Prosegur Foundation is searching for Covid-free solutions to ensure that school reopening is safe.
The challenge is the design and development of innovative solutions to ensure safety in face-to-face education and social interaction in coronavirus-free spaces. The winning start-up will have the opportunity to develop pilot tests in an educational centre in the Autonomous Community of Madrid With this initiative, the Prosegur Foundation reinforces its commitment to face-to-face education and the quality of learning of children and young people to combat the adverse effects this can have on school drop-out, bridge the digital divide and also balance family and working life.
Madrid, 16 June 2020 – The Prosegur Foundation, in collaboration with the Innovation department of the Company, has launched a challenge for start-ups aimed at finding safety solutions to return to face-to-face learning in Covid-free and safe spaces. The main goal of this initiative is to find innovative solutions that facilitate physical distancing in schools and training centres especially since these are high-density spaces with limited extension that aren’t designed for social distancing and where social distancing cannot be adhered to, such as: classrooms, canteens or refectories, playgrounds, changing rooms, bathrooms, laboratories, libraries, auditoriums or nursing rooms.
For Mercedes Borbolla, Director of the Prosegur Foundation, “The pandemic has had a systemic impact on education. It has directly affected students, teachers, schools and families”. The Head of the Prosegur Foundation stressed that “solving the problem of face-to-face education must be placed at the forefront of the agenda; it is necessary to address the consequences that social distancing has on aspects such as the emotional health and sociability of students, school dropout, digital divide, wok/family balance or even an efficient return to work. Borbolla has also highlighted that "education plays a crucial role as an engine for progress; it is a fundamental right for children and young people, so we must all come together to solve this social challenge."
The call, which will be open until 6 July, has the support of the Spanish Committee of the United World Colleges International, Empieza por Educar, Ashoka, Créate and Scientia, in addition to the global entrepreneurship platform South Summit and the La Salle educational institution. The Community of Madrid has also joined this initiative, which will support the development of a pilot program for the winner of the challenge. All these entities will form part of the committee that will select the winning project together with experts from the medical and academic fields.
The initiative is part of the open innovation program launched by Prosegur earlier this year, Come In, and it is aimed at any national or international start-up. The winning company will have the opportunity to carry out pilot tests in an educational centre in the Autonomous Community of Madrid. Subsequently, the global sales process will take place. For this reason, the scalability of the solution is key, because this is a global problem, and there are regions where access to face-to-face learning is even more necessary given the depth of the digital divide. An impact that has become particularly evident for the Prosegur Foundation through its development program, Piecitos Colorados, with schools in 6 countries in Latin America.
“This is a call to action for innovative talent to join this social challenge, along with companies, educational institutions, the third sector and public administrations. With this, we hope that technology will help us recover the element that makes us more human: contact and interaction with others" added José Daniel Garcia Espinel, Innovation Director of Prosegur.