How can we make sure that employees in the North of the Netherlands can continue to work longer, more healthily and more productively? This is the key question in the new research project SPRINT@Work, where the University of Groningen and the UMCG work with the business world and other knowledge institutions on continued employability of the ageing working population.
‘Businesses can use the products we develop to measure the endurance of their ageing staff, for example,’ says project leader and professor of Information Management Hans Wortmann. ‘Examples include sensors in work clothing or a computer that measures reaction times. Using this information, the work location can be tailored to a specific employee with the help of variable working hours, tools or adapted furniture.’
Demographic ageing means that the average age of the working population is increasing. This has significant consequences for the labour process. Growing older is linked to physical and mental changes which can influence the performance of tasks. SPRINT@Work develops and tests products designed to measure and react to these changes.
The new research project unites all the knowledge in the North of the Netherlands in the fields of biomedical, health-related and fitness technology, multimedia applications, gaming, sensor technology and monitoring. ‘In SPRINT@Work Knowledge institutions such as the University and the UMCG work together with companies who produce concrete products and solutions’, explains Wortmann. ‘In addition, major employers are also involved in the project, including the NAM, Cofely and the Reym Group, who immediately test the innovative products in practice and where necessary adapt them to their specific circumstances.’
SPRINT@Work will run until September 2017 and has a total budget of over € 4 million in grants from the SNN (Northern Netherlands Assembly), the municipality of Groningen and the provinces of Groningen and Drenthe. The project will support the research of four PhD students in the next few years.
See also: rug.nl/feb/sprintatwork
Contact: Prof. J.C. (Hans) Wortmann, via Irene Ravenhorst, secretariat
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