ view on how the Norwegian government could help creating innovative and sustainable businesses.

– It was really nice to contribute. We talked a bit about support programmes and I brought up the lack of support for financing prototypes in an early stage, says Strand.

AbleOn Medical have developed a functional prototype of the shower system, but are struggling with financing a proper prototype. During the lunch meeting, Strand suggested for Solberg and Jensen to not only provide financial support, but also the possibility to make prototypes through maker spaces connected to incubators.

She thinks the two politicians deserve credit for seeking advice directly from the startup scene.

– It think it is great that the politicians goes straight to the source. We have seen changes in the government support programmes in the short time since we started this project in early 2015, and I think the government deserves credit for doing a lot for entrepreneurs, says Strand.

Media attention

The lunch with Prime Minister Solberg and Minister of Finance Jensen is not the first time AbleOn Medical have gotten attention this winter.

In the middle of February, Norwegian state-owned broadcaster NRK followed the entrepreneurs when they tested their functional prototype with elderly citizens in Oslo.

You can read the resulting story here, and listen to the radio news segment here.

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The heroes of health and welfare

The Nordic Independent Living Challenge participants impressed the crowd as they pitched their solutions in Stockholm 15 December.

The Nordic Independent Living Challenge participant teams were noticeably nervous as the crowd started arriving at Münchenbryggeriet in Stockholm. They had already been at work since early morning, setting up demo desk and perfecting the pitches they were soon about to make.

That work paid off. Considering that most of the teams lack experience with pitching, they did a fantastic job and left the crowd of about 70 people from Nordic municipalities, various public and private health and welfare organisations and investors impressed.

– Creating heroes

The event had a mixture of pitching, keynotes and panel debates, and gave the crowd a chance to learn more about the Nordic Independent Living Challenge and how this kind of challenge prize competition can be used as an innovation tool, as well as learning more about the exciting solutions that has come out of it.

From the stage, Nesta’s Tris Dyson claimed that “challenge prizes creates heroes”. Dyson is director of the Centre for challenge prizes at Nesta, a UK innovation charity whose work on similar competitions has served as an inspiration for the Nordic Independent Living Challenge.

Judging by the pitches, the Nordic Independent Living Challenge already has created several heroes.

– Working with these teams makes me warm inside. They truly want to help people, said pitching mentor Dmitri Sarle from the stage, echoing Dyson’s sentiment.

Five selected for the final stage

For the teams, the event served as a great possibility to showcase their solutions, as well as a dress rehearsal for next day. Then they will pitch for the jury, who will pick five teams who will proceed to the final stage of the competition. The five finalists will get an opportunity to test their solution with the five Nordic capital cities.

Based on the pitches the night before, the jury will have their work cut out for them.

Download a document with short descriptions of the 24 teams (PDF).

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Presenting the five finalists

The jury has chosen the five finalists who will compete for one million Norwegian kroner.

A jury of experts have now selected the five teams that will enter the finals of The Nordic Independent Living Challenge. They will compete for one million Norwegian kroner awarded to the best solution aimed at helping elderly and people with disabilities to live independently in their own home.

The five teams are:

Siren Smart Socks (DK)
Temperature sensing socks preventing diabetic foot ulcers.

AssiStep (NO)
Rollator for the stairs

AbleOn ShowerSystem (NO)
The only shower aid that can get you to and from the shower easily

Pilloxa (SE)
Smart pillbox that takes care of remembering your medicine

Nifty Neighbour (Nappi Naapuri) (FI)
Allowing neighbours to care for the elderly and those nearby

The five teams are solving a very real challenge. All the Nordic countries are facing a dramatic increase in people in need of solutions that can help them live independently and increase their quality of life. From 2015 to 2030, the share of elderly people (65+ years of age) will increase from 25 to 40 percent of the entire Nordic adult population.

– This is a crucial topic. The demographic forecasts speak for themselves, and we need to develop new solutions for both the increasing number of citizens in need of help and the municipalities responsible for providing it, says managing director of Nordic Innovation, Carina Christensen.

The challenge is largely the same throughout the Nordic region, which is why the five Nordic capital cities decided on a joint effort with Nordic Innovation. The challenge prize format, which is new on a Nordic level, was chosen to find a large variety of innovative ideas and solutions.

