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HCENAT Project Partners and People (updated)

Starting November 27th, 2015, the principal investigator of the project is Eva Žáčková.

Principal investigator

Eva Žáčková – zacka@ntc.zcu.cz (formerly Jan Romportl)

Contact person for administrative issues

Anna Ponížilová (formerly Lukešová) – ponizilo@ntc.zcu.cz

 

University of West Bohemia (UWB) | Project Promoter

The Project Promoter, University of West Bohemia (UWB), is one of the main Czech public research universities with very strong position in higher education (almost 15 000 students) and applied as well as fundamental research. Among many other national and international research projects, UWB has participated in 14 FP7 and 10 FP6 projects, in several Marie Curie and CIP projects as the coordinator, and also in ESA projects and projects by other EU and US agencies. The university has 9 faculties and 2 institutes. Out of these, the most research oriented are: New Technologies Research Centre (NTC) – the top R&D institute in the region of West Bohemia, and Faculty of Applied Sciences (FAV) – the top research faculty in the region. The UWB team of the proposed project is affiliated to Department of Interdisciplinary Activities at NTC (UWB-IDA) and to Department of Cybernetics at FAV (UWB-CYB).

UWB-IDA primarily focuses on interdisciplinary research of relations between new technologies and human, on knowledge transfer between technical sciences and humanities, and on methodology of interdisciplinary research. The responsibility of this team is to create an open-access scalable knowledge base of all publicly available HCE systems (WP1), including announced future plans, abandoned projects, media coverage and public impact. This database provides empirical data for other partners. The research goal of UWB-IDA team is to analyse and redefine the concepts of natural, unnatural and artificial and create a formal decision-making process for unbiased classification of HCE systems into these categories (WP2). This goal is iteratively assessed and modified by the experimental results of experiments conducted at Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery (Charles University in Prague) and National Institute of Mental Health (WP5 & WP6).

The general research aim at UWB-CYB is building and development and application of systems. The proposed project will involve specifically the Artificial Intelligence Lab of UWB-CYB which is well known as being the Czech leader in full range of speech technology research. The speech prosthesis of UWB-CYB team will be used in experiments with patients at Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery (Charles University in Prague) (WP5).

UWB research team:

  • Eva Žáčková | project leader and principal investigator; WP1 leader, WP5 researcher, WP6 researcher 
  • Jelena Guga (formerly) WP1 researcher 
  • Dušan Haustein | (formerly) WP1 researcher 
  • Zuzana Rybaříková | WP1 researcher
  • Jan Romportl | WP2 leader 
  • Jindřich Matoušek | WP5 UWB-team leader 
  • Zdeněk Hanzlíček | (formerly) WP1 technical support, WP5 researcher 
  • Martin Grůber | WP1 technical support, WP5 researcher 
  • Markéta Jůzová | WP5 researcher
  • Daniel Tihelka | WP6 UWB-team leader, WP5 researcher 
  • Lucia Banáková | (formerly) WP6 researcher 
  • Vojtěch Frič | WP6 researcher
  • Jan Hranička | WP6 researcher 
  • Jakub Sanojca | WP6 researcher 
  • Daniel Soutner | WP6 researcher 
  • Katarína Vlčková | (formerly) WP6 researcher
  • Tomáš Zítka | WP6 researcher 
  • Jiří Mertl | WP7 researcher, WP5 researcher

 

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), formerly Prague Psychiatric Center (PPC)

The basic mission of NIMH is scientific and research activity focused on mental illness and mental health. NIMH serves as a teaching facility of the 3rd Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague, and closely cooperates with international organizations (such as WHO, UNESCO, the World Federation of Mental Health). Research activities of NIMH focus on diagnostics, prevention, remediation, and rehabilitation of mental disorders and promotion of mental health.

The main task of NIMH on the project is to empirically test and adjust the HCE assessment framework by experiments with augmented reality glasses (WP6). NIMH also continuously provides experimental data for other partners, mainly University of West Bohemia, Gjøvik University College and Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences.

The team is able to manage, perform and interpret all the neuroscientific, psychological and cognitive experiments in the project. Its members have great experience in this field of research and similar experiments. Being based at the renowned Czech psychiatric and neuroscientific research institute, the team has access to state of the art experimental devices and equipment.

