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Acronym: ICT-AAC 
Name: ICT Competence Network for Innovative Services for Persons with Complex Communication Needs 
Project status: From: 2013-03-30 To: 2015-03-29 (Completed)
Contract number: IPA2007/HR/16IPO/001-040505 
Action line:  
Type (Programme): IPA 
Instrument: Component 3 
Project cost: 767.275,08 EUR
Project funding: 549.752,59 EUR
Project coordinator
Organisation Name: University of Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing  
Organisation adress: Unska 3, 10000 Zagreb  
Organisation country: Croatia 
Contact person name: Vedran Podobnik 
Contact person email: Email 
Croatian partner
Contact person names:  
Contact organisation unit:  
Contact person tel:  
Croatian partner
Organisation name: Fakultet elektrotehnike i računarstva 
Organisation address: Unska 3, 10000 Zagreb  
Contact person name: Vedran Podobnik
Contact person tel:
+385 1 6129 748  Contact person fax: + 385 1 6129 832 
Contact person e-mail:  
Organisation nameCountry
University of Zagreb Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences Croatia 
University of Zagreb Faculty of Graphic Arts  Croatia 
University of Zagreb Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences  Croatia 
Short description of project
The project is aimed at the high value-added sector of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) with the focus on transferring the know-how on development of ICT-based alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) targeted for persons with complex communication needs (CCN) from participating HEIs (i.e., consortium consisting of four constituents of the University of Zagreb: Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Graphic Arts and Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences) to knowledge-based SMEs (social networking software development, human computer interface software and/or hardware development and software distributors). Consequently, identified SMEs will have the knowledge to develop, customize and maintain ICT-based AAC services to be used by caretakers or organizations for inclusion of persons with CCN (i.e., inclusive preschools, primary and secondary educational institutions, social welfare institutions, specialized hospitals, polyclinics and specialized day-care centres). Persons with CCN are individuals who are unable to use speech as their primary method of communication. While reasons for CCN differ widely, such as due to physical and/or intellectual impairment, Down Syndrome, or Autistic Spectrum Disease, AAC methods based on the use of graphic and textual symbols (rather than written words alone) to represent certain objects, actions, or concepts, have been proven as highly beneficial (and in certain cases critical) for improving speech, literacy, learning, employment and quality of life for persons with CCN. In the context of this proposal, ICT-based AAC services refer to services utilizing specific know-how on symbol-based human-to-human and human-to-machine communication in a computer and networking environment. Examples of ICT-based AAC services include means for communication (constructing sentences/phrases, sending e-mails, surfing the Web, participating in social networks), learning and entertainment. The project has the following objectives: i) build technology transfer and commercialization capacities of a consortium consisting of four HEIs of the University of Zagreb; ii) facilitate creation of innovative services for persons with complex communication needs (CCN), based upon transferring consortium’s knowledge on alternative and augmentative communication and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) solutions development to Croatian SMEs; and iii) achieve impact on national economy by creating potential new jobs in SMEs; by improving the social inclusion of persons with CCN; and by improving the efficiency of time and effort spent by caretakers and professionals involved in continuous care of such persons. The project will have the following results: i) establishment of ICT Competence Network involving four HEIs of the University of Zagreb with the know-how and capacity to assist in the design of solutions to improve the communication possibilities of persons with CCN; ii) better services for persons with CCN in Croatia, resulting in their improved social inclusion (e-Inclusion); iii) reduced time and effort of people involved in preparing communication/learning material for people with CCN by estimated 30%; and iv) improved learning and employment potential of persons with CCN.  
Short description of the task performed by Croatian partner
The tasks of the University of Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (FER) are related to techno-economic aspects, prototype software platform design and implementation, as well as development of innovative prototype services based on the platform. Additionally, FER will also be responsible for knowledge diffusion and networking activities.