The overall objective of the MATUROLIFE project put creative and artistic design at the heart of innovation journey, and using it to produce three Assistive Technology prototypes that will make urban living for older adults easier, more independent, fashionable and comfortable.
Urban areas are seeing an increasing population of older people and existing approaches to care for them are becoming unsustainable creating a European wide societal challenge. Assistive technology can provide them with security that will enable them to live independently e.g. wearing alarms and tracking devices around the arm or neck to alert carers to falls or their location if they wander. However such technology is often unsightly and stigmatises the user resulting in high abandonment rates. The MATUROLIFE project will integrate creative artists and fashion designers into the research team to facilitate design-driven innovation. The project will build on existing technological advances in materials which have produced a highly innovative selective metallisation process that utilises nanotechnology, electrochemistry and materials science to encapsulate fibres in textiles with metal and thereby provide conductivity and electronic connectivity. In this way, better integration of electronics and sensors into fabrics and textiles will be possible. This will give the fashion designers and artists the tools to produce AT for older people that is not only functional but is more desirable and appealing as well as being lighter and more comfortable. Building on exiting best practice the consortium will include societal stakeholder groups representing end users (i.e. older people) who will be heavily involved in the design process as well as giving feedback and direction on the development of AT prototypes contributing significantly to end-user acceptance. The prototypes will demonstrate proof of concept and the industrial scalability of the selective metallisation process will be validated. Thus, the project will end at TRL7. The Assistive Technology produced as a result of the project will benefit all the SMEs in the consortium but particularly those in the creative sector who expect to see sustainable growth and an increase in jobs as a direct result of the project.