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Call for Projects: Multi-service companion robots for EHPADs

By ENGIE Cofely

Call for project closed the 04|02|19

ENGIE Cofely, in partnership with the Claude Pompidou Gerontology Cluster in Belfort, is looking for a humanoid robotic solution that is capable of various actions and functions to help residents, teams and visitors.


  • SPIN'R
  • AXYN Robotique
  • KOMPAI robotics

Suject of the call for project

The Claude Pompidou Gerontology Cluster in Belfort is looking for an innovative solution for its assisted living facilities. The solution should be a humanoid robot that can act to support or take over for the staff for the benefit of residents and their relatives and visitors.

This solution must address all or some of the following needs:

  • Receiving visitors
  • Activities for residents
  • Helping residents move about
  • Geolocating staff
  • Site security

A solution that provides all of these would be preferable, but partial solutions or technological bricks that can be integrated together to form a more complete product are also invited to respond to this call for projects.

Deadline for responses: Monday, February 4th, 2019

Earnings and benefits

Rewards and benefits for winning projects

  • The winning project(s) will have the possibility of testing/implementing their solution within the Claude Pompidou Gerontology Cluster in Belfort.
  • If successful, the winning solution may be integrated into ENGIE Cofely's offers
  • Possibility of a partnership with ENGIE in its business dealings related to the Silver Economy, Healthcare and Smart Buildings
  • Guaranteed visibility during special events, in the press and through our partners.

Description of the call for projects

Detailed description


Assisted living facility staff are faced with multiple daily requirements from residents and their families. Providing quality service is a fundamental value for the entites within the Claude Pompidou Gerontology Cluster in Belfort. However, it is not always possible to provide immediate responses, assistance and support. Frustration and discontent can arise from these delays, which are always too long for the people waiting.

In the face of budgetary constraints assisted living facilities for dependent elderly people (EHPADs) must make management choices to optimize care services for the elderly.

The Gerontology Cluster is looking for a solution that can assist staff in the most accessible and sensitive areas of service as well. By helping residents and relatives, this assistant would provide support for our teams in the field.

As part of our partnership with the Departmental Council of the Belfort area, the solution we would like to find must also be transferable to other similar organizations. The Belfort local authority is convinced of the added value that these tools can bring to residents and families and sensitive to these technological developments, and maintains a strong ambition to implement and encourage the development of these solutions in the local authority’s organizations and is considering a version that can be adapted to work in people’s homes.

Goal of the call for projects

In a context where good relationships and immediate responses to questions are needed, it is essential to be able to offer to all visitors a special relationship with staff and personalized assistance. In doing so, the person being welcomed into the facility must be able to obtain the same answers and support services that they would have received from a caregiver by means of artificial intelligence. These challenges can be partially addressed through digital technologies.

In the medico-social environment, new technologies must have a strong impact on so-called care professions. More broadly, these changes profoundly change how things are done; they raise questions about the ways humans and technology interact, about the search for a better life, but also about the way to design and the form of how information is provided in the future.

The vision for care facility institutions in the broadest sense - between long-term and sequential interactions - must be fundamentally modified:

  • It must be sensitive, efficient and welcoming,
  • The facility must also be protected and it must be secure,
  • Lastly, new technologies must contribute to reducing stress for everyone: visitors, people being cared for, and employees.

Solutions we are looking for

As part of this call for projects, we are seeking a technological or "service" innovation that meets the following needs:

1- Intelligent reception management and general information:

  • Physical reception: the absence of a welcome desk and 24-hour reception forces us to rethink how visitors and persons being cared for are received: access to the site, information, signage, support.
  • Telephone reception: before or after opening hours of the reception desk or when faced with a high volume of calls, there is a need to ensure that calls are transferred to the person being sought, to request that the caller call back or answer the question being asked (about visit times, questions about costs, how to visit, the names of EHPAD staff and their contact details, etc.).
  • Administrative management: the assistant must be able to provide residents and visitors with several types of traditional information: the date, the time, the daily menu, the weather, etc. but also information about cost of care, opening hours of the reception desk, reports from the Social Life Council, dates of the next meetings, etc.
  • Notes management: the assistant must be equipped with a screen and a stylus to allow residents and families to note suggestions after their visit or request an appointment with a member of staff (doctor, director, etc.) by writing directly on the screen.
  • Facial Recognition: For residents, visitors and staff, automatic identification of the person present gives a warm and inviting feeling. In a way, the identified person is part of the "house".

