A social enterprise through the Internet

HP Internet Philanthropic Initiative - Theme #2 - The Internet’s Impact on Society

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This page keeps links to documents created by members of the project

TCL project update, by Belinda Tanner and Alice Gorissen, 21 March 1998

Original project proposal, by Lorenzo Coslovi, Pietro Papoff, Belinda Tanner 5 June 1997

Project update, 21 March 1998


HP Internet Philanthropic Initiative


Date: March 98



Alice Gorissen

National project manager

Technology Centre Limburg (TCL)

Mailbox 483


TEL.: + 31 45 5740832 FAX: +31 45 5711229

Email: a.gorissen@pitt-nl.org

Web: http://www.pitt-nl.org

This web site is sponsored by HEWLETT PACKARD

Belinda Tanner

International project manager


Wilhelminasingel 110


Email: btanner@xs4all.nl

TEL.: + 43 32566744 FAX: + 43 3256313


Duration of the project

The project is divided into three phases:

Phase 1: 1-9-1997 until 1-9-1998

Phase 2: 1-9-1998 until 1-9-1999

Phase 3: 1-9-1999 until 1-9-2000

Each phase is evaluated and after each evaluation a consideration is given to the continuation of the project to the next phase. An important aspect is the opportunity of co-funding.


The Dutch Project Partners

Technology Centre Limburg (TCL)

Technology Centre Limburg plays a role in the integration and application of advanced technology. As a partner of government, industry and higher education, TCL gathers expertise and avails of the necessary instruments to implement important new developments in education and industry. This creates new opportunities for the Limburg economy. Transfer of knowledge is an important aspect of this process, employers need qualified personnel and educational institutions strive to develop suitable training material.

This is exactly where TCL finds its role. By consulting in the formulation of educational issues, the development of training plans and teaching materials and setting up advanced training centres, TCL realises a continuous transfer of technology.

TCL working Methods

Our organisational structure is set up to offer easy accessibility to our partners on the one hand and on the other hand it guarantees the flexibility needed by our staff to follow up on new technologies, carry out research and translate these into projects. TCL analyses a situation and then, in close cooperation with the customer formulates how the integration of new technology should be developed. This process, in addition to the actual implementation of the technology and the training needed to use it, are carried out on project basis. TCL takes care of project management and assures the availability of the necessary expertise and quality.

Projects concentrate on four different aspects: process technology, educational technology, production technology (automated manufacturing) and laser technology.

To provide the need for practical training and research facilities TCL has developed advanced training and simulation centres for each of those areas, with the financial support of the Province of Limburg, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sciences and the European Union.

You can find more information on our website: http://www.pitt-nl.org



FASTT (‘Flexible Arbeid door telewerken en teleleren’ which in English translates to ‘Flexible labour by teleworking and telelearning’) was founded in May 1993 with the following two original major objectives:

  1. To develop and implement advanced telematics applications (including telework procedures and technologies), thus creating new ways of employment;
  2. To provide training to unemployed disadvantaged people to aid them to become experienced users of telematics in business administrations; the educational approach was based on the classic combination of theory and practice within the vocational training system.

To support these activities an international exchange and development programme for trainees and tutors was set up, which resulted among others in the creation of a powerful business simulation concept: the REALISE-project.

The new approach was first only used for the benefit of people with a physical disability, stimulating their reintegration into society by means of strongly individualized training programmes and by making use of highly advanced telework-settings, whenever mobility impairments appeared to be restrictive. The surplus of knowledge and skills in the field of informatics and telematics turned their status of disadvantaged or deprived into that of priviliged in this particular field. By now all categories of disadvantaged unemployed people belong to FASTTs' target groups, but also working people lacking sufficient telematics skills enter the training programmes. There are ideas about new training centres in the northern and middle parts of the Netherlands.

The technological research (in the Edulab) and development focuses more and more on user oriented applications of information and communication technology, including highly advanced concepts as digital enterprising and co-operative work in a virtual office. The Information Society (dis)Ability Challenge (the ISdACproject, an initiative led by FASTT) won the European Telework Award 1997.

Educational development concentrates on Intelligent (automatic) Tutoring Systems for open distance learning and the production of specific job-oriented interactive multimedia courseware (for instance: e-mail applications for the secretary).

