March issue of the Newsletter of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing

30 March 2015
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European Summit on Innovation for Active and Healthy Ageing, 9-10 March 2015

On 9 and 10 March over 1200 visitors swamped the Brussels Square meeting centre, took part in over 32 sessions, workshops, sandpits and the Pioneer Village with its 20 exhibition booths. More than 20 start-ups presented themselves in the speakers corner

Exhibitors and participants blogged and tweeted. Businesses found customers, researchers met with consumers, patients with service-providers and visitors had encounters with robots. The summit attracted new categories of partners: investors, including social investors, but also representatives of the construction and tourism sector as well as designers joined the event to seize the European potential of the Silver Economy.

Speakers' presentations are available under the web pages of their respective session (accessible via the agenda page) and a photo report has been published. 

Please check the Summit's website for the continuing stream of relevant documents as well as pictures, videos and presentations delivered at the Summit. 

Shortly, we will also upload a Summary Report that will outline some of the main issues discussed at the Summit and also identify some areas for additional work in the coming months. You are invited to review the report and come back to us (at with your comments and other suggestions as a way to build up on the work started at the Summit.


Growing the Silver Economy Background Paper

At the European Summit on Innovation for Active and Healthy Ageing a background document was launched on 'Growing the Silver Economy'. It has been co-created by a team from different Directorates-General within the European Commission. 

The document is a first attempt to chart what the Silver Economy has to offer to the EU and what EU is doing already to grow it.

It starts from the assertion the rapid demographic ageing is one of the main factors determining future EU and global economic development. It is a major societal challenge as well as a major opportunity for economic growth and jobs ("the Silver Economy"). Stimulating the markets that cater to the needs of older people can create a massive pull-effect on many existing or emerging markets. 

infographics on the Silver EconomyExamples are independent living & smart homes, health and wellbeing, travel and tourism, autonomous vehicles and robotics, and specialised medical devices and treatments. In many of these markets Europe has a strong potential for global leadership.

In the background paper, an overview is provided of relevant Silver Economy related initiatives of the European Commission; a tentative narrative on the Silver Economy and an equally tentative analysis of possible EU Silver Economy actions based on existing initiatives and their potential for the generation of new jobs and growth are also provided.


Save the Date: Innovative Financing Opportunities in Active & Healthy Ageing, Brussels, 3 June 2015 (09.30- 18.00)

The European Commission, DG SANTE is organising the Conference 'Innovative Financing Opportunities for Active & Healthy Ageing' on the 3rd June 2015. The Conference will look at the issue of how to practically leverage public and private financial instruments and maximise synergies in the area of active & healthy ageing. In particular, the Conference will focus on the EU financial instruments, Investment plan for the EU, joint-procurement of innovative solutions, and new ways of public-private co-investments in health. The Conference will feature speakers and panellists discussing the synergies in the European Structural and Investment Funds and Horizon 2020, public private partnerships, social innovation and alternative financing means. 

The European Commission's Investment Plan for the EU seeks to encourage public and private investments in specific projects which will deliver in key areas such as knowledge, innovation and the digital economy; in this respect the Conference would discuss building up cases addressing innovation on active and healthy ageing in the project pipeline of the Investment Plan.


Some of the key questions the Conference will seek to address are: What can policy makers and governments at regional, national and EU level do more to help? How to best mobilise investments, also from the private sector?

Building on the European Innovation Partnership on Active & Healthy Ageing, the Conference will bring together the private sector and public sector working on solutions for financing of active & healthy ageing projects. 


This event is addressed in particular to the financial services sector, private investors, venture capitalists, philanthropy, healthcare providers, public health professionals; policy makers, national & regional authorities, non-governmental sector, and the third sector. 



Open call for experts (Promoters) to support the Action Groups of the EIPonAHA

In January 2015, the European Commission selected the PROEIPHA consortium to support the work and objectives of the EIPAHA.

