With the Innovation Union strategy the European Commission aims to enhance European competitiveness and tackle societal challenges through research and innovation.
One way in which this is to be achieved is with Innovation Partnerships. Their unique strength is that they will address weaknesses in the European research and innovation system (notably, under-investment, conditions which are not sufficiently innovation-friendly, and fragmentation and duplication), which considerably complicate the discovery or exploitation of knowledge and, in many cases, ultimately prevent the entry of innovations into the market place.
The European Commission has identified active and healthy ageing as a major societal challenge common to all European countries, and an area which presents considerable potential for Europe to lead the world in providing innovative responses to this challenge.
The pilot European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing will pursue a triple win for Europe:
This will be realised in the three areas of prevention and health promotion, care and cure, and active and independent living of elderly people. The overarching target of this pilot partnership will be to increase the average healthy lifespan by two years by 2020.
The pilot Partnership will aim to achieve this by bringing together key stakeholders (end users, public authorities, industry); all actors in the innovation cycle, from research to adoption (adaptation), along with those engaged in standardisation and regulation. The pilot partnership provides these actors with a forum in which they can cooperate, united around a common vision that values older people and their contribution to society, identify and overcome potential innovations barriers and mobilise instruments.
The pilot Partnership aims at improving the framework conditions for uptake of innovation, leveraging financing and investments in innovation and improve coordination and coherence between funding for research and innovation at European, national and regional level in Europe.
This altogether will foster innovation in products, processes and services, and in parallel facilitate the innovation chain and reduce the time to market for innovative solutions. Ultimately this will produce benefits for innovation's final users – the older people and care providers.