Action plan offers support to ageing well using ICT
The European Commission has responded to the needs of Europe’s growing elderly population by drafting a set of measures designed to break down barriers that prevent older people from using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) products, services and applications. The Ageing Well in the Information Society Action Plan was adopted in June 2007 and brings forward a package of measures that should lead to greater uptake of ICTs by Europe’s senior citizens and stimulate industry to produce technologies appropriate for them.
The Commission wants to help older people live independently and stay active for longer. It believes ICTs can provide enormous support to older people at work, in the home and in the wider community.
The action plan has therefore been designed to produce a ‘triple win’ situation which will: improve the quality of life of elderly people and their carers and relatives; create new business opportunities for Europe’s ICT industry; and help to personalise health and social care.
To make this a reality, the plan puts in place measures to:
- Raise awareness, and building consensus via stakeholder cooperation and the establishment of a best practice internet portal and European award scheme for smart homes and independent living applications;
Status: A best practice portal has been established where a number of ICT & Ageing related cases can already be found. A set of eInclusion awards have been given in 2008. In addition a multi-stakeholder innovation platform with an associated Research and Innovation roadmap has been set up through the AALIANCE project and two ministerial events were held in Lisbon in 2007 and Vienna in 2008. Furthermore annual conferences were held by the AAL Joint Programme in Austria and Denmark with participation of the European Commission.
- Overcome technical and regulatory barriers to market development, through market assessments, studies and benchmarking and by facilitating the exchange of best practice between Member States;
Status: A major study was completed in 2008 to provide an overview of the usage of ICT products and services by elderly people. Another study analysing the current market conditions and barriers in 10 representative European countries, the US and Japan has been completed.
- Accelerate take-up through, for example, a set of pilot projects under the ICT Policy Support Programme and use of Structural Funds;
Status: 11 large pilot projects related to ICT & ageing have so far been launched with involvement of more than 40 European regions and 10,000 users, for further information.
Collaboration has been started with DG REGIO to disseminate good practice on ICT & Ageing solutions, e.g. through the annual Regions for Economic Change conferences.
An investment forum has been established to promote public and private investments in ICT for Ageing Well solutions jointly with the AAL Joint Programme and with participation of the European Investment Bank. The first event was held on 14-15 September 2010 in Denmark.
- Boost research and innovation to foster the emergence of innovative, ICT-based products, services and systems for Europe's ageing population. This includes a dedicated action in the 7th Framework Programme and EC support to the new Ambient Assisted Living Joint Research and Innovation programme involving 23 European Countries.
Status: More than 30 ageing related R&D projects have been launched under Framework Programme 6 and 7 until now. The Ambient Assisted Living Joint Programme has started operations and a first batch of more than 50 projects is under way.
Between now and 2013, the EU and Member States, and the private sector will invest more than €1 billion in research and innovation for ageing well: some €600 million in the Ambient Assisted Living Joint Programme, an expected €400 million in the EU's latest research framework programme and so far more than €50 million on large scale pilot projects in the EU's ICT Policy Support Programme.
Last update: 04/06/2012