– We have been very impressed with the inspiration, innovation and the quality of the 25 teams that were presented at this stage. We are also happy with the overwhelming enthusiasm illustrated by the more than four hundred project ideas that were initially submitted when the competition was launched. It shows the vast potential for health and welfare innovation in the Nordic countries, says Nordic Innovation’s Mona Truelsen, project manager for the competition.

The winner of the Nordic Independent Living Challenge will be found in June 2016, following an intensive stage where the five remaining solutions will be developed further and tested in close collaboration with the Nordic capitals.

For more information about the five finalists, the Nordic Independent Living Challenge, further resources and contacts, please download the press kit (1 MB).

Nordic Independent Living Challenge: Pitching and info event

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Siren Smart Socks wins entrepreneurship prize

Siren Smart Socks, one of the five finalists in the Nordic Independent Living Challenge, won the entrepreneurship prize at the Danish conference CareWare 2016.

The yearly CareWare entrepreneurship prize (Iværksetterprisen 2016) aims at supporting the development of Danish startups, and goes to a company that is testing a prototype or with a small number of customers.

The five finalists in the Nordic Independent Living Challenge would all fit these criteria, and the only Danish team in the pack, Siren Smart Socks, ended up winning the prize.

One year of mentorship

Siren Smart Socks makes a smart sock with temperature-sensing abilities to prevent foot ulcers for diabetes patients. Founder Ran Ma is currently testing the prototype in several of the five Nordic capital cities as part of the Nordic Independent Living Challenge.

As winner of the CareWare entrepreneurship prize, Siren Smart Socks will receive one year of mentorship and access to the twelve jury members at CareWare, who all have expertice in entrepreneurship, investments, business and product development as well as public procurement.

New opportunities ahead

As one of the finalists in the Nordic Independent Living, Ran Ma and Siren Smart Socks may have more coming for them in the near future. 9 June in Oslo, the winner of the Nordic Independent Living Challenge will be revealed and get a prize of one million Norwegian kroner.

We congratulate Siren Smart Socks with winning the CareWare prize, and look forward to follow their journey ahead.

Read more about Siren Smart Socks and the other 24 semi-finalists in the Nordic Independent Living Challenge (1 MB PDF).

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These are the five finalists

We are proud to present the five finalists of the Nordic Independent Living Challenge who compete for NOK 1 million.

A jury of experts selected the five finalist teams after a pitching competition in December last year. Since then, the five finalists have tested their solutions with users in the capital cities.

9 June in Oslo, the five finalists will compete for NOK 1 million in the final awards ceremony that marks the end of the competition. There will also be a cross-Nordic collaboration award and a student award.

These are the five finalists:

AbleOn ShowerSystem (NO)

AbleOn Shower System facilitates the shower situation so that elderly and others with disabilities can feel safe and have more independence in their everyday lives. AbleOn is an ergonomic, modular system that grows with the user. It adapts easily to the users’ needs, situation and environment to help increase mobility and safety throughout the shower routine. AbleOn follows the user from getting undressed and getting in to the shower, to taking the shower and out again, drying and dressing, thus contributing to increased independence, and dignity.

AbleOn also aims to facilitate for healthcare workers and family, and prevent work related injuries due to heavy lifting and unfortunate working positions. AbleOn can easily be placed and mounted in any home.

Find out more at www.ableon.com.

AssiStep (N0)

The AssiStep is a walker in the stairs, giving people with mobility issues extra support when climbing stairs. The AssiStep is a simple non-invasive product that can keep its users on their feet and climbing their stairs themselves, providing an alternative to stair lifts. With the AssiStep, more elderly can live at home and still get the best daily exercise we get in our own homes – climbing stairs.

The AssiStep consists simply of a conventional handrail with a handle coupled to it that users can slide in front of them to get safety and support while climbing stairs themselves.

Find out more at www.assistep.no.

Nifty Neighbour (Nappi Naapuri) (FI)

Nifty Neighbour is a new map-based social media for neighbourhoods. In Nifty Neighbour, anyone can offer or ask for help, look for friends, make an initiative or just start a discussion. It helps senior citizens to become an active neighbourhood resource, forming an ecosystem of care together with their neighbours and local organisations. The design encourages into trusting, sharing, helping and doing things together.

Find out more at www.nappinaapuri.fi.

Pilloxa (SE)

Pilloxa is a smart pillbox with a connected mobile app making it easier for active elderly to take medication. The box has visual reminders in the form of LEDs but is designed to be camouflaged, not giving an indication that the user relies on medicine.

