Communications Networks, Content and Technology

Active and Healthy Ageing

Active and Healthy Ageing

Digital Social Platforms (Unit H.2)

To support ageing well while achieving a triple win: better quality of life for older people and their carers, more sustainable systems for health and social care, and new market opportunities and growth for European industry, in particular SMEs.


To allow people to age actively and independently with support of ICT based innovation.We will manage the H2020 research & innovation actions in active and healthy ageing and ensure validaiton and exploitation of novel ICT concepts. We will also support large scale deployment of proven solutions through all the available instuments and cooperation schemes with externall and internall partners, namelywith i) DG SANCO through EIP-AHA; ii) with DG EMPL supporting their policy and recommendations  for long-term-care and targets in the Social Investment Package; iii) with DG REGIO on assisting regions to develop smart specialisation in health and ageing and effectively scalling up innovation that has proven to work on small scale in H2020 and AAL projects and/or EIP AHA operations; iv)  with DG EAC for EIT-KIC on Healthy living and Active Ageing; v) with Member States on the Active and Assisted Living Joint Programme  and on Joint Programming Initiative on More Years Better Life.H2 will continue to stimulate the growth of sectors of the 'digital silver market' such as the solutions for independent and assistend living, smart home solutions, social robotics, integrated care, telecare, etc through targeted actions building on major industrial ICT initiatives (such as JTIs, PPPs).By end of 2015, H2 will developed a digital strategy for the silver economy in cooperation with other units and DGs. It will take into account the developments in EIP AHA and other relevant initiatives mentioned above. 


Demographic shift heavily impacts society and economy and the EU is still not well prepared for this. EU 2020 points to the demographic change as one of the societal challenges that EU should address.  The ratio of working people versus inactive people is expected to rise from 63% to 95%."[1]  By 2020, it is projected that we will face a shortage of up to 2 million jobs in care and health.[2] Total EU public spending on pensions, healthcare, long-term care, and education will increase by around 20% between 2010 and 2060[3], while expenditures for long-term care will double between 2012 and 2060.Many ICT-enabled products and services have been and are being developed and piloted, but large scale uptake at EU level remains a problem. Main reasons include:

  • Assessment methodologies leading to evidence on efficacy and safety for pharmaceuticals and medical devices do not fully apply for the innovative, ICT-enabled systems and services.
  • There are only few large scale pilots that can provide evidence at scale on which innovative products and services work the best for patients, care systems and at the same does not cost more in short to medium terms;
  • Generally slow scale up of innovation in highly regulated and publicly health and social care systems due also to the speed of uptake of new guidelines and skills by health professionals, carers and patients;
  • A fragmented EU market because of diverging regulation, mostly still focussed on traditional treatment and medication and not yet 'fit'  for ICT-enhanced products and services.

[1]  Source, p 56 of The 2012 Ageing Report; Economic and budgetary projections for the 27 EU Member States (2010-2060) [European Economy 2|2012 (provisional version).] Http://[2]  European Commission’s preliminary own estimates based on EUROSTAT and OECD data[3]  The 2012 Ageing Report; Economic and budgetary projections for the 27 EU Member States (2010-2060) [European Economy 2|2012 (provisional version).] Http:// 


Full-Time Equivalent: 
14.00 full-time equivalent (FTE)
Collaboration with other DGs or agencies:
under H2020 135 M€ for the years 2014-15 and 550 M€ for the total period. The 2013 FP7 and CIP budgets of H2 leading to projects starting now.

to add further details to the abovementioned CNECT/H2 cooperation with other DGs, please note that H2 will: 1) manage directly in cooperation with DG RTD the H2020 R&I projects in the area of Active Ageing, Independent living and Integrated care (no externalisation); 2) Renew, coordinate and financially contribute to the Active and Assisted Living Joint Programme (AAL JP) with the full-colegislative process and ex ante assessment of the AAL Association. 3) Manage the input to R&I from the European Innovation Partnership in Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP AHA) as well as the deployment of results through EIP AHA in close cooperation with SANCO and REGIO. 4) Coordinate with EAC and EIT the synergies of the KIC on Active Ageing and Healthy Living with existing initiatives in the field. 5) Manage the development and synergies of the strategic Reserch Agenda of Member states in Ageing through Joint Programming Initiative on More Years better Lives (JPI - MYBL); 


New H2020 Research and Innovation projects

Around 25 new H2020 projects and pilots by 2015, in addition to current FP7, CIP (and AAL) projects, including Support Action an dinstruments such as PCP, PPI and SME measures.

Timeframe: 2015



New H2020 research/innovation projects

Target 25 (2015)
Baseline 0 (1/1/2014)
Current 14 (13/11/2014)


AAL JP2 innovation projects

Renewal of the AAL JP II involving full co-legislative process, developemnt of delegation and annual fudning agreements, ex-ante assesssment of AAL Association etc.   20 new projects launched in 2015, in addition to current AAL ones

Timeframe: 2015



Launch of AAL JP2 including co-decision and launch of first call

Target Programme fully operational (2014)
Baseline no programme decided (1/1/2014)
Current Programme adopted by Council and European Parliament, 1st call launched. (end 2014)

EC internal

New AAL JP2 projects launched

Target 40 (2015)
Baseline 0 (1/1/2014)
Current 21 (end 2014)

Research Excellence, user participation and Market Dynamics in ICT for ageing well

  • Longer Term R&D - Research excellence
  • Applied R&D: Participation of user organisations and of industry in leading role in projects, delivering protitypes with demonstrated impact.
  • Innovation: working prototypes with demonstrated impact in ICT based products and solutions
  • Deployment and uptake: public procurements, market growth and dynamics in ICT enabled technologies for ageing well

Timeframe: 2015



Annual private investments in companies producing ICT for active and healthy ageing

Target At least 20% gowth per year (Starting 2015)
Baseline (to be established by AAL market observatory) (2015)
Current (to be established by AAL market observatory ) (2015)

The data will initially be based on the new AAL market observatory being launched under the AAL JP, but is expected to be provided in the longer term by professional market research companies.

User and industry participation

Target 10% resp. 20% (by 2014 resp. 2015)

Growth of internet access and activity of people over 55 years (lead indicator)

Target At least 10% growth/year (by 2015)
Baseline Digital Agenda Scoreboard (2014)
Current Digital Agenda Scoreboard (39,3%)

Eurostat (through Digital Agenda Scoreboard)

Chart URL See the chart

Market dynamics in ICT enabled technologies for ageing well

Target number of IPO's, market size, turnover (2015)

AAL Market Observatory (in progress)

Link to DG CONNECT's Top Level Targets

  • Europe 2020 - 75% of the population aged 20-64 should be employed Europe 2020
  • Europe 2020 - 3% of the EU's GDP should be invested in R&D, complemented by a future EU 2020 Headline Innovation Indicator
  • EIP AHA - Increase healthy life for everyone in Europe by an average of two years
  • H2020 - By 2020, one third of all Europe's ICT business investment in ICT R&D in the EU should come from companies created within the last two decades