The Fundació Ave Maria wins for the second time the “la Caixa” Prize for Social Innovation for the AutonoMe project in which we work together


The Fundació Ave Maria (Sitges, Barcelona) has been awarded with one of the prizes for social innovation that the banking corporation social branch “La Caixa” has given for the third year. Our “AutonoMe” project has been awarded with this prestigious prize, which will serve to recognize the emotional state of the users with high levels of dependence and adapt the therapies to their emotional state to achieve a greater personalization and use of the therapies.

The Minister of Health, Ms. Dolors Montserrat, the General Director of the Banking Foundation “la Caixa”, Jaume Giró and the corporate director of the Social Area, Marc Simón, have presented the prize, endowed with € 15,000. It has been collected by the Vice President of the Ave Maria & member of the Board of the IRD, Mr. Antoni Reverter. The project has been selected among the 5.000 projects submitted to the Fund’s call from all around Spain.

AutonoMe is aimed at recognizing the emotional state of the people with high degrees of dependence to personalize even more the therapeutic interventions, more efficiently, obtaining a better psychosocial development.

Knowing the emotional state of the user, opens a new world of possibilities in favor of people who do not have enough cognition to express their feelings. The project contemplates a first application in the cognitive stimulation station Armoni, developed by the Ave Maria Foundation, that can change of activity if it detects that the user is bored or is not sufficiently attentive to the activity that realizes.

The Institute of Robotics is developing the solution for this project that also counts with the partnership of the Institute of Biomedical Research of Bellvitge (IDIBELL), who will carry out the clinical validation, to confirm that it is a useful tool at a cognitive and emotional level, by measuring the evolution though the therapeutical use of Armoni over a certain period of time.

This is the second time the Fundació Ave Maria has been awarded with the La Caixa Innovation and Social Transformation Award in just three years of these awards. The “Follow Me” project was previously awarded, a project that allows a group of electric wheelchairs to follow a leader of the group autonomously. Currently the IRD works on improving the technical solution to make it universal for any type of wheelchair.

A total of 10 projects have been awarded, which are meaningfully being able to respond to the current challenges of society and which show the capacity to modify a social problem in a sustainable way.

David López i Rossell