DISFIDA: Students at the Service of Non-Profit and Disability

The Passion in Action Programme for the development of projects on social inclusion

DISFIDA: POLIMI students at the service of non-profit and disability for social inclusion, is one of the Passion in Action programmes, organized in the context of extracurricular activities of innovativeteaching at the Politecnico di Milano. The programme was coordinated by Prof. Alessandra Pedrocchi, with Prof. Gianfranco Fiore and Prof. Maria Gabriella Signorini, of the Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering.

The programme is based on the assumption that the need and desire to be interested in others are rooted in human nature. This is the reason why so many of us donate our time and engage in voluntary activities. Being a student of the Politecnico can give an added professional value to this gift.

During the programme, teams of volunteer students, around 40 students from different degree programs of the University, challenged each other in developing projects to respond to needs presented by some non-profit organizations: the Association I Gigli del Campo, AICCA - the Italian Association of Adult Congenital Heart Diseases and Multiple Sclerosis Centre of the San Camillo-Forlanini Hospital, in collaboration with EUPATI (European Patients’ Academy).

The aim is to train students allowing them to gain field experience and develop user-centred design, so they may concretely enhance the skills acquired during their university career and their soft skills.

The teams had six weeks to work with tutors, professors and soft skills tutors - one appointment per week - to prepare the project.

During the final event, the results achieved were presented to an audience made up of representatives of the associations, of the industry, of the clinical field and of the University; also, the teams that won the challenge were awarded. The Technology Transfer Office (TTO) of the University has offered the winning teams as a prize the study of the patentability of what they proposed and a support for the possible industrial transfer of their ideas.

The enthusiasm and passion of the students and the intelligence of the proposals developed made the work of the jury very difficult, which awarded the 2019 awards to the following projects:

ORDER AND PICK APP LILY MARKET, a project proposed and carried out together with the Gigli del Campo Association. Team: BIOTEAM, composed of Ilaria Anita Cintorrino, Claudia Salerni, Maria Chiara Sbarra and Andrea Stanisci

Economical and portable solution for the rehabilitation of patients with Multiple Sclerosis, a project proposed and carried out together with the Centro San Camillo. Team: Aequus, composed by Matteo Bistoni; Manuel Carzaniga, Federica Ferrari and Lorenzo Gualniera

Tecnoarterapia, a project proposed and carried out together with AICCA. Winning team: Pupazzo del cuore, composed by Marta Puricelli, Ilaria Riccio, Antonella Ciamillo, Tiziana Camboni.