Started in October 2022, EMPOWER is a European interdisciplinary research project funded by the Horizon Europe programme and led by the University of Valencia (Spain), that will develop a unique technological learning platform to enhance personalised education of children with neurodevelopmental conditions. Its three-years work programme aims at empowering teachers to better support children in schools regarding their emotional and behavioural challenges, and ultimately improve their quality of life.
Neurodevelopmental conditions affect approximately 15% of children aged 3 to 17 years. These children can have difficulties with language and speech, motor skills, behaviour, memory, learning, or other neurological functions. These challenges can have a significant impact on their learning process, access to education, and consequently social inclusion. Children with neurodevelopmental conditions can thus greatly benefit from education support tailored to their needs.
In that regard, from October 2022 to October 2025, the EU project ‘EMPOWER: Design and evaluation of technological support tools to empower stakeholders in digital education’ will create a novel educational platform, based on a game-based approach and new paradigms from psychology suggesting that executive function and emotional self-regulation are two key sets of skills to target in the educational support for neurodiverse students.
The lessons learned from the deployment of this platform will provide valuable insights into the possibilities for training teachers in the use of these new technologies, as well as inputs into future policies governing technology in education, including refined ethical frameworks.
The EMPOWER consortium is formed by the University of Valencia, which coordinates the project from its University Research Institute on Robotics and Information and Communication Technologies (IRTIC), along with the Babes-Bolyai University and the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca (Romania), ISCTE – University Institute of Lisbon and INESC-ID – Institute of Systems and Computer Engineering in Lisbon (Portugal), the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behaviour of the Radboud University (The Netherlands), the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (Norway) and Autism-Europe (Belgium). The company ITDATA Telecom (Romania) also participates in the project.
Autism-Europe takes the lead on the dissemination of the project’s developments and results.
About the Horizon Europe programme
Horizon Europe is the European Union’s key funding programme for research and innovation, with a budget of €95.5 billion between 2021 and 2027. It tackles climate change, helps to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and boosts the EU’s competitiveness and growth.