A STEP TOWARDS WALKING WITH A SPINAL CORD INJURY

A STEP TOWARDS WALKING WITH A SPINAL CORD INJURY

CLIENT PROJECT MARCH

Each year, a team of students from TU Delft comes together under the name ‘Project March’ to develop the ultimate exoskeleton, a motorized harness that will bring people who suffer from a spinal cord injury the ability to walk again. Bijl PR was asked to generate attention for this special project and assist the team pro bono.

APPROACH

Each year, a new group of students voluntarily puts their studies on hold to help create a new and improved exoskeleton, from design to constructing the actual prototype. Co-creation is  at the heart of this project, and the students work side by side with the people that are going to command the exoskeleton: the ‘pilots’. The project’s ultimate goal is for people with a spinal cord injury to no longer have to end up in a wheelchair, but instead have the opportunity to walk independently by using the exoskeleton.

Working with Bijl PR means fun, enthusiasm and real commitment. Bijl PR helped us formulate a clear message and communication strategy, and they always do iit in a creative, unexpected way that fits our project.

Magali Ponds
Project MARCH III

RESULTS

Exoskeleton MARCH III was revealed using a demonstration of the motorized harness by SCI patient Sjaan Quirijns. For this event, Bijl PR invited the media and sent out a press release. On the day of the reveal, the project received a lot of attention from national media from ANP, de Telegraaf, NU.nl, Hart van Nederland, Laat op één, and others.

During the summer of 2018, the Cybathlon took place, a competition where international teams of pilots in exoskeletons go head to head. Within the span of ten minutes, they have to successfully complete a series of everyday tasks, such as walking the stairs, or standing up from a seated position. Project MARCH participated with MARCH III. In the weeks leading up to the Cybathlon, Bijl PR supported the event with a content plan. A press release was ready to go in case they won, but unfortunately, the Delft student team did not manage to take first place.

March is a special project that will make an enormous, lasting impact on the mobility and quality of life of people with a spinal cord injury. The project suited us perfectly: we always love putting our efforts towards socially relevant communication.

Sophia Weavers
Sophia Weavers
Consultant