Given its focus on the health prevention and wellbeing, it is expected that OptimaSteel will have significant socio economic impacts in the EU and beyond.

From a societal perspective, the project will contribute to several priorities of “Europe 2020 – for a healthier EU”, the EU’s 10-year economic growth strategy. Indeed, the project will help keeping workers healthier and longer active by monitoring, preventing, and alleviating the effects of workplace illnesses. In turn, this will have a positive impact on the productivity and competitiveness of the EU as will be explored with the use-case in the automotive sector. The project directly contributes to making the health care sector more sustainable, since preventing workplace illnesses is a major cost-saving strategy to reduce the burden on the EU social security systems.

As part of the “Agenda for new skills and jobs” and the “cross cutting issue on socio-economic science and humanities”, OptimaSteel will directly improve the working conditions at the included end-users by empowering their employees with technology-enhanced solutions. These devices will be instrumental in improving health conditions of workers, thus reducing health inequalities, workforce shortages and involuntary absenteeism. The project findings will also contribute to the future priority on review of directives dealing with musculoskeletal disorders by disseminating the outcomes of the use-case through OSHA-EU (European Agency for Safety and Health at Work). Moreover, OptimaSteel’s results will be used for the updating of EWF’s Education and Training Guidelines, directed to the industrial workforce in Europe. Particularly, the Health, Safety and Environment modules addressing job profiles such as the European Welder ( will benefit from the lessons learned during the project.
Active and healthy aging can also be seen as an enhancer of the economy through the dynamism of entrepreneurship, co-creation and co-development. It is possible to create added value through the positive impact on the quality of life of the elderly. Rethinking aging involves rethinking a whole set of public and private policies, involving multiple sectors such as health, education, social, work,technologies, etc.
This project has a great potential for delivering social impact, because it:

  • i) addresses at least 2 grand societal challenges as specified by the EC (i.e. Health, demographic change and wellbeing and Europe ina changing world -inclusive, innovative and reflective societies),
  • ii) offers a highly integrated multidisciplinary approach that will not just foster innovation in various research and practitioner areas but will also be of interest for a wide range of audiences. Overall, the project offers high expertise and a robust engagement strategy –both essential for achieving social impact.

Societal impacts will be sought and achieved at the following levels:

Increasing the understanding and awareness of various societal groups –workers, employers, occupational health experts, policy makers. Such change will increase the opportunities for the commitment of key stakeholders to extending working lives by supporting workers’ health and wellbeing.

Change of societal attitudes towards aged workers, the management of occupational health/well-being in organizations, and the investment in the early prevention of workplace illnesses and related issues.

Improvement of the personal approaches and organizational practices for managing occupational health and well-being

Change in national and EU-policies, so that those policies can deliver public benefits better.

Improvement of the health of workers (and the wider community) that will ultimately extend working lives and foster financial benefits for employing and healthcare organizations, national retirement funds.

These impacts will be achieved through the following pathways:

Utilization of a proactive, multi-level, multi-source, and widespread dissemination and engagement strategy(as described in the previous section).

Development of sets of training guidelines and materials for employees, employers, and healthcare professionals, as well as policy recommendations.

Improvement of the personal approaches and organizational practices for managing occupational health and well-being

Promotion of a range of innovative products.