Performing a musical instrument requires the coordination of repetitive motor patterns under sustained abnormal and non-ergonomic static postures. As a result, it exhibits one of the highest prevalence rates in work-related musculoskeletal disorders. The aim of project TONE is to develop and test with empirical research, an innovative tool that will assist musicians in developing preventive and pain-management strategies against task-specific musculoskeletal pain. This tool will comprise of a virtual mirror biofeedback system that will display musculo-postural parameters on a virtual character simulating in real time the movement of musicians during instrument performance. Corrective feedback will also be displayed in real time when abnormal musculo-postural activities are detected. In addition, a complementary VR game will be designed to be used with the biofeedback system to evaluate whether attentional distraction during instrument playing can be an effective intervention against pain. The effectiveness of the virtual mirror biofeedback tool and the VR game in preventing and/or reducing pain symptoms from abnormal musculo-skeletal activities executed during non-ergonomic postural activities (such as playing a musical instrument), will be assessed in experimental studies with healthy musicians, as well as with musicians suffering from acute or chronic pain. Thus, TONE will contribute new research findings that will help to better understand how pain in work-related musculoskeletal disorders manifests and how it can be treated. As work-related musculoskeletal disorders exert great cost on economy -- equal to 3.3% of EU GDP – it is rather imperative to develop and validate effective non-pharmacological treatment interventions. Project TONE aspires to provide a crucial step to that direction.
Innovation activities targeting the Smart Specialisation Strategy of Cyprus-S3Cy require a solid scientific and research basis. Despite having the highest ratio of tertiary education among adults in Europe and well performing academic institutions research is currently confined in academia. To reverse this detrimental relation between research and innovation, Cyprus is in dire need of a catalyst to help the country RISE out of its RTDI slumber. This proposal seeks the European Commission’s support to establish, for the first time in Cyprus, a Centre of Excellence that fosters world-class research activities and serves as a paradigm for bridging scientific research with innovation. RISE (Research centre on Interactive media, Smart systems and Emerging technologies), seeks to play a key role in the country’s RTDI reform, by bringing together an unparalleled team. The initiative is led by Nicosia Municipality, collaborating with all state universities of Cyprus (UCY, CUT, Open University of Cyprus), and is backed by the expertise and long-term commitment of two world-leading science and innovation institutions (UCL, MPG). With a spacious building already committed by Nicosia Municipality to host RISE at the centre of Nicosia, RISE will kick-start the Municipality’s set out strategy to foster the development of an inclusive innovation and creativity ecosystem at Nicosia’s Quarter of Creative Industries (QCI). QCI will host infrastructures and entrepreneurship initiatives in close spatial proximity to each other, within the historic city centre, helping focus and integrate existing fragmented activities creating a cluster of research and innovation. RISE will spearhead acting as a catalyst. RISE has already secured 35.5m in financial commitments in addition to the TEAMING grant and support from many sources for its first seven years of operation. RISE is geared to succeed in establishing itself as a regional centre of excellence, advancing RTDI performance to attain a competitive position in the global value chain.
In line with WIDESPREAD-2014-1 TEAMING, this proposal puts forward the vision for establishing a “Research centre on Interactive media, Smart systems and Emerging technologies” (RISE). RISE aims to become a Centre of Excellence and a hub across the three continents bordering Cyprus, facilitating thus the local scientific, technological, and economic growth of the region. The proposal identifies the potential of Interactive Media to bring together several scientific areas, yielding applications in the priority areas of the Smart Specialisation Strategy of Cyprus. Therefore, research in RISE integrates the Visual Sciences, Human Factors and Design, and Communications and Artificial Intelligence, in a tight synergy that provides a unique interdisciplinary research perspective that emphasizes an “Inspired by Humans, Designed for Humans” philosophy. To support the implementation of the research and innovation agenda of RISE, the proposal puts forward the a consortium coordinated by the Nicosia Municipality, the largest regional authority of Cyprus with extensive experience in managing large projects and commitment in establishing and supporting an innovation ecosystem in Nicosia, along with all three public universities of Cyprus. The four local partners will contribute their research, infrastructure, and financial potential for the establishment of RISE and with guidance by two Experienced Partners (MPI and UCL) with unequivocal scientific excellence and demonstrated success in running Centres of Excellence, aim to establish a sustainable Centre of Excellence in Cyprus. With the long-term sustainable growth of RISE in mind, the proposal designates an administrative structure for the Centre to facilitate its interdisciplinary view of research, its outreach perspective towards human users and businesses, and its multi-institutional composition.
The European EdTech sector is playing an increasingly important role in driving forward digital transformation in Europe covering all education, training sectors. According to estimates, the sector saw a 15% increase on investments in 2021 and global investments are expected to reach over $87 billion in the upcoming decade. Notwithstanding, the sector is heavily fragmented across the European Union with many small players and few companies playing a global role. The European XR industry has evolved and maintained a leading role globally in software and content production. The use of XR can expand the range of activities through which students can gain hands-on experience, enabling them to go beyond abstract knowledge and supporting skills-based teaching and learning. Currently, developing XR applications for education require specialised knowledge and strong XR development skills. The process takes a lot of effort, time, and money. XR4ED concept is to: a) bring together EdTech and XR community and resources, overcoming fragmentation issues and encouraging the acceleration of innovation for personalised, innovative, efficient, and inclusive learning using XR; b) build a one-stop-shop and open marketplace for XR applications for learning, training and education that will act as a European reference platform on learning and teaching with XR. XR4ED will focus on the following sectors which must be further developed to make Europe a leader in cutting-edge technologies for education: • Boost the deployment of innovative XR applications for learning, training, and education. • Enable digital start-ups, SMEs, and industry active in the EdTech sector to further advance early prototypes, of digital learning solutions/apps using XR to a market-ready product. • Provide a single point of access to XR content, tools and solutions based on open standards. • Provide links to existing relevant initiatives and projects, including existing platforms, catalogues, or repositories.
ReInHerit aspires to disrupt the current status quo of communication, collaboration and innovation exchange between museums and cultural heritage sites, in a sense that it will connect cultural heritage collections and sites, and present Europe’s tangible and intangible heritage to citizens and tourists in their wider historical and geographical contexts. The ReInHerit project is proposing a very innovative model of sustainable heritage management, through which a dynamic network will be born; this network comprised of cultural heritage professionals, innovation and cultural heritage solution tech experts, researchers, national museums, regional and local museums, and representative managers of Heritage Label sites. ReInHerit is also supported externally, by relevant municipalities, regional and local museums, which will also enhance the communication and cooperation of the cultural heritage sector across the EU and beyond. The ReInHerit proposed model will be based on the development of a digital cultural heritage ecosystem, where all the key stakeholders (museums, heritage sites, policy makers, professionals and communities) will have an open and collaborative space to experiment, share and innovate. This will be achieved through the creation of an innovative Digital Hub. Tools and resources (on training, tourism, conservation, preservation, knowledge creation, content use/reuse, illicit trafficking of goods) necessary for sustainable management will be shared through the digital platform that will host the ecosystem. This ecosystem will also be the experiential open-ended space that will support and generate entrepreneurial initiatives, knowledge produced through co-creation, curation of digital content and visitor experiences. The proposed work plan includes a variety of key activities that will enable the collaboration of museums and cultural heritage sites, real-time.