The Network for Innovative Care Competence Learning through Labs (NICCoLLa) focuses on profound issues, priorities and challenges in care and wellbeing like demographic ageing and shortages of care workers. Technological solutions are a key answer to meet these challenges. Many applications are available and the market is developing rapidly. Care professionals are needed that can work with and co-create care technologies which deliver effective and user-friendly services. In a future where (care) technology is becoming more important, ’future-proof’ care professionals with transdisciplinary technological competencies are needed.

Aims & objective

To improve the education of (future) professionals, the focus of this project will foremost be on the development of curricular content (competencies, methodology and content) for the education of care and wellbeing professionals (focusing on use and implementation of care technologies) as well as for technology and ICT professionals (focusing on design and development of care technologies). The aim is to increase and amplify the skills needed for the successful implementation of technology and ICT in the care and wellbeing sector. Furthermore, for future purposes of continuous transdisciplinary development and innovation in this area, supported by co-creative learning, a blueprint for the development of a ‘Care Technology Lab’ will be realized.

Methods

Based on a quadruple helix approach and by involving relevant external stakeholders and target groups directly in the project activities, this transnational project will foster transnational, transdisciplinary co-creative learning and development, built around innovative learning methodologies such as hackathons, blended learning, and patient/client journeys. Learning through care technology labs ensures sustainable development of competencies and updated curricular content. Connecting with existing labs will foster joint development of transnational and transdisciplinary projects. A framework, guidelines and specific courses for the education of care and wellbeing students and professionals on the topic of technology implementation, and for the education of technology students will be made
widely available and easily accessible.

Project activities

An iterative series of project activities will support NICCoLLa in realizing the intellectual outputs. Through transnational project meetings, activities will be developed, organized, monitored, and evaluated. A Kick off conference is organized for two-way knowledge sharing with the main target groups and stakeholders. A cycle of 2 intensive study programmes (ISPs) will test and contribute to further improvement of the intellectual outputs. The ISPs will address the disciplinary language gap and discourse, fuelling students to develop innovative thinking, explore technologies, understand needs and challenges, and legal and ethical aspects. Care professionals, representatives from local organizations and clients/patients will be involved to achieve insights in daily experiences and needs from the perspective of relevant stakeholders and target groups. In a final symposium, the results of the activities will be shared, and the next steps will be presented. Discussion panels on regional and national healthcare/wellbeing eco-systems will be organized to discuss technological solutions for the care and wellbeing sector.

Participants in project activities

72 students, 8 teachers and researchers from different disciplines, and 8 care professionals will participate in the project. Target groups (i.e. clients, patient; 8 in total) and associated partners (e.g. service/technology providers, 8 in total) will participate in the project activities to enhance the students’ learning experience.

Results & impact

Students, professionals and clients/patients throughout Europe can profit from the expertise and vision of designing and developing innovations for the care and wellbeing sector. Innovative courses and trainings for students and professionals, including didactical/pedagogical models and guidelines
will be developed on how to use and implement care technologies. Furthermore, continuous sharing of experience and knowledge will be fuelled through initiating the development of a standard for care
technology labs fostering transnational and transdisciplinary projects. The business/industry will add value to these labs with workshops, transdisciplinary research projects and internships placements. The project aims at having a long term impact on educating ‘future-proof’ technology/ICT, healthcare and wellbeing students and professionals through co-creative transdisciplinary collaboration. NICCoLLa will thus contribute to generating future proof professionals which will be able to deal with the current challenges of our care and wellbeing systems which in turn benefits clients/patients across Europe.