Partners

Citizen Centre for Children and Adolescents, Denmark

City of Gothenburg, Sweden

City of Malmö, Sweden

No Isolation, Norway

Oslo Metropolitan University – Welfare Access Through Technology (WATT), Norway

The University Hospital of Copenhagen (Rigshospitalet)

The Danish Technological Institute, Denmark

Citizen Centre for Children and Adolescents, Denmark

Borgercenter Børn og Unge (BBU) is part of the Social Services in the municipality of Copenhagen. BBU is responsible for services targeting children under the age of eighteen with social or mental health problems as well as youths from the age of 18-22 years in the need of extra help with managing adult life.
BBU supports children, youths and their families in managing their lives when facing the challenges of being socially exposed and/or dealing with mental health problems. One of BBU’s main focus areas is to help secure schooling and education for all children and youths. BBU is a large organization with more than 50 specialized institutions and counseling services. 

BBU has been looking into the use of telepresence technology the last couple of years to support efforts to keep children and youths in school during periods of instability due to challenges caused by social vulnerability and/or mental health problems.
As a partner in this project, BBU will be able to contribute with knowledge and concrete experiences and results of testing telepresence robots with children, youths and relevant professionals. 

Line Rosenørn Engel, is the welfare technology coordinator in BBU and Telepresence project manager. Line has been working as a welfare technology coordinator for 4 years and has in-depth knowledge about working with children and youths with social or mental health problems by using technology as a common third. As project manager Line is responsible for testing and implementing telepresence technologies as part of BBU efforts to help keep children and youth in school during periods of instability. Line works closely with school administrators, teachers, social services and the families/children involved to ensure the best possible process.

City of Gothenburg, Sweden

The city of Gothenburg has 146 compulsory schools (ages 6-16) with almost 60000 pupils and over 8000 staff. Schools are organized in four geographical districts. There is also a central administration which has several different departments and units. The Department of Digitalization and Innovation (DoI) is one of these. 

DoI works to support and develop digital skills for pupils, teachers and school leaders. DoI also initiates innovation processes and it works to create the right conditions regarding infrastructure and the implementation of digital tools and resources within teaching with the goal of strengthening learning. One service that DoI offers is a robot for support. At present there are 32 robots which schools can apply for. The target group for the robots are children with problematic school attendance and children with serious illnesses.

Dominic Summerton is the project manager of the service; Robots as a support for pupils. Dominic’s background is as a certified teacher (PGCE) in English and history and he also holds a BA Hons in European studies and European history with Swedish and TEFL. Dominic has worked as a teacher in Sweden for over twenty years and during this time he has written several exercise books for the English subject. He went on to study both ICT and special needs and for the past five years has worked with children with special needs and ICT management. He is currently a development manager working with different projects and services within the central administration for compulsory schools in Gothenburg. 

City of Malmö, Sweden

Grundskoleförvaltningens Digitaliseringsenhet in the city of Malmö is working with all compulsory schools in the city. There are 77 schools with a total of 33,000 students and 4,600 employees. Digitaliseringsenheten has approximately 30 employees with pedagogical and technical expertise. The unit is working on developing ICT as a tool for higher goal fulfillment and increasing inclusion for Malmö’s school students, increasing equality and sustainability to develop the students’ digital skills. The ICT-unit ́s work is adapted to Malmö’s population, where 44% of the population comes from one of the 174 countries represented in the city and therefore the unit supports school with a various range of tools to meet the needs of all the students. The ICT-staff has experience working in various European projects such as Comenius, Nordplus, Erasmus+ and eTwinning. 

Grundskoleförvaltningens IT-enhet works to facilitate and support the use of ICT in Malmö’s schools to develop the digital competence, infrastructure and implementation of teaching with digital tools to strengthen learning. During the past few years, Grundskoleförvaltningens IT-enhet has also purchased robots of various kinds to be able to lend them to the schools. In this way, Grundskoleförvaltningens IT-enhet wants to support the schools and be an aid in building a platform to collate pedagogical planning and work material on how the teachers use the robots to work with logical, critical and analytical thinking but also with problem solving, creativity and innovation. During 2020 the need for using tools for distant learning increased in the schools of Malmö. This is just begun to develop and there is a need for developing methods and teachers competence in this area.

Ms Annie Bergh is working as an ICT advisor at Grundskoleförvaltningens Digitaliseringsenhet (Unit of Digitalisation), city of Malmö. Ms Bergh has a very long experience of working with international projects in education. She is currently involved in many different international networks such as OECD, FIRST LEGO League, Nordic CRAFT, eTwinning and Erasmus+ projects but she is also involved in several school development projects in Malmö to enhance learning through digitalization.

Ms Martina Soomro is working as an ICT advisor at Grundskoleförvaltningens Digitaliseringsenhet (Unit of Digitalisation) city of Malmö. Martina has a very long experience of working with digitalisation in schools, she is currently involved in several school development projects in Malmö to enhance learning through digitalisation. She supports schools in their digital work in both the classroom but also on a policy level.

