Living Lab for technology that assists the elderly starts in Graz

As a cooperation project between the Geriatric Health Centers (GGZ), Styria GmbH (HTS) and other partners, a center for assistive technologies for the elderly was recently opened in Esther House at Bethlehemgasse 6 in Graz. A Living Lab specializing in Elderly Care and Social Innovation has also emerged as part of this center.
Ing. Andreas Frankl, B.Sc., Managing Director of Opus Novo GmbH
Ing. Andreas Frankl, B.Sc., Managing Director of Opus Novo GmbH

"Our intention was to offer innovative companies a practice-oriented environment to test new ideas together with the target group in the (further) development phase," explains project manager Michael Pichler from Styria GmbH. “And I am very happy that with Opus Novo now an HTS member company is getting started with the first project.”

It is of particular importance for the start-up company Opus Novo GmbH to get to know and understand the needs of its target group(s) better. The focus here is on future technological concepts, including on the subject of fall prevention.

In cooperation with the ESTHER LAB and the Albert Schweitzer Institute for Geriatrics and Gerontology a research-based idea study is now being carried out on these issues. Particularly important here is the joint development with the primary target groups - the caring relatives and the people in need of care in the home setting.

The official starting signal for the joint project will be given on October 1, 2022. The aim is to jointly develop derivations for future products and business models on the basis of the researched study results and to promote the increase in competence within the Opus Novo team.

The project is supported by the innovation check of the Austrian Research Promotion Agency mbH.

“For us as a company, the Living Lab represents an extremely innovative opportunity to actively include the experiences of affected groups of people in the process of our future product developments. In this way we can promote the sustainable development of our product and business models,” says Ing. Andreas Frankl, B.Sc., Managing Director of Opus Novo GmbH.

"Our motivation behind the work in the ESTHER Lab is that we want to create products and services together with the developers that are useful in everyday care and nursing. However, in order to integrate seniors and their care networks well into research and innovation work, empathy and understanding of their living environments are necessary," adds Kerstin Löffler, contact person at GGZ for the ESTHER LAB.