2- Managing activities and mobility within the facility:

  • Animating transfer times, which is particularly important in EHPADs, the assistant will have to be a fun, mobile presence. The goal is to entertain residents until access to elevators is free or staff are available for support.
  • Transfer management: the assistant needs to provide the possibility for the resident to request to be guided and accompanied to the desired area (reception, dining room, bedroom, activity room, doctor's office, etc.). The assistant must be equipped with a grab bar system to allow the resident to stand up.

3- Accessibility and security:

  • Staff geolocation: allow residents or families to locate staff present in the facility in order to reach them. Outside private areas, which should not be reported on, staff can be requested to circulate throughout the building and geolocation is impossible for families visiting who then feel that the staff are absent.
  • The assistant should have a button that triggers a search for information. It must be able to precisely give the number of professionals on site and their location in the building by auditory or visual messages. It will have to communicate the location of the nearest staff member to residents or their visitors.
  • Alerts for night staff in case of movement or intrusion. Night staff are limited in number. The assistant could move through the corridors at night, identifying movements (residents wandering, visitors still present) or intrusions (access points opened outside specific hours).
  • Identification of calls and unlocking of access doors. The building is equipped with a badge system and doorbell for visitors. When staff are temporarily unavailable and to prevent visitors from waiting too long, the assistant must be able to answer the bell, unlock the gate and go to the reception area to guide the visitor.

Eligibility and selection criteria:

This call for projects is open to SMEs, SMIs and startups. The winners will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Suitability with the subject
  • Ability to be transposed to other institutions
  • Innovative features of the project,
  • Economic and financial feasibility of the project,
  • Improved resident satisfaction and quality of life
  • Time to market

Provisional timetable and selection procedure:

  • Launch of the Call for Projects: November 6, 2018
  • Closing of submission period: February 4, 2019
  • Shortlisting of candidates: February 19, 2019
  • Finalist pitch: end of February 2019
  • Presentation of the winner(s): March 2019
  • Implementation of the selected project(s): 2019

Selection committee

The winning projects will be selected by a committee composed of representatives from ENGIE, the Claude Pompidou Gerontology Cluster and the Territoire de Belfort Departmental Council.

The partners of the Call for Projects


A global energy and services group based on three key businesses: low-carbon electricity generation, including natural gas and renewable energy, energy infrastructure and customer solutions.

ENGIE Cofely is one of the leaders of the energy transition in France and is part of the ENGIE Group, one of the leading energy companies in the world.

Created in 1970 and recognized as a public service organization, the Claude Pompidou Foundation supports people made vulnerable by illness, disability and old age, thanks to its volunteers and facilities.

Mutual assistance, proximity, solidarity between generations, the principle of non-abandonment and the preservation of dignity are the fundamental values that guide the Claude Pompidou Foundation and those involved in it for people made vulnerable by illness, disability or the old age.

These principles are effectively and tangibly expressed through actions and an ethic that inspire the two ways the Claude Pompidou Foundation works: the volunteer work that it provides offers and the facilities it builds and makes available.

Created in 2016, the Claude Pompidou Gerontology Cluster brings together under one name all the services provided by the "Les Bons Enfants" association for the elderly population and its carers.

The aim of the gerontology cluster is to offer elderly people in the Belfort area a catalog of services that can address their difficulties, whether short-term or permanent, and to support them as soon as the first signs of fragility appear, from the home to the moment when they enter the facility.

The Claude Pompidou Gerontology Cluster consists of a single multi-site establishment:

  • 73 beds in the EHPAD Pierre Bonnef Residence (currently 43 beds + 30 beds for transfer to the new site)
  • 17 day spots at the Pierre Bonnef Residence
  • 85 beds in the EHPAD Vauban Residence
  • 4 regular temporary reception spots in the Vauban Residence

To which we add new facilities being requested:

  • 1 Activity and Adapted Care Center with 14 places
  • 4 emergency temporary accommodation places to meet the needs of caregivers
  • 1 "respite site" to provide rest and resources for the caregiver for a few hours, for example
  • 1 respite platform


This project is in line with the orientations of the Territoire de Belfort Department's policy formalized in the self-sufficiency plan for 2017-2021. The Department wants innovation to be put to use for users in complementarity with the nursing workforce. The technology is intended to reinforce the presence of residents and their families to partially reduce loneliness and isolation.

This project, co-built between the Department and the Association des Bons Enfants, is an area of experimentation for our local area. The challenge for the Department is to support EHPADs in their advancement towards a care 2.0 model for dependent elderly persons as well as for care teams.

The experiment will also be transferred to other institutions but also to people with loss of independence at home. Artificial intelligence can also be opportune for preventive purposes and contribute to providing relief for caregivers. Using robotics in the project is a revolutionary approach. The Department is strongly implicated on this subject and will also be a financial partner in it (subject to the budget vote).

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