On Wednesday, April 29, 2020, Dr. George Giannakopoulos, Co-Founder and CEO of SciFY participated in the first meeting of the "DIGITAL SME Focus Group on AI".

DIGITAL SME Focus Group on AI is an initiative of the European Commission (AI Watch) and the European DIGITAL SME Alliance where they have set up an experts team which consisting of almost 40 Artificial Intelligence experts representing companies from all over Europe.

From Greece, SciFY and our own George Giannakopoulos were also selected to contribute to this focus group. Specifically, the goals of the focus group are: 

  • Monitoring the development, adoption and impact of AI by companies
  • Provide immediate feedback on their policies and regulatory needs

A series of regular meetings are planned over a period of 3 to 5 years, where the focus group will gain a better understanding of how small and medium-sized businesses adopt and use AI. The team will examine how the introduction of tools and processes related to AI changes the international business environment. In addition, it will examine the social and economic implications of these changes (eg on skills, recruitment and relationships between employers and employees).

The European Commission's Joint Research Center (JRC), which coordinates AI Watch, aims to work with the focus group to understand the adoption, use and impact of Artificial Intelligence and related technologies robotics, automation, mechanical learning, etc.). At the same time, the team will formally discuss more current issues. For example "how AI can help the fight against COVID-19". The European DIGITAL SME Alliance will work with Artificial Intelligence experts to develop position and policy documents for AI from a business perspective.

What an incredible joy! We are kicking off the EU project "SHAPES"! Will you ask us “what is this you guys?"

Hmmm… How can we describe in a few words a huge European 21 million euros project, in which 36 partners from 14 countries will work for 4 years to make it a reality? What has united us all (universities, companies, research centers, NGOs) under this umbrella?

 

Imagine a world where the elderly are not "parked" in a nursing home, they are not "burdens" in the health system, they are not treated by experts who see their problem individually, but…

  • they are active members of the community: they engage in community activities (active ageing)

  • their community provides as much care as possible in their home, not in the hospital

  • healthcare professionals focus on the patient (integrated care), instead of everyone acting independently

  • technology (Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Mental Exercises, Robotic Systems ...) is specifically designed for them, their caregivers and healthcare professionals.

  • the elderly can to focus on what they can achieve with technology, instead of worrying about how it works

  • healthcare professionals and caregivers have at their disposal publicly available tools that they can use

  • all information, tools, and a support ecosystem are available online

Well, we want to make this world a reality. And with this work we begin the first big step.

How large is the target group? If we only talk about the elderly, numbers show that in 2017, almost one-fifth (19%) of the EU population was +65 years old. And that by 2060 there will be 151 million.

But we see it differently: They are not numbers; they are our grandparents, our parents, it will soon be us.

Let’s do this!

 

The joy and emotion are incredible!
How can you share the joy of a global award?
The Games for the Blind that we have created have been awarded by the Zero Project as one of the best practices in the world for innovation, impact and contribution to disability support!
Vassilis Giannakopoulos went to the United Nations building in Vienna, where he received the award in a room full of hundreds of assistive technologies experts from around the world!

Watch the video here.

But we didn't just stay there.

Vassilis presented Games For the Blind in an experiential workshop on inclusive education, and shared the experience in a special session, where he presented how Games for the Blind are evolving to meet needs in other areas, namely for older people and for people with dementia.
Special reference was made to how they will be used in the huge European SHAPES project to support smart and healthy ageing, in which SciFY participates.

Since a number of years, organisations active in vocational education and training (VET) throughout Europe try to become more inclusive, as to implement high quality education for all citizens. Recently, digitalisation gained relevance on their agenda as well, as it is considered the cornerstone of the digital transformation of EU business and society with the promise of an enormous growth potential for Europe. However, the digital transformation of VET proved itself to be far more complex than just to procure and use pieces of information and communication technology (ICT). Due to this complexity, VET organisations find themselves in the dilemma to either split their resources or drop one of their ambitious goals. The ERASMUS+ project EICON found a third option, discarding this “either-or” restriction, and identified synergies between inclusion and digitalisation in VET. First results to be used by VET organisations are now available. 

The project participants are convinced that there is no 'one best way' for any organisation / institution active in VET to increase its inclusive capacity with strategic use of ICT. Rather, each one needs to find its own solution that then fits perfectly to its respective situation and requirements. Therefore, the results of the EICON project aim to guide organisations / institutions through a thorough review process of its current set-up. This will be done by asking a series of questions, each single one directing the view to an essential area. These collections of questions constitute thematic checklists. Two checklists, one with a focus on “Pedagogy and Teaching / Learning Approaches” and a second with focus on “Technologies and Infrastructure”, have now been published by the project partners, further checklists (that all together will establish a toolbox) will follow during 2020. 

Each single checklist is a tool to be used internally by a group of VET stakeholders (e.g. teaching professionals, learners, management, representatives of the professions and subjects taught or of the labour market, administrative staff etc.). It is recommended that the checklist questions are discussed internally with those stakeholders, and then own conclusions based on the discussion results are drawn. By no means all checklist items need to be answered positively. However, if none of them is met, i.e. a certain ICT / digital media / digitalisation strategy does not address any of the checklist items, then it probably won't impact positively on the respective checklist topic. 

