Would you like to get involved?
A part from always user testing everything we do with persons of different abilities, the research and innovation department at Funka also do specific reach out to the disabled persons organisations and individuals. Twice a year, we invite all interested in our research to the head quarters in Stockholm to learn more about the latest results.
Involving end users from the start means something else than just asking people about their opinion by the end of the project. Co-creation workshops, interviews and discussions help us make sure that all the assignments and research projects we perform are based on real user requirements and not theoretical ideas by experts. That is one of the reasons we consider the technical standard being just the baseline – creating real accessibility for human beings always means going bayond regulations.
Because Funka was created by the disabled persons organisations, we have strong relationships with end users of varying abilities and their organisations. This collaboration is invaluable to the quality assurance of our delivery, says Susanna Laurin, Chief Research and Innovation Officer at Funka.
There are several reasons for our regular Research & Innovation seminars to especially target persons with disabilities. First of all, we want to make sure that the results of our research reaches the target group of people most affected by it. Scientific research projects tend to result in a complex report with loads of data, which can be very hard to read for many outside of the academy. Therefore, we always try to explain the results in a more human language, as well as providing time to answer any questions from the audience.
These regular seminars are also a very good place to try out new ideas, continues Susanna Laurin. The participants share their thoughts on what is on their agendas right now, and we can ask them to react on topics we find interesting. That way, we ensure that we invest our time in things that are important for end users.
Usually, the research and innovation projects performed by Funka can occur in four ways:
- An end user or and end user organisation has an idea, a problem that must be solved, a new technology that needs to be tested or a gap where something new needs to be developed or designed to meet the needs of a specific end user group. As long as we believe Funka can have a role in the solution, we look for funding and try to help making it come true.
- A client or group of clients of Funka have an idea. When something needs to be further investigated or tested on a larger scale, clients usually can’t pay for it themselves. These are often trouble or issues that are shared with other organisations. So we try to create clusters of clients, to help fund the testing in a kind of crowd funding. But we can also look for external grants.
- Funka staff has an idea. This is usually based on experiences from end users or clients, some times the ideas are the ”left overs” from other projects and assignments. When testing X, we happened to discover Y and this needs to be tested further. But it can of course also be just a new brilliant solution that we need to try out in reality. These kind of investigations are often possible to get covered by. external funding.
- And then there are the calls for proposals. National, bilateral and European funding instruments can be very broad or super specific. Our job is to try to connect all the clever ideas to the right funding instrument. This is what our Research & Innovation department does all day long.
If you have an idea, a problem that needs to be solved or an issue that needs to be tested, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are always interested in getting to know more partners and come up with good solutions together!
You can send your project idea to firstname.lastname@example.org