NIMH research team:

  • Jiří Horáček | WP6 leader, WP5 researcher 
  • Martin Brunovský |WP6 researcher, WP5 researcher 
  • Iveta Fajnerová | WP6 researcher, WP5 researcher 
  • Lukáš Hejtmánek | WP6 researcher
  • Filip Španiel | WP6 researcher 
  • Vlasta Martínková | WP5 & WP6 support

 

Charles University in Prague, 1st Faculty of Medicine (ENT)

Charles University is the largest and most renowned Czech university, and is also the best-rated Czech university according to international rankings. There are currently 17 faculties at the University (14 in Prague, 2 in Hradec Králové and 1 in Plzeň) and several other centres. 1st Faculty of Medicine (1stFM) has been a part of Charles University since 1348, being one of the oldest medical faculties in Central Europe and now the biggest medical faculty in the Czech Republic with the most productive biomedical research.

The proposed project team is affiliated to Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery (ENT Clinic, common abbreviation of ear, nose and throat). ENT Clinic is affiliated to 1stFM and Faculty Hospital Motol, Prague, and provides complete patient services involving all surgical procedures concerning ENT, Head and Neck Surgery.

The main task of ENT on the project is to empirically test and adjust the HCE assessment framework by experiments with speech synthesis voice conservation of oncological patients after total laryngectomy (WP5). Since the department is one of the most renowned ENT departments in the country, it has the highest rate of the patients suitable for cooperation in Quality of Life study. ENT also continuously provides experimental data for other partners, mainly University of West Bohemia, Gjøvik University College and Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences.

ENT research team:

  • Jan Betka | WP5 leader 
  • Barbora Řepová | WP5 researcher

 

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), formerly University College of Gjøvik, Faculty of Health, Care and Nursing (GUC)

Gjøvik University College has three faculties: Faculty of Health, Care and Nursing, Faculty of Computer Science and Media Technology, and Faculty of Technology, Economy and Management. GUC has approximately 3000 students and 330 employees as well as an international perspective. Currently, 30 countries are represented among the staff.

The proposed project partner is affiliated to Section of Health and Society, which among other things deals with welfare technology, health technology assessment (HTA), and technology in society studies.

The main task of GUC on the project is to summarize ethical issues of HCE and propose directions for evaluation of ethical aspects of ubiquitous HCE systems with mass-market plans or potential (WP3). Further, to scrutinize the reciprocal relationship between HCE and core concepts like health, disease and ageing, and scrutinize how these concepts influence acceptability of HCE. Analyses conducted at GUC provide crucial data and tools for team at Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences. The research at GUC is also iteratively assessed and modified by the experimental results from Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, Charles University in Prague, and National Institute of Mental Health.

NTNU research team:

  • Bjørn Hofmann | WP3 leader

 

Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences (OAC)

OAC is the fourth largest higher education institution in Norway with 16 000 students and 1600 employees. OAC has four faculties, two research centres, and offers more than 50 Bachelor programs, 25 Master programs and three PhD-programs. OAC participates in several projects funded by the European Commission, in FP7, the CIP programme, the Health programme, COST-actions and other EU programmes. OAC Research Group on Responsible Innovation takes part in the project.

The team has competence in the fields of meta ethics, ethical epistemology and practical ethics (including bioethics, nanoethics and organisational ethics), and also long experience in studying different forms of regulation and governance. OAC will organise project’s workshop, since it has long experience in organising deliberative events including stakeholders, including expertise in facilitation.

The main task of OAC on the project is to propose a methodological framework of HCE system assessment based on its naturalness estimation, ethical evaluation and relation to the health/disease/ageing category. Another goal is to prepare recommendations for regulation and governance in the HCE field (WP4). To achieve these goals, OAC integrates outcomes provided by other partners: University of West Bohemia, Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery (Charles University in Prague), National Institute of Mental Health, and Gjøvik University College.

OAC research team:

  • Ellen‐Marie Forsberg | (formerly) WP4 leader, WP3 researcher 
  • Anders Braarud Hanssen | WP4 researcher
  • Laurens Landeweerd | WP4 researcher, WP3 researcher
  • Clare Shelley-Egan | WP4 leader, WP3 researcher 
  • Erik Thorstensen | WP4 researcher, WP3 researcher