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VTT-led European project aims for a healthier environment


Finnish pilot experiment seeks to improve indoor air quality in schools

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is coordinating an European project called ESTABLISH, which aims to provide a healthier and safer environment thereby improving the quality of life. The project includes a pilot experiment in Finland, which will be carried out in schools. A call is now out for Finnish schools to participate in the experiment, which will begin next autumn and focus on improving indoor air quality.

The project involves developing innovative personalised applications and services for users by combining personal physiological measurements and sensor data on the quality of indoor and outdoor air.

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd will carry out the Finnish pilot experiment in collaboration with three Finnish businesses: Inspector Sec Ltd, Bigdatapump Ltd and UniqAir Ltd. The aim is to gain information on the effect of indoor air quality on the well-being of students and teachers and on reliable indoor air quality measuring techniques.

"The participating schools will also get a chance to influence what kinds of future solutions for measuring indoor air quality and making use of the data will be developed in the form of various kinds of digital services, for example", explains Project Manager Kaisa Vehmas from VTT.

The pilot experiment will involve collecting information about indoor air quality using different kinds of classroom-based sensors.

Teachers will be given wearable devices for collecting personal physiological data. They will also have access to a mobile application that they can use to give feedback on how they perceive indoor air quality and their own well-being. During the second stage of the experiment, the mobile application will be used to give teachers information relating to their working environment and their own well-being.

Project Coordinator Samuli Pöntinen from Bigdatapump Ltd, which builds cloud analytics, emphasises not only the importance of technology but also information security considerations. "First-class personal data protection and transparent user data processing are essential elements of the execution of the project. Cloud-based technology allows us to achieve the best possible result from the perspective of user benefits, feasibility and information security alike."

The pilot experiment will be carried out in the autumn of 2018, and it will run for approximately four months.

The number of sensors in our living environment is expected to increase considerably in the next few years. This presents immense potential to develop new personalised data-based applications and services.

All in all, the Europe-wide ESTABLISH (Environmental Sensing To Act for a Better quality of LIfe: Smart Health) project consortium consists of 20 businesses from seven countries. The primary objective of the project is to improve people's well-being by monitoring and improving indoor air quality.

The other pilot experiments associated with the project focus on optimising mode of transport and route choices in order to reduce air pollution in cities and improving indoor air quality with the help of smart heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems.

More about the project:

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