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The Memorandum of Cooperation was concluded between the Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics (CIIRC CTU) and the Prague Innovation Institute (Pii) in January 2021. Now the cooperation has materialized several times on specific projects that bring added value to the residents of Prague. The first project will help schools to develop support programmes for teachers in the field of polytechnic education. The second aims to create a tool for early diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease.

The Future Learning Space project is already oriented towards primary schools and focuses on robotics and computational thinking. Educational materials and cognitive training will contribute to the development of the concept of polytechnic education and provide modern competences for both teachers and students. The aim is to bring about an innovative change in education in 15 selected Prague primary schools.

"The project will create a concept of so-called learning corners, in which we will be based on the international concept of Future Learning Space and support the 4Cs of teaching - critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication," says doc. Lenka Lhotská, Head of the Department of Cognitive Systems and Neuroscience at CIIRC CTU "We are preparing trainings, workshops, mentoring and other activities that will develop teachers' abilities and skills to effectively use the present digital technologies and integrate mechatronic robotic kits into teaching," adds doc. Lhotská.

Part of the teacher training is also cognitive training, which will focus on the mental and physical resilience of teachers and the development of the ability to induce the so-called FLOW state. Teachers are one of the most mentally overloaded groups and an optimal mental state is crucial for coping with their demanding work tasks.

The second in the innovative partnership is a project aimed at creating a tool for early diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases, the implementation of which will begin in October 2021. The project was supported by the social care institutions of the capital, whose clients can significantly improve the quality of life thanks to the possibility of initiating early preventive measures and appropriate health care.

"In this project, we are targeting clients of residential services and homes for the elderly who are cognitively well at the time. Long-term follow-up may reveal gradual changes and indicate neurodegenerative disease. With early detection of the problem, these people can become candidates for treatment that will slow the disease," says Doc. Lenka Lhotská.

Lenka Lhotská and her colleagues have even higher ambitions in this area in the future. Once the results have been verified and the methodology confirmed, the programme could be rolled out directly to GP surgeries. Not only those who are predisposed to neurodegenerative diseases could easily be tested, but also ordinary people of working age, who would be able to get to specialists' outpatient clinics before they or their surroundings noticed a problem.

"I highly appreciate the fact that we quickly found concrete ways to apply their findings in practice through the projects we are implementing for the City of Prague. It is the transfer of knowledge from research and science that is one of the main reasons for Pii's existence, and the cooperation with CIIRC CTU shows that we are able to do this well - for the benefit of the public interest and the interest of specific target groups," says Bohumil Kartous, Director of the Prague Innovation Institute, about the partnership.

The cooperation with the Prague Innovation Institute has proven to effectively bring the needs of the capital city and the activities of the technical university located in the capital city closer together. It is thus one of the closest partners in the search for common goals in the field of innovation.