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Fifth Framework Programme - External Advisory Groups

Opinion of the External Advisory Group for the Key Action "Ageing Population"

This advice was produced by the External Advisory Group for the Key Action "Ageing Population" for the Research Directorate-General and represents the External Advisory Group's views on this matter. These views have not been adopted or in any way approved by the Commission and should not be relied upon as a statement of the Commission's or the Research-DG's views. The European Commission does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this advice, nor does it accept responsibility for any use made thereof.

This report is also available as PDF-file: population1.pdf (50 Kb)

Informal Meetings - November 1998

Recommendations

1. The adequacy of the key action's design in respect of the problem solving approach, both in terms of formulation of the problems and the way in which they will be tackled.

The overall goal of this key action is to promote healthy ageing, quality of life and independence in old age by furthering societal opportunities for the well functioning of elderly as well as prevention and treatment of age-related loss of function, disability and disease and their social consequences. An integrated multidisciplinary research on ageing (including demography, epidemiology, social and health aspects) will allow a better understanding of the ageing process and of the interaction of biological, psychological and socio-economic contributing factors leading to innovative possibilities for interventions promoting health, preventing and postponing loss of function, disability and disease.

The EAG stressed that the multidisciplinary approach of this key action, with interaction between medical, psychological and social sciences, should bring added value in seeking solutions for the challenges of an ageing population.

The EAG felt that, although the content of key action was, as a point of departure, oriented towards medical aspects and individual ageing, changes proposed by the EAG, putting emphasis on the psychological and social aspects and emphasising quality of life of older people also as a societal outcome, would provide a more balanced problem solving approach.

2. Whether the deliverables are clearly presented, sufficiently measurable, both during the lifetime of the programme and at the end.

Given the specific nature of the Key action "The ageing population" the EAG considered that the deliverables as presented were reasonable but could be supplemented by others they had recommended.

3. Whether the choice of RTD priorities in 1999 is appropriate to meet the programme objectives and achieve the anticipated deliverables.

The EAG examined at length the RTD priorities. At this occasion it was stressed that the key action "ageing population" should be both looked at from a medical perspective and from a psychological and social perspective. This approach resulted in the introduction of new specific RTD tasks strengthening these psychological and sociological aspects.

The EAG recommended the following priorities for the call for proposals in 1999.

  • Age-related diseases and health problems;
  • Basic cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying age-related changes; psychosocial mechanisms underlying age-related changed; societal determinants of ageing; healthy and pathological ageing; model studies and disease models;
  • Demographic predictive modelling; comparative analysis and quantification of demographic, medical, sociological, economic, environmental and functional factors; longitudinal and cohort research;
  • Studies on diagnosis, prevention and intervention; assessment of the quantification of needs and analysis of new, competitive, optimising and adaptative projects, technologies, and services contributing to less dependency; impact of reduction/extension of working life; comparative research on the quality of life as a societal outcome;
  • Comparative studies for the identification of transferable good practices and methodologies in health and social care; role of caregivers; comparative studies on the economic sustainability of long term care and pension systems.

The group provided several examples of possible research in all these priority areas.

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Advice | External Advisory Groups | Fifth Framework Programme | 17.02.2000

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