Dementia is a progressive, chronic disease affecting 5% of all persons above 65 and over 40% of people over 90. The aim of the COGKNOW project is to achieve a breakthrough with research that addresses the needs of those with dementia, particularly those with mild dementia living in the community. This entails cognitive reinforcement in four main areas: helping people to remember, helping to maintain social contact, helping with performing daily life and recreational activities and finally enhance feelings of safety. Based on a sound foundation of needs reported in dementia literature, workshops and individual interviews have been carried out with dementia sufferers and their carers in three European countries. A ranked analysis of information from workshops and interviews, and the state of the art of successful ICT solutions will be the basis for formulating the functionalities of the technical solution and for the development of a cognitive prosthetic device with associated services for people with mild dementia. The research and evaluation will be conducted from human factors, technology, and business perspectives in three phases of one year each. In this paper we discuss the design of the COGKNOW project, the first results of the user needs inquiry workshops and the ICT solutions the COGKNOW project will focus on in the first year.