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Engineering solutions for a more inclusive society

Engineering solutions for a more inclusive society

3D-printed solutions for the needs of elderly people
Open for application

Our challenge

In the coming years, the number of elderly people in Germany and the EU is expected to increase significantly. According to Eurostat, the number of people over 65 years old will increase by 10%, while the number of people over 80 years old is expected to double until 2050. Several countries are already planning and developing comprehensive policies in response to an ageing population. However, as an alternative to comprehensive public policies, smaller and local actions promoted by citizens can help to collectively find solutions to the challenges posed by an ageing population.

The team

Kaline Furlan
Lennart Osterhus
Study format
Application period
1 March – 29 March 2023
Study period
4 April – 11 July 2023
Hosting university
Hamburg University of Technology


Our challenge
Students, senior citizens and other interested citizens will work together to design and produce 3D printed solutions using sustainable filament from a local company. The aim is to address the challenges associated with ageing, such as mobility impairments, hearing loss, balance problems and visual impairments. During this challenge, senior citizens from a facility in the Hamburg district of Harburg will give feedback on their needs in direct conversations. For the project, in addition to product development, the focus is on the social aspect of intergenerational neighbourly help and on working in interdisciplinary and intercultural teams.

Expected impact
One of the social responsibilities of engineers is to consider the safety of people and the protection of the environment in their designs and manufacturing processes. Unfortunately, such responsibilities sometimes collide with companies whose primary (or only) motivation is profit rather than social impact. Therefore, this challenge, which provides socially conscious engineering practices by fostering intergenerational collaboration between engineering students, citizens and seniors in nursing homes to find engineering solutions to the challenges of ageing, is of the greatest importance.

Target groups
Students (i.e. engineering, nursing school, social sector), social care employees (i.e. nurses, social sector), seniors.

Supported by
“Landesinnovationsförderung Hamburg" (State Innovation Promotion Hamburg).

Challenge provider

Hosting university

Hamburg University of Technology

Hamburg University of Technology

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