VCL participates in two new H2020 projects:
PROTEIN: PeRsOnalized nutriTion for hEalthy livINg (2018: H2020 IA)
Proper nutrition is essential for good health, well-being and the prevention, mitigation or treatment of a number of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Food is not only a source of calories, but also a complex mixture of dietary chemicals, some of which are directly related to cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, allergies and some types of cancer. Food, diet and nutritional status, including overweight and obesity, are also associated with elevated blood pressure and blood cholesterol or even resistance to the action of insulin. These conditions are not only risk factors for noncommunicable diseases, but major causes of
illness themselves1. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), non-communicable diseases are responsible for the death of 40 million people each year, equivalent to 70% of all deaths globally (17 million people die from a NCD before the age of 70). Cardiovascular diseases account for most NCD deaths, or 17.7 million people annually, followed by cancers (8.8 million), respiratory diseases (3.9million), and diabetes (1.6 million). These four groups of diseases account for 81% of all NCD deaths
and could be avoided if the major risk factors for NCDs were eliminated2.
Motivated by the aforementioned, the PROTEIN project aims to develop an end-to-end ecosystem that will engage people to a healthy, pleasurable, nutritional and sustainable diet by offering dietary and physical activity programs adapted to their needs and driven by their personal preferences, physical and physiological characteristics as well as their health status. Specifically, the main objective of PROTEIN is to create an ICT-based system for providing personalized nutrition based on the collection and analysis of large volumes of data related to users' dietary behavioural patterns (e.g., food choices, calories,
macronutrients and micronutrients intake etc.), physical activity (motion, exercise etc) and individual parameters (electronic health record, genetic information, blood parameters, gut microbiome analysis, preferences and socio-cultural aspects). PROTEIN proposes a radically novel approach to advice and support consumers in everyday living, while ensuring users’ privacy protection i.e., data will be anonymized and securely stored in the Cloud for processing.
Main goal: PROTEIN's target is to engage people to a healthy, pleasurable, nutritional and sustainable diet through an end-to-end ecosystem that provides nutrition advice and support to users/consumers in their everyday life. The project aims to introduce a novel scientific-based framework for personalized nutrition, which will take advantage of the recent advances in ICT technologies and, especially, in mobile devices, wearable biosensors, big data analysis, artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques, as well as in direct-to-consumer genetic testing, blood and gut microbiome analysis in order to collect
and discover new knowledge related to our dietary behaviours. This completely novel set of data coupled with experts' knowledge, user's profile and choices will be used by an ensemble of AI agents for offering re-adaptable short- and long-term dietary plans and nutrition advices tailored to user's needs and driven by her/his personal preferences, physical activity, physiological and socio-cultural characteristics as well as health status.
NADINE: digital iNtegrAteD system for the socIal support of migraNts and refugEes (2018: H2020 IA)
The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the body specialised in refugees’ protection, defines refugees as persons who flee their countries because of armed conflicts or persecution, seeking to obtain asylum status that will protect them, whereas migrants look for a better life through finding work, and in some cases for education or family reunion. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), over a million persons have arrived in Europe since January 2015 with many of them fleeing conflict zones in Syria and Iraq. Over the past two years, the European Union has received people fleeing conflict zones outside Europe on a scale unprecedented for Europe since World War II. In the multi-faceted challenge of integrating new arrivals, new solutions are needed to cope with the continuous augmenting migration flows.
NADINE project aim is to develop a novel way of integrating migrants and refugees through ICT-enabled solutions that will automatically adapt to the specificities of each person. The consortium agrees that one of the main enablers of migrants’ inclusion, in the host societies, is their ability to work. NADINE project, taking into account this important factor, will create an adaptable platform able to: 1) Provide functionalities for skill assessment (both hard and soft), 2) dynamically create tailored suited training programs to adapt existing skills into host societies needed skills (skills shifting), 3) provide a digital companion that will suggest and assist the end-users through administrative tasks and 4) create a data lake available to public administration bodies for better organization.