The app will give reminders when forgetting to take the right dose, keep an updated list of current medications and the possibility to buy more medicine online when needed.

Find out more at www.pilloxa.com.

Siren Smart Socks (DK)

Siren Care provides temperature-sensing socks to prevent diabetic foot ulcers, which is the leading complication that diabetics suffer from. Studies have shown that temperature monitoring decreases the probability of ulceration by up to 72 percent. While there are some temperature tracking technologies on the market, these technologies are unwieldly to use and require a significant investment of time and disrupts regular routine.

Since Siren Smart Socks is just like an everyday item of clothing, they are both familiar to the wearer and can be readily integrated into their daily life.

Find out more at www.siren.care.

In addition to help the five finalists, we have also helped 20 semi-finalists develop their solutions through an extensive business development programme.

You can read more about the semi-finalists solutions in our booklet (1 MB PDF)

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Welcome to the final awards ceremony

We are pleased to invite you to attend the final awards ceremony for the Nordic Independent Living Challenge Innovation competition. The winners will be announced by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon!

When: 9 June, from 13.00 to 16.30 CEST
Where: The Banquet Hall at Oslo City Hall, Rådhusplassen 1, 0037 Oslo (map)

Three prizes will be awarded at the ceremony:

  • The main prize of one million Norwegian kroner
  • A cross-Nordic collaboration prize of 200.000 Norwegian kroner
  • A student prize of 100.000 Norwegian kroner.

Download full programme and invitation

The five Nordic capital cities Copenhagen, Helsinki, Oslo, Reykjavik and Stockholm launched the Nordic Independent Living Challenge innovation competition together with Nordic Innovation in February 2015. The aim is to help elderly and disabled citizens to live more independently in their own homes, increase their quality of life, and create business opportunities for Nordic innovators.

An impressive total of 415 ideas were submitted to the competition, and these have now been whittled down to five finalists competing for the main prize of NOK one million.The awards ceremony is free. We will open for registration, mingling and coffee from 13.00. The doors will close promptly at 14.00, so please be on time.

Space is limited and registration will be on a first come, first served basis, so register today! Please register here before 1 june.

Welcome to Oslo!

13.00 Registration, coffee and mingling. Doors close at 14.00
14.00 Welcome by the Mayor of the City of Oslo, Marianne Borgen
14.10 Presentation of the challenge behind the Nordic Independent Living Challenge
14.15 “Nordic solutions to global challenges” by Dagfinn Høybråten, Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers
14.25 “Why cities need to rethink innovation” by Juha Jolkkonen, Acting Head of Department of Social Services and Health Care, City of Helsinki, and chair of the competition steering group
14.35 Interview: “Challenge prize competitions as an innovation tool”:
- Mona Truelsen, Project Manager for the Nordic Independent Living Challenge
- Tris Dyson, Director of the Centre for Challenge Prizes at Nesta (UK)
14.45 Jury representative Christian Lindholm, CEO and co-founder of Korulab, presents the three prizes and the work of the jury
14.55 14.55 Presentation of the semi-finalists’ and the five finalists’ solutions
15.05 His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon awards the three prizes:
- Main prize of NOK 1 000 000
- Cross-Nordic collaboration prize of NOK 200 000
- Student prize of NOK 100 000
15.40 Thank you and goodbye
15.45 Drinks and mingling

Take part in the workshop too:

You can also join the Nordic Business & Living Lab Alliance workshop 9 June in Oslo from 10.00 to 13.00 to learn more about living labs and Nordic collaboration on developing health and welfare solutions.

There will be time to attend both events. For more information, please visit www.livinglaballiance.org to register separately.

Get in touch

Copenhagen

Casper Waldemar Hald
Consultant, Væksthus Hovedstadsregionen
+45 30 10 80 80
cwh@vhhr.dk

About Nordic Innovation

The Nordic Independent Living Challenge is a cornerstone in the Innovative Nordic Welfare Solutions project, aiming at making the Nordic region world leading within innovative health and welfare solutions with export potential. The project is one of five so-called lighthouse projects in the Nordic Cooperation Programme for Innovation and Business Policy 2014-2017, and is run by Nordic Innovation.

Nordic Innovation is a Nordic institution working to promote cross-border trade and innovation in the Nordic region. Working under the auspices of the Nordic Council of Ministers, Nordic Innovation is a key player in implementing the Nordic Cooperation Programme for Innovation and Business Policy 2014-2017.

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