In R&D and related issues FASTT co-operates with a considerable number of other organizations in the Netherlands and in European countries.

In 1996 the Technology Centre Limburg requested Fastt to set up a distance learning training classroom with the purpose to train disadvantaged target groups. I

TCL has since consulted Fastt foundation to participate in the HP project activities.


Europrof (European Professional Training)

More information from the second Dutch partner can be found on the Europrof Home Page: http://project.elis.org/Europrof



Activities 1997

August-September 97

October – November 97

December 97

The conclusions of the survey were as follows;

On a short-term basis the project could be more successful if starting with disabled people working in the area of:

TCL decided to install 2 PC’s directly to the disabled people, but also to create the possibility to work in a service centre.

The service centre is also located in the Fastt Centre. Consequently 2 PC’s and a server are installed in the Telelab.

The other 2 PC’s are available for training in the Technology Centre.


In the service centre one of the computers is reserved for the trainer, to allow him the opportunity to train people who are staying at home and to coach the ‘Tele Workers’, working at home.


Activities 1998

January – February 98

Training 4 people to prepare for working at a distance via the Internet

Trainers from the Fastt foundation take care of the training.

March 98

Installation of the Tele work facilities (HW and SW) in the Tele Lab and at the participants at home.

Start up work activities by the trained participants.

The activities to be conducted by the participants (partly at home and partly in the Telelab) are as follows:

The companies pay the teleworkers.

One of the candidates is unable to receive the training in the training centre and consequently will be trained from home.

April – July 98

August 98

Heerlen, 1998 March 17

Original project proposal

Project Title

"HP Internet Philanthropic Initiative - Theme #2 - The Internet’s Impact on Society"

A Social Enterprise through the Internet: enhance occupational opportunities of physically disabled people through the setting up, via the Internet, of a Virtual Community at European Level


May 97

Participants in the project

The project is made up of two subnetworks of partners, one in Italy and one in Holland. Each subnetwork comprises 3 groups of competencies: training, research and company links

Principal Investigator in The Netherlands

Technologie Centrum Limburg

Postbus 483

NL - 6400


Mrs. Belinda Tanner

tel +31 45 5740832; fax 5711229



European Partners

Principal Investigator in Italy


Via Sandri, 45 00159 Roma +39-6-439.4661 fax .4681

Pietro Papoff

Elis Director


Michele Crudele

Project Manager


CNR - National Research Centre

Rolando Bianchi Bandinelli


Via S. Maria, 46 56100 Pisa tel. 050-593223 fax 050 904052


Alberto Tronconi

+39 55 4223861 Fax 4223783



AMiG-CEAD association of disabled people

Via Buonvicini, 40

Fabio Focardi

AMIG tel. +39 55 400763, CEAD tel./fax +39 55 5004436



Sodalitas - enterprise association

Ruggero Bodo

via S. Marco, 18

+39 2 58370293


Home page address/URL of the project




This proposal is asking support from HP to speed up the activities planned by Elis on Telework through the Internet, addressing the needs of physically disabled people.

With this document we are asking support from HP for the first year (out of three) only but we expect to be invited to make another proposal to HP Europe next year.

The deliverables of the first year of this specific component sponsored by HP, will be the set up, management and evaluation of a pilot virtual community of disabled people (5-10 in Italy and 1-5 in Holland) willing to re-enter the labour market thanks to Internet facilities.

The philanthropic intent of the overall program, that HP will contribute to, is to support new job opportunities induced by new multimedia and Internet technologies.

In the long term (3 years) we expect the virtual community to become an enterprise (a social company) made up of 30 people (some disabled some not) spread over 6 European countries who are able to earn a living through the Internet.

