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The Arab-German Young Academy (AGYA) member Dr Lilia ROMDHANE from the Faculty of Sciences of Bizerte (University of Carthage), Tunisia, in cooperation with AGYA alumnus Dr Tobias REDLICH, from the Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg, Germany in collaboration with Ecole Supérieure Privée d’Ingénierie et de Technologies, (ESPRIT), in Tunisia are pleased to announce the InnovationH competition. This competition is open to help people with mobility issues to have an easier life. Mobility allows people to live at home, travel outside, and navigate their own life without waiting for the help or transportation of other. To be mobile means to be independent. For those with mobility issues (elder persons, disabled patient lacking sufficient strength or muscle control), something as apparently simple as getting in and out of the bath, bed, toilet or car, would require the constant physical assistance of a person (family member, nurse, care provider). This manual lifting act is dangerous for all the people involved, leading to back pain or other injuries for the patient and the care provider. In addition, the privacy of the affected individual is often compromised, leading to embarrassment and discomfort for the person in need of care. Mobility hoists or mobile patient lifts have been designed as a fantastic aid for assisting with the care of a limited-mobility person. They can be handled by one person safely. As such devices are often unwieldy, carrying the mobile patient lift in addition to the wheelchair is difficult when leaving home. Therefore, the social and even the professional life of the disabled individual are compromised as he/she is deprived from travels, having holidays, and attending training courses and seminars.

The InnovationH competition challenges candidates to use their creativity to develop innovative, cost-effective and practical lifting solutions for people with mobility impairment from developing countries for indoor and outdoor uses. The lifting specifications consist on the following: design and prototype of a patient lifting device with the following functionalities and properties:

  • will be capable of being operated by one person with a small force,
  • will be safe for both patients (takes into consideration the severity of the handicap) and caregiver,
  • will be light, small, compact, and portable
  • will be used in the home even in narrow places and low-height places (low-height bed, for example)
  • lift a person from the floor
  • lift a person into and out of the car
  • can be stored in the boot of a car
  • enables holidays to be taken
  • can be taken onto a plane/train/ship
  • easily transported   
  • be made of innovative and low-coast materials