GRAZ – Every year in November the Styrian capital Graz becomes a melting pot of Europe’s young and creative entrepreneurs. From November 18-21 the EYA Festival 2015 presented digital solutions, with a special focus on improving healthcare. The winning project from Spain facilitates learning for autistic children using apps and e-books; other projects deal with big data and heart diagnostics, & a robotic exoskeleton supports impaired people.
The Festival Jury consisting of 16 international experts choose the European Youth Award Overall Winner 2015 on the basis of the 13 winner’s presentations. The key aspects of this year’s projects were Internet of Things, Big Data and Cyber Physical Installations.
The Overall Winner. For autistic children the main way of learning is visually – the winning project takes this into account and offers new learning possibilities for autistic children with e-books and interactive apps.
The touching background story. Miriam Reyes is 19 years old and lives in a small town south of Sevilla. As her niece turned 3 years old, the young girl was diagnosed with autism. Miriam didn’t want her niece to be left behind while other children were learning happily. She collaborated with her friend Carla Monguió, 29, who is an outstanding painter and artist. Together they produced “Aprendices Visuales – Visual learning for children with autism” to help the 200.000 children with autism in Spain, like Miriam’s niece.
The jury decision
“The EYA Jury set a clear statement with ‘Aprendices Visuales’. A NGO can produce great apps and e-books very professionally and with low cost. This project is outstanding regarding its social impact, the passion of the team and its high scalability, because it can help all children to learn happy”, summarizes Peter A. Bruck, initiator and mastermind behind the “European Youth Award.”
13 start-up projects from all over Europe, from Ukraine to Great Britain, from Sweden to Italy, were invited to the EYA Winners Festival in Graz. Each project stands out due to high social engagement and technical excellence. Besides “Aprendices Visuales” there were many other outstanding projects like the big data project for heart diagnostics “Complex Disease Detector” from Sweden and the project “Exempt from Theory,” produced by young entrepreneurs from Poland.
Further projects that were introduced are the robotized exoskeleton “UMRE,” which helps impaired people to move normally, and “CityTree,” a multifunctional display made out of trees that is used for adver-tising in cities while at the same time reducing air pollution.
Austria was represented with a social media platform that connects younger and older students to help each other with studying called “talentify.me” and an augmented reality game called “Origin” which was produced by students of the FH Salzburg.
How “Internet of Things” can improve society
The EYA Festival 2015 took place under the theme “Internet of Things – Improving Society”.
Numerous successful entrepreneurs and business leaders like Nigel Hickson, vice president at ICANN Europe, or Manar Alhashash, e-content entrepreneur from Kuwait, shared their success stories with the young creative minds.
Cristina Birsan, campaign coordinator of the UNV International Volunteer Day, summarizes the special “EYA-spirit“: “Normally you go to an event, take the –for you – best out of it and leave, but not with EYA events: you gain so much personally and professionally that you can’t wait to return!”
Find a full list of the winning projects and more information on eu-youthaward.org.
Save the date for next year’s festival in your calendar – EYA Festival 2016, November 23-26.
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