Milestones (chronological breakdown structure of the project)

  1. April 97: We have put up an application (under the EU LEONARDO program) to ask the European Union to co-fund the activities of this pilot project and extend them over three years. We’ll be told in September whether we have been successful or not. In the latter case we’ll put up new applications under such headings as: TIDE - DGXIII, ESF - DGV)
  2. September - December 97: Survey and ranking of 15 possible activities that can be carried out at a distance via the Internet by physically disabled people. In particular we shall investigate activities and services to be offered in the marketplace such as:
  1. January - March 98:
    * Database of disabled who are possible candidates for the projects
    * Database of possible mentors (possible entrepreneurs willing to help disabled people)
    * Market research of possible customers of the virtual community
    * Competence needs analysis and curricula development to carry out the activities highlighted in the survey and matching market research
  2. April - June 98:
    * Set up of an Internet server to support tele-work of the virtual community.
    * Set up of a pilot group of physically disabled people equipped of necessary Internet facilities working at both national and European level
    * Install household tele-work facilities (HW + SW) and train the disabled: students from colleges willing to volunteer will take care of training
  3. July - September 98:
    * start up activity of the virtual community
    * evaluation for an extended project (from 10 disabled to 30) and involvement of other European Countries
    dissemination activity; conference


II year

Physically disabled people can widely take advantage of Internet technologies to lower the barriers of the labour market they have to face. In the second year each Country will activate two other countries (Italy will activate both Great Britain - Jewel & Esk Valley College in Edinburgh, and Denmark - Technical College Slagesle, near Copenaghen) and so 6 national networks will be operating in Europe: in Italy (managed by Elis), in Holland (Technologie Centrum Limburg). Along with this activity we will handle the start up of the social company helped by a group of mentors.

III year

In the third year we expect to repeat this schema activating two other countries each summing up to 18 national subnetworks


The Technologie Centrum Limburg is an organisation involved in the development of educational materials and curricula, particularly for industry but also for institutes of further and higher education.

The Technologie Centrum Limburg is currently managing a 2 year project (April 1996-April 1998) funded by DGXIII,TEN-ISDN entitled TaRgET (Trans-Regional Education and Training using Euro-ISDN). The objective of this project is to research, implement and operate a distance learning platform using Euro-ISDN. During the project, partners in 8 European countries are delivering in-company pilot training to SMEs in their region. Both ISDN-based and non-ISDN based technologies are being used, for example point-to-point and multi-point videoconferencing, internet, email and computer conferencing. The training activities being performed include tele-tutoring (both group and individual) and distributed joint design of multimedia courseware. The activities of this project will provide invaluable experience and expertise which are directly applicable to different learning scenarios (such as the home-based learner) and the needs of the physically disabled.

The Technologie Centrum Limburg is currently the national co-ordinators and transnational managers for two ADAPT projects funded by DGV. Both of these projects aim to equip disadvantaged SME employees (who are either poorly educated or elder personnel threatened with redundancy) to cope with technological changes in the process industry. Future ADAPT and Leonardo da Vinci projects to be co-ordinated by the Technologie Centrum will create internet sites to provide access to information about courses and databases, to deliver training material and to manage and administer the training programmes.

The Technologie Centrum Limburg has extensive links with a training foundation in the region entitled FASTT. This centre has special facilities which enable especially young disabled people both to learn and work via Telelearning and Teleworking. Once the disabled people are trained in how to telework, the centre provides real-life teleworking opportunities. In co-operation with the Technology Centre Limburg, the FASTT centre also conducts research activities investigating Telelearning/Teleworking and disabled people.

The Technologie Centrum is also a partner in an INTERREG project entitled SCIL (Support Centre for Interactive Learning). This project aims to promote and advise companies to use interactive multimedia self-study packages for vocational training. The developed training packages are supported by CD-i, CD-ROM, PC, ISDN and internet.

One of the main aims of the Centre for Educational Technology at the Technologie Centrum is to raise awareness of the possibilities provided by Information and Communication Technologies to regional schools and companies.

Publications of the Technologie Centrum include the following: "Investigation into Distance Learning in the Province of Limburg" - Intercai Nederland BV, March 1995 and "Training Infrastructure Within the Framework of the Regional Technological Plan", February 1996.