PROEIPHA Support Action is launching an open call to select six expert promoters to support the work of the Action Groups. One promoter will be selected for each Action Group, for the period of 1 May 2015 to 29 February 2016. 

The Role of the Promoters

Each promoter will bring added value and support to the activities of the Action Groups and ensure seamless efficient transfer of information between them and the PROEIPAHA Consortium. Promoters act as a bridge to facilitate knowledge exchange, and to assist the Action Group in delivering and reporting on key tasks set out within its Work Plan. 

Selection Criteria

A Panel, which includes representatives of the PROEIPAHA consortium and the Action Groups, and which operates in close collaboration with the European Commission, will select promoters.

Participation in this selection process is open to all candidates resident in the European Union.

How to apply

The full information on how to apply, including a full job description and detailed selection criteria, is available. The closing date for applications is 13th April 2015.


EIP on AHA in action: partners' achievements. This month: CatSalut

Prescription adherence is one of the 6 priority areas of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing. EIP-partner Gerència de Farmàcia i del Medicament / Àrea d’Atenció Sanitària from the Health Service of Cataluna CatSalut developed a programme tackling just that issue. 

Project manager Antoni Gilabert explains: 

The Health Education Programme targeting the Elderly on the Correct Use of Medicines (PESGG) aims to promote the proper use of medicines amongst older people through talks given by community pharmacists. Older people are a priority group for promoting the correct use of medicines as they tend to be great medicine consumers. Apart from basic knowledge we provide people with tools to manage the most common doubts or problems they might have. This way they gain independence and we promote self-care.

What are the innovative aspects of this initiative?

For one, we have community pharmacists giving the workshops. They are regarded as a reliable figure when solving doubts about medication. In Catalonia, the extended pharmacy network favours the role of community pharmacists as a proximity agent and the programme boosts this. During this edition for the first time we have actually assessed the programme’s efficacy. It required some efforts between task force members to reach a consensus on the methodology, and strike the right balance between what would be optimal and what is realistic to ask for. Last but not least, the material is developed for and adapted to the target group of older people. The text is written using everyday words and supported with images and videos.

How can this Catalonian initiative be scaled up to other European contexts? How can other stakeholders draw inspiration from your experience?

We think that our programme could be easily scaled up. It is important to keep your goal population in mind. The design of the workshop, its contents and vocabulary need to fit with the audience. It would be inappropriate to use technical vocabulary. The programme’s dissemination might require different approaches, depending on the characteristics of the region or community where it is being deployed. To other stakeholders, we would say: get to know your local context and you might find already existing dynamics and resources that could be reinforced and optimised to reach your goal.

If you had to advise a health organisations willing to adopt a health education programme addressed to older people like yours, which three main elements you would raise to its attention?

Any advice I can give come from our own experience and the situations we have dealt with during the programme. First, extensive coordination is required to implement such a programme. Many details must be settled to do a workshop, such as actually reaching the older people and motivating them to attend to the sessions, and finding the right time and location for those. Second, reunite a task force that has both the strategic vision and the fieldwork on board. Then set targets and adapt these to reality. Third, if you want to evaluate, you might want to implement a pilot test and adjust the methodology afterwards. 

See also A successful Health Education Programme targeting the Elderly on the Correct Use of Medicines tested in Catalunya for training material.


A Selection of News from the Marketplace

A global invitation to innovators: Real world testing of combinatorial innovation

NHS England is inviting innovators from the UK and globally to express interest in deploying and testing their innovations in its 'test beds' programme. These 'test beds' sites will evaluate the real world impact of new technologies offering both better care and better value for taxpayers, testing them together with innovations in how NHS services are delivered. The call for expressions of interest opened on 26 March 2015 and will run until 29 May 2015. The test bed programme provides the opportunity to combine different technologies with innovations in how services are delivered in the NHS. This might be a new service delivery model for people with dementia that combines wearable devices linked into mobile or other digital technology, implemented alongside technology-enabled housing and a lower-cost nurse or allied health professional workforce model. At least one of the test bed sites identified through this programme will have a focus on enabling Internet of Things technologies.

