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The call for Reference Sites of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing is now closed.

The Call closed on Friday 15th April 2016. A total of 78 Reference Site applications (from 22 Member States) were submitted, representing regional and national alliances of stakeholders invested in the scaling up of innovation for active and healthy ageing.

What next?

The "peer-review" process of the eligible applications received will now be launched. The process will start with a briefing organised by the European Commission and the Reference Site Collaborative Network with all eligible applicants to provide them with the information needed to carry out the "peer-review".

By end of June we also expect the peer-review process to be completed and will inform each applicant of the outcome of their application (with the number of stars awarded).

From September 2016 and in close cooperation with the Reference Sites Collaborative Network (RSCN) the Commission will launch:

  • The Communication campaign to showcase and support the Reference Sites' innovative work via our newsletter and media channels.
  • A twinning support scheme supporting Reference sites with high potential for fast transferability (and adoption) of innovative solutions.

The Reference Sites Award Ceremony is scheduled to take place in Brussels at the next European Summit on Innovation for Health and Active Ageing on the 6-8 December 2016.

What are Reference Sites?

Reference Sites are highly inspirational ecosystems, delivering creative and workable solutions that improve the lives and health of older people. These solutions can be scaled-up and replicated across the EU.

For a more formal definition, they are "ecosystems which comprise different players, including regional and/or local authorities, cities, integrated hospitals/care organisations, industry organisations, SMEs and/or start-ups, research and innovation organisations, that jointly implement a comprehensive, innovation-based approach to active and healthy ageing, and can give evidence and concrete illustrations of the impact of such approaches on the ground".

A first call published in 2012 resulted in 32 regions  PDF icon 11.5 MB being recognised as Reference Sites. They received their recognition diplomas in July 2013 during an award ceremony presided by European Commission Vice-President at the time, Neelie Kroes.


What are the benefits of being a Reference Site?

They are manifold. For many of the Reference Sites the recognition of their leadership has been a catalyst in their region. It brought other stakeholders on board to collaboratively work in developing innovative solutions, thereby ensuring a "whole system approach".

Additionally, networking is a fundamental part of the EIP on AHA. The 32 sites see themselves as a band of pioneers and have created strong links between them. This collaboration has allowed them to share good practices and build collaboration across borders.

See also about the Reference Site Collaborate Network  PDF icon 130 KB (RSCN) and how it can support you.


What are the conditions to become a Reference Site?

Reference Sites should showcase innovative components of their care model/systems that can serve as illustrations of good practice to other regions. Robust proof of their impact on the ground and presentation of sound indicators aligned notably with the indicators supported by the Monitoring and Assessment Framework of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (MAFEIP) and grouped under "Quality of Life", "Sustainability of Healthcare systems" and "Economic growth and jobs". They should also be actively engaged in the scaling up/replicability process by submitting good practices to the EIP on AHA Repository of Innovative Practices, for example, coaching other regions that wish to implement their good practices and already engaged (or to become engaged) with the Action Groups of the EIP on AHA.