Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Action 78: Reinforce the Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) Joint Programme

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Reinforce the Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) Joint Programme to allow older people and persons with disabilities to live independently and be active in society. The reinforcement of the Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) Joint Programme is a major element of the wider policy action on ICT for Ageing Well, including the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing. Its overall aim is more healthy life years for people, better and more efficient systems for carte and cure, and innovation and economic growth.
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The action aimed at contributing to the delivery of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing under the Innovation Union flagship.

The action targeted the reinforcement of the Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) Joint Programme to allow older people and persons with disabilities to live independently and be active in society for more years. The reinforcement of the Ambient Assisted Living Joint Programme is indeed a major element of the wider policy action on ICT for Ageing Well, which also includes the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing. Its overall aim is a triple win of more healthy life years for people, better, more efficient and integrated systems for health and social care, and innovation and economic growth.

Final evaluation AAL JP published, proposal submitted for co-decisions and last call launched.

What is the problem / opportunity?

Demographic ageing, putting strong pressure on sustainability of health and social care, on labour participation, on quality of life for older people and persons with disabilities, and on national budgets in general. The demographic ageing of the population puts pressure on our care systems and national budgets. The balance of active (working) versus inactive people will shift from 5:1 to 2:1 in 2030. Innovative ICT solutions can help to improve quality of life for citizens and increase the efficiency of systems for health and social care. This is also a very large market and growth opportunity for European industry to deliver relevant ICT base products and services in support of ageing well. Because of barriers to innovation in the markets concerned, the governments, and health and care sector, these innovations do not yet take place at a relevant scale.

Why the EU action is required?

The reinforcement of the Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) Joint Programme (jointly financed by the EU and 23 European countries) is a major element of the EU policy action on ICT for Ageing Well. Its aim is to achieve a triple-win through ICT-based innovation: 1) more years of active and independent living for older people; 2) increased efficiency and sustainability of the care systems; 3) promotion of a flourishing industry in Europe for independent and active ageing. The initiative brings users, researchers and industry from different countries together to help them develop products and services which meet genuine user needs across Europe and to compete at promising global markets.

By joining forces between Member States and the EU a critical mass of investment can be mobilized. This way the fragmentation and a lack of coordination of the EU market and research can be tackled and the impact and scale for successful commercial exploitation and economic growth can be achieved.

What has the Commission done?

In 2010 – 2012:

EIP AHA/ FP7 / CIP

  • Launched the (pilot) European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing 2011 – 2015 (EIP AHA):
    • 6 Action Groups, with over 3000 committed participants implement their Work Programmes on fall-prevention, prescription adherence, frailty and malnutrition, independent living, integrated care and age-friendly environments (since 2012)
    • 32 Reference Sites received stars / awards after self-assessment and peer review and work on outreach, transference and dissemination/sharing of their good practices with other regions (since July 2013).
  • Launched research and pre-commercial public procurement projects for independent living under the 7th Framework Programme (FP7)
  • Launched deployment projects under the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework programme (CIP)
  • Launched together with 13 Member States the Joint Programming Initiative More Years – Better Lives to deliver required multi-disciplinary scientific knowledge for policy making associated with Demographic Change.

H2020 / AP Ageing Well / EYAG

  • Included a major objective on 'Advancing Active and Healthy Ageing'  in the Horizon 2020 Work Programme
  • Updated the EU Action Plan for Ageing Well in the Information Society
  • Contributed to the activities under the 2012 European Year of Active Ageing

AAL JP I and II

  • Contributed to last calls and projects of AAL Joint Programme 2008 – 2013
  • Supported the continuation of the AAL Investment Forum to help leverage investments in innovation in ICT for Ageing Well, in cooperation with the European Investment Bank and the Structural Funds.
  • Completed an interim evaluation of the AAL Joint Programme and issued a report to the European Parliament and Council with key findings and proposed actions.
  • Issued a Recommendation on a Joint Programming Initiative on demographic change to coordinate national research activities (2012)
  • Completed an impact assessment of the Decision on EU participation on the AAL Joint Programme after 2013 (2012)

In 2013:

EIP / FP7 / CIP / H2020

  • EIP AHA: Coordinated the ACTION Groups (with DG SANCO), guided the Reference Sites through self-assesment and peer review to their first activities.
  • Coordinated research and pre-commercial public procurement projects for independent living under FP7, as well as deployment projects under CIP.
  • Launched new calls under H2020 Societal Challenge 1 ' Health, demographic change and wellbeing'.

AAL JP I and II

  • Contributed to the last call and projects of AAL Joint Programme 2008 – 2013
  • Prepared and launched the final evaluation of AAL Joint Programme 2008 - 2013
  • Launched a proposal for a co-decision to renew the AAL JP for seven more years. The new AAL Programme:
    • will be closer to market and will respond better to actual user needs
    • will have SME partners and greater user-involvement in each phase of every project.
    • will use new instruments (like awards) to enable participation of innovative ICT-start ups
    • will align its scope with the ICT-part of the EIP AHA, including ICT based solutions for Prevention, Care and Cure as well as active and independent living of older people.

What will the Commission do next?

In 2014:

  • Based on the co-decision (expected by March 2014) continue the AAL JP, while reinforcing synergies between AAL JP, EIP AHA JPI MYBL and Regional Funds (ESF. ERDF and Cohesion Funds), as well as between EIT-KIC Healthy Ageing, AAL JP , EIP-AHA and H2020.
  • Launch deployment projects under H2020/CIP.
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Status: Completed Peter Wintlev-Jensen Contact
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