Activities (functional breakdown structure of the project)

  1. setting up the Internet infrastructure to support the project. We need to install, configure and start managing the network of servers (one per Country) maintaining a high degree of consistency to allow a central management of the overall network. This technical component of the project is extremely important, as in perspective we wish to consider installing "small servers at home" (of handicapped people) and we cannot expect them to have the technical skills to install/ set-up/ run/ update a server. In ELIS we have sufficient initial know how on that aspect and we recognise that the limits to solve this problem are currently in the scarce availability of products that support the concept of "remote management". This can be considered the technological platform activity to support the overall project for the next many years, and in this specific area we cooperate with a local university.
    Elis will be in charge of this activity.
  2. job from the net. We plan to search, interpret, discover, create, jobs that the Internet makes available for working at home. Telework is already a reality for a number of professions. What is new for us is the possibility that new job profiles now exist. A new great variety of "added- value" contribution may be discovered in the Internet, and discovering and classifying them is the very first step of our effort. In parallel we’ll try to find out possible customers for the virtual community.
    CNR and SODALITAS will be in charge of this activity
  3. We will ask ourselves (by the way most of the activities will be done by handicapped people who can use a PC connected to the Internet) how can we then teach (to handicapped people) the skills to become "professionals in the market" for any specific kind of activity which match the market research. So the skills development program will be designed and implemented in a pilot phase. We wish to run this in parallel in other 6-8 European Countries, to create an international network of skills. Therefore all the studies and reports will be made available in English, to bring this network to the attention of the international scene. This is a prerequisite to get important support from the European Union social support programs.
    If that decision (of producing learning material) will be taken, we’ll do that initially in English (to facilitate an international co-operation scheme). That’s why the first generation of handicapped "students" must know (or must learn) enough English language to survive in the exercise. The importance of the learning of the language is a key step in the program, because "working through the Internet" will be more and more leveraged by the knowledge of the foreign languages, starting from the dominating language in the business. That’s why we’re seriously considering from the beginning to look for the more suitable learning "courseware" for the English language.
    Elis (I) and TCL (NL) will be in charge of this activity
  4. Selection of the first team (in Italy and Holland ) of disabled willing to enter the labour market through the Internet. The implementation of the pilot phase of the virtual community will soon follow the and initially it will be highly interactive and based on a person-to-person schema. All the best practice will be documented in English in the web servers of the network and attention will be taken to have a reuse concept in place as premise to commit on "some" courseware development.
    AMIG and others associations of disabled people (such as Fondazione Gualandi in Bologna) will be involved in this activity.
  5. Dissemination. All partners involved in the project are highly visible to both national governments and European Union and this pilot project can be used as a pattern for getting the results across and exploited.

Requested Support

A detailed analysis of the equipment needs will be done as soon we get a go ahead from HP. In every country we need 1-2 NT server and about 5-10 home multimedia PC (with a small printer) for the disabled. Other 5-10 multimedia PC would be given to 5-10 mentors of the training centres. The strength of ELIS is the availability of manpower to manage most of the project activity, with the help of volunteer technical students.

HEWLETT-PACKARD Prices in IL for ITALY - Effective date: 01/05/97

We expect to be supported by HP Europe by a subset of the following hardware ranging from 75% and 100%

Product No Description

List Price


Total List

d4944a NetServer LD Pro 6/180 m1



7250000 Holland
d3583c 4.2GB Hot Swap Ultra SCSI Hard Disk Drive



2410000 Holland
c1526gABB HP SureStore 5000i 4 GB DAT internal tape drive



1788885 Holland
d2815aABB Monitor 14" Super VGA (800x600), dot pitch 0.28 mm



624000 Holland
d4295a 32Mb EDO DIMM Memory



817500 Holland
d5084a??? Vectra 520MCX 5/166 m1600, 16Mb



39700000 Holland
d2825aABB Video 15" a colori (1024x768 60Hz) dot pitch 0.28 mm.



8215000 Holland
c4531a??? HP DeskJet 820Cxi



6710000 Holland



Publication of the results

We have the ambition to set an example in how handicap, education and the Internet contribute together to the progress of our society. We also believe in appropriateness that, whenever possible, governments must subsidy education to address social problem, as every investment toward building culture is worth 10 times any other optimal form of social support.

We are conscious that our opinion is shared (but not widely yet) so part of our program will be the diffusion of either the results and the concept inspiring us. Besides publishing the outcomes on our web server, we plan to publish our work and to attend at least one important annual Italian conference and one European one.


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