Valencia, 10 September 2020.– Prosegur has initiated the pilot test of the Covid-Free Classrooms Challenge contest organized by the Prosegur Foundation last June. This project is being developed in collaboration with Soocial Distance, winner of the Covid-Free Classrooms Challenge that attracted the interest of more than 85 different start-ups, from 20 different countries. Coinciding with the start of the new school year, the Liceo Hispano school in Paterna (Valencia) has been the educational centre selected to carry out the pilot test. To do this, locating devices have been installed to ensure that groups or “bubbles” of pre-school pupils maintain a safe distance in classrooms and on the playground by using tags in the form of cards or small wearables

The tool developed by the start-up Nothingbutnet, is capable of detecting the exact location of a student in real time by means of a high precision location system and ensure a safe distance is maintained at all times. Whenever the tag detects that two pupils from different groups are located within a 1.5 metre distance a vibration alert is activated. Furthermore, if a pupil gets sick, the school can trace, anonymously, which devices the infected student has been in contact with, in order to notify their parents.

The positioning data is subsequently analysed to generate heat maps and visualize classrooms and playground occupancy. With this data, the use of spaces and disinfection tasks are more efficiently carried out. Lastly, the pilot project aims to validate whether this technology is useful when showing preschool children how to identify their bubble group and maintain a safe distance from other groups.

The Mayor of Paterna, Juan Antonio Sagredo believes that "this project places Paterna at the forefront of innovation applied to the fight against COVID-19" and he stressed that "it is a leading technological initiative at the national and international level, the result of public-private collaboration, which will enable us to increase the protection of our children and help us better understand and ultimately prevent the transmission of the virus in a school environment.”

Jose Daniel Garcia Espinel, Innovation Director of Prosegur, believes that “technology is one of our greatest allies to recover social interaction in schools and universities. Once again, the innovative ecosystem has provided the best response to this social challenge. A challenge as important as returning to school requires a comprehensive solution so that the necessary tools are made available to all the agents involved to guarantee safety when reopening schools”.

According to Javier Bosch, CEO of Soocial Distance “based on our previous experience in basketball and swimming tracking technology, we have developed a solution that will not only increase the safety of spaces, but will also provide the school with multiple advantages for becoming a smart space ”.

As for Nieves Garrido, headmistress of the school, she has pointed out that “this project is a health prevention measure; it contributes, promotes and enables the learning of these measures, and shall therefore be included in the Contingency Plan drawn up by the school".

The project’s testing phase begins this week and, if the results are positive, it can be subsequently implemented in other educational centres. The Covid-Free Classrooms Challenge project is a joint initiative between the Prosegur Foundation and the Company's Innovation department within the COME IN open innovation program. The aim of this program is the development of solutions to help restart face-to-face teaching, creating Covid-free and safe spaces. The return to school is essential for the integral development of the students, to mitigate the impact that the digital divide is generating or to facilitate family reconciliation.