Innovative Medicines Initiative Alzheimer's disease projects launch joint platform

The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) and its AETIONOMY, EMIF and EPAD projects have announced the creation of the IMI Alzheimer's Disease Research Platform. The platform will facilitate collaboration between the three projects, helping them to deliver results faster. At the same time, IMI and the Global Alzheimer's Platform (GAP) are announcing their plans to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to accelerate Alzheimer's drug development by building a global, standing, trial-ready platform for Alzheimer's drug development.

Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions for health and care: Open Market Consultation on the STOPandGO project's European Specification Template

STOPand GO (Sustainable Technologies for Older People Get Organised) is a Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions (PPI) Pilot project. The project began in April 2014 and will run for 36 months. 

The Whole System Demonstrator (WSD) showed that incorporating telehealth and telecare technology into care and cure services can lead to reductions in the need for people to access services, as well as improving their ability to live better lives in their own homes (e.g., quality of life). The plan is designed to overcome some issues identified in WSD and the project will illustrate real improvements in Quality of Life, care and carer programmes, hospital in-patient stay, and other service outcome aspects felt to be essential. In addition, STOPandGO will identify the PPI benefits of STOPandGO for industry and the localities throughout the process in relation to the situation before. 

By adopting an innovative procurement approach the PPI Pilot will show that the benefits identified in the WSD can be translated from small populations (the pilots will represent about 10% of a regional target population) to wider ones, providing for scale uptake of technology and proportional reductions in the pressure on services. The project will also show that this approach can be applied across the EU.

Launch of an EU-wide repository of good practices in the field of age-friendly environments

To address the challenges posed by demographic change, European local and regional authorities, universities, civil society organisations and industries, have already developed and implemented a large number of initiatives in the fields of public services, healthcare, ICT, transport, housing, accessibility, and social participation. The AFE-INNOVNET Network has launched a Europe-wide repository set up to gather and share interesting initiatives in the field of age-friendly environments and help make population ageing an opportunity for Europe's economic and social growth.

Learn from existing initiatives and share yours as well!

European Assistance for innovation procurement

The European Commission has setup a service that provides promotion, training and local assistance to procurers interested to implement innovation procurements across the Member States. More info: Over the next 3 years, 12 events in different EU countries will provide info and training on PCP and PPI. Training is based on a toolkit on why and how to implement PCP and PPI. A helpdesk will post replies to FAQs online. Local assistance focuses on public procurers that want to start a PCP or PPI procurement for ICT based solutions at national level. It includes legal assistance in the start-up and implementation phase of a PCP or PPI. The target is to kick-start 6 new PCP and 6 new PPI procurements.

Interested to benefit from this European assistance on innovation procurement?

Scotland invests £200m in supporting health & social care integration

Two-year additional funding package to deliver landmark change. Funding of £200 million is to be allocated over two years to support the implementation of health and social care integration, the Health Secretary has announced today. The investment will extend the current Integrated Care Fund into 2016/17 and 2017/18, and comes on top of £100 million of funding already allocated for 2015/16. The money will be distributed among the 32 local NHS and social care partnerships that have been set up as part of the move towards integrated services. The Integrated Care Fund forms part of over half a billion pounds of Government investment over the next three years that will be used to support integration, including £100 million over three years for delayed discharge, and £30 million over three years for Telehealth.

World Bank: Central Europe and the Baltics Need to Prioritize Active, Healthy, and Productive Aging

With their populations aging faster than their neighbors in the rest of the European Union, the countries of Central Europe and the Baltics would benefit from a focus on promoting active, healthy, and productive aging, according to the World Bank's new report What's Next in Aging Europe: Aging with Growth in Central Europe and the Baltics. 

To effectively address these challenges and continue to realize gains in economic output and converge to EU-15 income levels, Central European and Baltic countries could benefit from early and coordinated policy initiatives covering labor markets, healthcare, education, pensions, long-term care, migration, and family policy