NI goes global for Assistive Technology conference

Published in September 2019

On 22-23 August, Sam Frain, Executive Director of Northcott Innovation (NI), was delighted to present a paper at the Global Research, Innovation and Education in Assistive Technology (GREAT) Summit in Geneva, Switzerland.

Held as part of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Global Cooperation on Assistive Technology (GATE) initiative, the summit brought together expert users, global researchers, educators and innovators to discuss service delivery, research education and training in the Assistive Technology space.

Sam presented a paper on “Using three dimensional (3D) technologies to make high quality Assistive Technology products and services available to people who live in rural and remote Australia.” It drew on experiences from NI’s “Fabricating the Future of Orthoses” project, a Disability Sector Scale Up collaboration between NI, Northcott and AbilityMade. The initiative explores the use of telehealth and digital fabrication processes, such as instantaneous scanners and 3D printers, to deliver orthotic services to customers in very isolated areas.

There was great interest in the paper at the summit and potential collaborative opportunities were discussed with partners in the Pacific, West Africa and Central Asia regions. Sam said:

“The GREAT Summit provided a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to showcase the amazing work being undertaken by Chrisna Goodchild and Melissa Fuller from the Fabricating the Future team. Whilst the participation and economic benefits of the regional/remote service model are clear in an Australian NDIS context, it was exciting to see so much interest from the global Assistive Technology community because of the initiative’s applicability to low resource communities.”