To view and download the most recent EICON checklists, please visit www.eicon-project.eu 

About the Project 

EICON’s main objective is to support organisations / institutions providing Vocational Education and Training (VET) to become more inclusive. In particular, the aim is to put the organisations as a whole in the focus, and not just education and training practice. Managers of these organisations / institutions are particularly in need for guidance on how to further develop their organisations, as they often have to work towards multiple aims simultaneously, i.e. inclusion usually is one among other aims. For different organisational areas the project elaborates, if and how information and communication technology (ICT) can be used as a lever / amplifier to increase the overall organisation’s inclusiveness. EICON is the acronym for ‘Enhancing inclusion capacity of educational organisations / institutions providing VET with information and communication technologies (ICT)’. The project runs from 1 November 2018 until 31 October 2020. 

The Partners 

Six partners from Germany, Portugal, Greece, Sweden and Finland have joined forces to elaborate practice-oriented recommendations. Partners come from organisations that provide VET (Ammattiopisto Live (FI) and Cooperativa para a Educação e Reabilitação de Cidadãos Inadaptados de Cascais – CERCICA (PT)), that support organisations / institutions that provide VET (Specialpedagogiska skolmyndigheten – SPSM (SE) and the National Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs (EL)), that provide technology for VET organisations and individuals (EPISTIMI GIA SENA ASTIKI MI KERDOSKOPIKI ETAIRIA (EL)) and that support organisations in complex change processes (Institut für Technologie und Arbeit – ITA (DE); project coordinator). Further information can be found online: www.eicon-project.eu 

EICON is a Strategic Partnership in Vocational Education and Training, co-funded by the ERASMUS+ Program of the European Union under grant no 2018-1-DE02-KA202-005110. The European Commission support does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

 

#SciFY is on the top 5% of the NGOs in Greece in terms of:
- Transparency
- Organization and
- Effectiveness
According to Thallis II Evaluation that held by University of the Peloponnese and HIGGS.
https://www.greekngosnavigator.org/epistimi-gia-sena-scify

Employment, Investments and Entrepreneurship in the European Union

SciFY participated in the conference: "Employment - Investing & Entrepreneurship in the EU" which took place on Tuesday 29/01 and where Vassilis Giannakopoulos spoke about the activities and the projects we are developing in SciFY such as ENSOED project in order to strengthen Youth Entrepreneurship, while sharing our experience:

  • Entrepreneurship is a skill that can be developed
  • The skills to be developed are nicely documented in EntreComp
  • What are the common mistakes we see in young entrepreneurs?
  • Take advantage of high technology and research results
  • Co-create
  • Constantly improving your skills and also your organization's skills
  • Focus on people

Click  here for our presentation and  here for the outcomes of the Conference (in Greek). 

The challenge: People with disabilities continue to be disproportionately excluded from the labour market Europe-wide.
Vocational education and training (VET) plays a crucial role, as it acts as the joint between school education and the working world.

The Solution: How information and communication technologies (ICT) can be helpful in making VET more inclusive and therefore in better preparing learners for the labour market is the content of our new ERASMUS+ project EICON. We just met experts from all around Europe to exchange good practice and to develop effective solutions.

Other similar meetings are scheduled in the coming months that will focus on specific topics and discuss how ICT can be supportive to raise an organisation’s inclusive capacity. This first meeting dealt with the pedagogy in VET organisations and with different teaching and learning approaches. Participants from six organisations from Finland, Sweden, Portugal, Greece and Germany exchanged effective practice and discussed first recommendations for teachers and managers of VET organisations.

 

Results and Impact: Draft results will soon be shared publicly so that educators around Europe can add their experiences and successful examples. Through this consultation process the results will be consolidated and more likely to fit to the different settings of VET organisations across Europe.

What's next: In our second meeting we will focus on technology and infrastructure.

 

Impact Update November 2018

Friday, 30 November 2018

We continue to share our impact with you!

We are surpassed a total of 70,000 Beneficiaries!

Your support is our strength to go on. Let's do even more, together! Support us here

#MakeGoodThingsHappen

Journalists: Guilty or Innocent?

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Guilty or Innocent | Are journalists part of the political story rather than its narrators?
To whom are they accountable?

Free entrance - Registration

On Wednesday, September 19th 2018, 12:00 pmOikomedia and The Caravan's Journal, invite you to Impact Hub Athens (Karaiskaki 28, 10554 Athens) for an event to answer: Are journalists part of the political story rather than its narrators?

The central idea evolves around what we consider "public interest" and with this Mock Trial, show that we promote the idea of a stronger engagement of the media with the public to whom journalists "should" be accountable. In the current political climate, with lots of media distrust in many western democracies, journalists are seen as part of the political story rather than simply its narrators.

Speakers

Serge Schmemann
Member of the editorial board
The New York Times

Raphael Minder
The New York Times correspondent
in Spain and Portugal

Ann-Katrin Müller
Editor of the German magazine
Der Spiegel

Moderators

Elina Makri, journalist and Oikomedia co-founder 
Coen van de Ven, journalist of the The Caravan's Journal

The discussion will be held in English

Free entrance

Registration: 11.30 a.m.
Light lunch will follow the discussion.

Contact: 
Elina Makri, Μ: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Despoina Chalvatzi, Μ: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Follow the event on Facebook herehttp://go.scify.gr/adf2018fb

Impact Update July 2018

Wednesday, 01 August 2018

We continue to share our impact with you!

Only in July were added 4,000+ beneficiaries, surpassing a total of 68,000!

Your support is our strength to go on. Let's do even more, together! Support us here

#MakeGoodThingsHappen

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