Mr Staffan Hessel is working as senior official of international projects at Grundskoleförvaltningens Digitaliseringsenhet (Unit of Digitalisation) Malmö stad. Mr Hessel has long experience of working in different programs and projects within the European school programs (Comenius, Erasmus, and Sokrates)

No Isolation, Norway

No Isolation is a Norwegian startup, founded in October 2015. Our mission is to reduce involuntary loneliness and social isolation by developing communication tools that help those affected. Our first solution is AV1. AV1 is a telepresence robot that acts as the child’s eyes, ears and voice in the classroom. Our second solution is KOMP, a one-button-screen that allows tech-averse seniors to enjoy messages, photos and video-calls from their loved ones. No Isolation is a technology company that focuses on the end user; new solutions and features are always tested with actual users. 

The company has two offices, in Oslo and London, and an international team of 28 employees. No Isolation has both private and public partners, amongst them The Norwegian Cancer Society, Vodafone and Oslo Metropolitan University. 

No Isolation has developed AV1, which today is being used across 13 countries by 1,400 children. No Isolation has highly relevant knowledge for this project; we regularly meet users of AV1 (schools, municipalities, children and parents) and hear about their experiences. We built the AV1-technology and can share information about how it works, what its possibilities and limitations are, and will use this project as a basis for the further development of the robot. 

Through our work to put social isolation on the agenda we have gained relevant knowledge of how and why children are marginalized or are pushed out of their education, and how social isolation affects their mental and physical health. Furthermore, we have a broad network of various stakeholders (businesses, municipalities, schools, private customers, external researchers) to draw on to ensure a successful realization of this project.

Anna Karlsson is Relations Manager for the Swedish market but has also worked towards the Norwegian and Danish market. Anna is regularly in contact with municipalities and schools and has highly relevant knowledge of what information is often lacking when trying to get a successful interplay of telepresence, learning and social cohesion for children in marginalized situations. 

Jennie Westlund is Relations Manager for the Swedish market. Jennie is regularly in contact with municipalities and schools and has highly relevant knowledge of what information could be lacking when trying to get a successful interplay of telepresence, learning and social cohesion for children in marginalized situations.

Simon Oliver Ommundsen is Chief Product Officer and is responsible for R&D in No Isolation. Simon manages the team of developers building new features and services for AV1 and is responsible for making a coherent and enjoyable user and customer experience.

Oslo Metropolitan University – Welfare Access Through Technology (WATT), Norway

This research group is a forum where researchers, users, and producers of technology together will develop knowledge on welfare technology targeted to socially isolated members of society. 

The group’s thematic interests cover the intersection of technology and society, particularly in the pressing areas of education, elder care and needs, and integration of immigrants and refugees.
Our main focus is on people who, for various reasons, are socially isolated, including children and adults with long-term illness or disabilities, the elderly, immigrants, and refugees. Today’s tech revolution offers new opportunities for inclusion of these groups, but we know little about the longer-term and unintended consequences they entail. 

Further development of high-quality, useful tech products and digital services requires interdisciplinary cooperation between users, researchers, and tech producers. In order to study the tech revolution’s effects over time, different theoretical perspectives and a broad spectrum of methods are required. WATT aims to create just such an interdisciplinary forum for cooperation. 

Marit Haldar is a professor of sociology. Important themes in her research are childhood, elderly, gender and family. Social inequality, social isolation and telepresence. Vulnerable subjects in the welfare state and health care system. Her overall studies of norms and cultural perceptions of the “ordinary” and “normal” versus the “different” or “deviant” have contributed to
the research and understandings of what creates social inequality. Haldar has developed new methodology which is acclaimed in international methodology literature (see Silverman, D. 2011, “Interpreting qualitative data”, 4th ed. London: Sage). 

Haldar is head of the interdisciplinary research group Welfare Access Through Technology (WATT), she is the president of Norwegian Sociological Association, and a member of the Interdisciplinary Center for Kindergarten Research (REACH). 

Lars E. F. Johannessen is a postdoc and sociologist with research on professions, culture, interaction and technology. He has done several ethnographic studies of health and social care, including a PhD on the relationship between discretion and standardization in the decision making of healthcare professionals. Johannessen has extensive experience with qualitative methods and analysis, and he is one of the authors behind the book How to use theory: Useful tools in qualitative analysis (Hvordan bruke teori? Nyttige verktøy i kvalitativ analyze). Johannessen is now working on a study of AV1 – a robot for children with long-term illness, which is intended to be the child’s eyes, ears and voice in the classroom while they are unable to physically participate. The project finds inspiration in cultural sociology and science and technology studies, and explores the development, marketing, implementation and effects of the robot.

Rigshospitalet

The University Hospital of Copenhagen (Rigshospitalet) is the largest hospital in Denmark, and well known for its research and patient treatment success. The University Hospital of Copenhagen has also the largest population of children with rare diseases in Denmark.

