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LAUGH Design Challenge will showcase pioneering dementia research



​Profe​ssor Cathy Treadaway

Cardiff Metropolitan University is throwing open its doors this month to share its pioneering design research. The LAUGH project team, based in the Centre for Applied Research in Inclusive Arts and Design (CARIAD) is working with health professionals and the care sector to develop playful objects to be used in the care of people with late stage dementia.

The LAUGH design Challenge will take place in PDR at Cardiff Metropolitan University’s Llandaff Campus, and is inviting the public with an interest in design and technology to get involved as part of the showcase Wales Festival of Innovation, a national programme of events to celebrate ground-breaking activity in Wales.

The LAUGH team, which includes researchers from universities in the UK and Australia, will give participants the opportunity to use their expertise to help develop new products to stimulate laughter and fun for people living with advanced dementia.

This is one of dozens of participants in the Festival, which is organised jointly by the ESTnet (the technology network for Wales), the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) and MediWales with the support of Welsh Government and industry partners.

The aim is to highlight the extent of innovative activity taking place in Wales in order to encourage other businesses and organisations to pursue innovations of their own and to help attract investment in Wales from pioneering organisations.

It is the third year of the festival and a wide range of companies and organisations are taking part including software, electronics, life science, automotive and aerospace enterprises as well as leading university research departments.

Professor Cathy Treadaway, Principal Investigator LAUGH project said: "We are delighted that the LAUGH Design Challenge is to be included in the Wales Festival of Innovation and that we will have an opportunity to share with the public the important work we are doing. 

"Dementia affects nearly every family in some way and causes great distress. Our aim is to design new playful objects that will bring happiness to people living with dementia and help make visiting and everyday care more pleasurable."

More information about the research can be found on www.laughproject.info​

The event will take place at PDR at Cardiff Metropolitan University on Saturday 25th June, 10:30am - 4:00pm.

Set to launch on the 20th June, the fortnight-long Wales Festival of Innovation will see scores of events take place across the country to celebrate the rich culture of Welsh discovery and invention.

Festival spokesperson Idris Price, who is also a director of ESTnet (the technology network for Wales), said: “The role Wales plays in developing the world-class innovations is often overlooked, the Wales Festival of Innovation aims to redress that. 

Our goal is to ensure that the businesses, universities and entrepreneurs creating, discovering and inventing the pioneering innovations are given a platform to share them with the world. By doing so, we believe that Wales’ culture of innovation will prove it to be the ideal location for investment and future growth. We want innovation to be recognised for what it is; a driving force for the Welsh economy and job creation.” 

For further details about the Festival and how to book a place at this event www.festivalofinnovation.org