Why are we doing this?
Globally, the ageing population is increasing at an unprecedented rate. By 2060 one in three Europeans will be over 65. This demographic shift presents a challenge as well as an exciting commercial opportunity as the silver economy emerges as a new market.
Innovative technological approaches are needed that cater to the needs and aspirations of older adults, empowering them to continue to lead independent lives and play an active role in society, whether that be at home, work, education, or in their community.
What are we doing?
The AAL Programme is launching its first challenge prize to source innovations in internet-connected devices and technologies (Internet of Things) that will empower older adults to achieve the quality of life they aspire to, socially and independently.
The innovation should present a business opportunity which improves connectivity between older adults, devices and technologies related to any aspect of their life (e.g., home, social, work, study, transport or services). Innovations must involve older adults in the development and testing of the technology.
The challenge prize will develop the most innovative ideas into viable projects which can achieve commercial sustainability and have a positive impact on older people.
Out of 175 applications from 26 countries, our judging panel selected fifteen of the most promising entries as finalists. The finalists attended a social innovation mentoring academy in July at the Royal Flemish Academy for Arts and Sciences in Brussels.
Each finalist was given €500 to develop a prototype to demonstrate at the event. Using the expert coaching and business development support they received at the academy, the finalists submitted a final detailed business plan in August 2016.
From these detailed plans, five applicants were selected to attend the AAL Forum in St Gallen, Switzerland from 26-28 September 2016, where they pitched their ideas in front of the audience.
The winner, Active84Health was announced at the AAL Forum on 28 September, where they were awarded a prize of €50,000.
About the AAL Programme
The Active and Assistive Living (AAL) Programme is a €700 million funding initiative focused exclusively on developing ICT solutions for active and healthy ageing. The overall objective of AAL is to enhance the quality of life of older adults while strengthening the industrial base in Europe through the use of ICT. Since 2008, AAL has funded more than 190 trans-national innovation projects with over 1000 partners. Through its funding the AAL Programme helps to bring new ICT-based products, solutions and services onto the market.