Bonkolab (RH) is a research lab within the Hospital’s Clinic for Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Rigshospitalet University Hospital of Copenhagen. The research performed in Bonkolab is multidisciplinary and covers cancer diagnostics, treatment and rehabilitation. Currently, Bonkolab has a paid staff of 120. One of Bonkolab’s research sub-groups is “The psycho-social research group” that focuses on children and adolescents with cancer psychological, social and educational challenges. The TEN main applicant is part-time embedded into this Bonkolab sub-group but is also part of the Steering Committee of iCOPE – an EU funded Danish-Swedish research collaboration to promote personalized medicine for children with cancer (“interregional Childhood Oncology Personalized Medicine Exploration”).

Hanne Bækgaard Larsen, Post Doc, founded the psychosocial research group in 2011. Hanne has 26 peer review articles published as well as several book chapters on intervention research and supportive care in children with cancer and their families. Hanne is also an associated professor at the University of Copenhagen, Department of Health Science. 

René Mathiasen, MD. Ph.D. Consultant, Group leader of 5C, Danish Collaborative Comprehensive Childhood CNS tumor Consortium. Has extensive experience in covering up children with brain tumors learning problems both during and after treatment for cancer as well as children with neuropediatric conditions including close collaboration with professionals at all levels. Learning problems that will affect how and if they can go to school using telepresence during their cancer treatment and following rehabilitation. 

Nonni Camilla Steinrud Cand. Comm/ Master of Arts, Ba in Business. Nonni is the TEN Coordinator and responsible for financial management.

Nonni has been involved in children’s learning for the past 20 years, including marginalized children, developing products for children, events and social activities for children. Furthermore creating teaching programs in private and public education environments. Nonni has experience in developing and managing information and dissemination. Nonni has worked on EU -funded projects and manages financial reports since 2017.  

Sofie Skoubo, Cand. Scient. Adm works as a project leader for the “robot project” in the muscular dystrophy foundation. Sofie did her master thesis research on “robot technology for children with muscular dystrophy in the public school” at muscular dystrophy. Sofie works together with Rigshospitalet in a research project on robot technology for learning. 

Mette Weibel is educated as a schoolteacher and has a master in education science. In her current PhD she specializes in schoolchildren with cancer learning and socialization by telepresence robots during treatment. Mette has four supervisors, Hanne Bækgaard Larsen Postdoc, Associate professor Lykke Brogaard Bertel who specializes in telepresence research at Ålborg University, Professor Inger Halström who specializes in E-health at University in Lund, Sweden and Professor Kjeld Schmiegelow who specializes in pediatric cancer research. 

Marta Burek is a MSc student at the Department of Engineering, Health Informatic and Technology at  Syddansk University and student worker at DTI, where she is working with servicing PARO and NAO robots. Marta is working on her master’s degree in coorperation with Mette Weibel. She is part of the two working groups Technology and Information in the TEN Network and will contribute with information about existing and future telepresence technology that could be relevant for the TEN Network. 

The Danish Technological Institute, Denmark

The Danish Technological Institute (DTI) is a self-owned and not-for-profit institution. DTI occupies a crucial position at the point where research, business, and the community converge. Its mission is to promote growth by improving interaction and encourage synergy between these three areas. It has over 1,000 employees, making it one of the world’s most significant private institutes to supply approved technological services such as development, research, consultancy, tests, certification and training for companies and public-sector organizations. 

DTI’s Centre for Robot Technology (DTI-RT) located in Odense with 50 experts, where we aim to be a pioneer in DK and abroad for application-orientated robot technology and knowledge transfer between research and business community. Our continued focus is on creating positive impact for end-users of robotic technologies and being first mover on developing and deploying new breakthrough solution. Our focus is thus on innovation to create innovative robot solutions for the markets of tomorrow. DTI-RT specializes in all aspects of robot technology. DTI-RT can contribute with insight in present and future solutions.

Steen Harder Ulrichsen is Master of History and Nordic Languages from University of Southern Denmark from 1987. Since 1987 he has primarily worked within the fields of education and making network and relations. He has especially worked within these topic:

  • Networks – the establishment and operation of major managerial networks.   
  • Development and project management – national and international assignments     
  • Project Evaluation – assessment, case planning and dissemination   

For the last 11  years he has been employed at DTI, center for robot technology, and has also been working with implementing technologies to the Danish education- and healthcare sector.


Birgitte Østergård Sørensen, Master of Arts, is business manager in relation to healthcare robotics at Danish Technological Institute. For the last 20 years she has worked with strategy, management, and innovation in the field of combining deep knowledge of human behavior and needs with technological possibilities. Among these several years in the area of educational technology. She has a strong connection to the Danish and European healthcare sector and participates in relevant networks in this sector, e.g. CareNet and DIH-HERO, where DTI is a partner.

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