Meet the team behind the project

The iDEM Project consortium consists of 11 partners, 2 academic partners (UPF, UOL), 1 research institution (NEXUS), 6 civil society partners (PIM, ANFAAS, CIB, AAIT, IMPD, BOO), and 2 industry partners (CAPITO, MAC). Together, bringing their intersectional expertise, aim to bring forward the objectives of the project. To develop a technology capable of assisting people with cognitive disabilities to participate in the democratic debates through fully understanding the information about the issues in question and helping them to formulate their thoughts on the matters discussed.

“We want our technology in the area of natural language processing (NLP) to be useful to citizens who find themselves excluded from democratic participation and debate processes due to the complexity of the language used in these contexts”

Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) coordinates the project from the Communication Technologies Engineering (ETIC) department, and the Faculty of Law, bringing the expertise and complementarity from two areas: on the one hand, from the theoretical and social science perspective, theory of deliberative democracy and new technologies at the service of citizen participation, and on the other hand, and from a more technological perspective, from well known experts in automatic text simplification in Europe.

Capito is the leading industrial expert in text simplification and contributes with the needed expertise in easy-to-read annotation technology, involving users in creating and annotating written texts for natural language processing. Capito are professionals for easy language and accessibility, translating information into easy-to-understand language, offering trainings and developing digital solutions around the topic of comprehensibility. For many people, most of the publicly available information is difficult to understand. Capito works to change that. Because understanding information is the prerequisite for a self-determined life. Their goal is to achieve a society in which no one is excluded.

From a practical social science perspective, Nexus brings experience in the design of deliberative and participative processes at national and international levels applying user-centered design to promote collaboration and sustainable consensus in designing our solution. nexus designs and moderates participative processes: from complex citizen participation projects to multi-stakeholder formats. Nexus design decision-making processes, focusing on transparent communication, active cooperation and sustainable consensus. Nexus investigates how active citizenship and the participation of different actors can change social development. Therefore we realize application-oriented and practical research projects.

University of Leeds (UOL) expertise in translation, text classification, and developing algorithms for low-resources domains and languages is key for the multilingual text translation approach to be developed with UPF. Established in 1904, the University of Leeds (UOL) is one of the largest universities in the UK. We’re part of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities and are renowned globally for the quality of our research and teaching. UOL academic strategy for 2020 to 2030, ‘Universal Values, Global Change’, sets a blueprint for a values-driven university that harnesses expertise in research and education to help shape a better future for humanity, working through collaboration to tackle inequalities, benefit society and drive change.

MAC , one of Ireland’s most innovative companies, delivering leading-edge products and services in software, electronics and wireless communications, will implement the iDEM solution with the technical experts. Founded in 1981 and located on the National Technology Park in Limerick, Ireland, MAC has delivered over 450 significant commercial projects and is among Europe’s top 10 SME contractors in EU ICT development projects. MAC’s core business resides in the provision of complete integrated web-enabled wireless platform solutions based on recognized standards in wireless communications and flexible platform solutions for web-enabled network management.

Plena Inclusión Madrid (PIM) is a non-profit organization that was founded in in 1978, and its action translates into providing services, defending rights, and being an agent of social change. It represents the associative movement of intellectual disability in the Community of Madrid. In this sense, PIM federates around 120 associations and foundations that work with people with intellectual disabilities.

The mission of Plena Inclusión Madrid is to contribute, through its ethical commitment, with support and opportunities, so that each person with intellectual or developmental disabilities and their family can develop their quality of life project, as well as to promote their inclusion as full citizens in a fair and supportive society.

ANFFAS federates around 200 associations and foundations for people with disabilities in Italy. ANFFAS works to build a world in which people with intellectual disabilities and neurodevelopmental disorders, and their families, can see their rights respected and fully enforceable. Working together to improve their quality of life. ANFFAS and its associations develop actions to help people with disabilities understand and make the best use of their abilities.

Fundación Cibervoluntarios in Spain is a key organization to engage participation and drive testing of the solution with vulnerable groups of citizens. Fundación Cibervoluntarios is an NGO of international scope focused on promoting an inclusive digital transition and eliminating the digital divide. A global pioneer in the creation and management of a technology volunteer network, we provide free training in digital skills to thousands of people a year, we promote social innovation and the empowerment of citizens through the use of technology. From Fundación Cibervoluntarios we want to ensure that all people have, equally, the opportunity to access, learn and use technology in order to promote their autonomy, strengthen their rights, improve their employment opportunities and social participation.

To achieve this, we have a network of more than 3,900 cybervolunteers and we collaborate with more than 2,300 organizations to be able to reach any point in Spain.

For over 50 years the mission of ActionAid Italia has been putting people at the center, so that they can claim their rights, creating spaces of democratic participation in communities, wherever they are, from the Italian suburbs to the smallest African villages. ActionAid Italia, led by its governance bodies, is present throughout the national territory thanks to the professionalism and dedication put in place by the members of the staff, activist groups and volunteers, united for the pursuit and achievement of the objectives of Agora 2028: the new strategy that has been equipped with the organization aimed at guaranteeing and developing the quality of democracy in the world.

ActionAid Italia is another key partner in this project to engage participation and drive testing of the solution with citizens.

The Barcelona City Council works to ensure the social rights of people with disabilities through the Municipal Institute for People with Disabilities (IMPD) , an autonomous body established in 1979 that has evolved to adapt to new needs and organizational changes. IMPD works for the rights of the persons with disability to be included in all aspects of society in the City of Barcelona. IMPD offers some direct care services to individuals collaborating with the rest of the City Council and entities to promote the concepts of accessibility and inclusion. For IMPD it is critical that people with disabilities should not only be able to physically access all spaces, activities, and services in the city but also participate in them at all levels, with the same conditions and opportunities as the rest of the citizens.

The Barcelona Ombudsman’s Office (Sindicatura de Greuges de Barcelona) brings to the consortium the human rights perspective by engaging underrepresented citizens in the democratic process. The Barcelona Ombudsman’s Office is an institution that defends the fundamental rights and freedoms of Barcelona’s citizens and other people who are in the city.

It is a one-person organisation complementary to the municipal administration, headed by the ombudsman and their deputy, which has a multidisciplinary team of advisers and technical officers. It oversees the actions of the municipal administration and public services dependent on it, particularly with regard to the rights and freedoms set out in the European Charter for Safeguarding Human Rights in the City.

Want to know more?

We would love to hear from you! Whether you have a question about our use cases or the team of EU experts behind iDEM. We are here to answer your questions.

contact us