--- Posted by Amelie Quirke, Orsolya Nagy & Toni Cowan-Brown, members of the European Commission's team who looked after the EIP on AHA stand at the Innovation Union Convention
The pilot European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing  (EIP on AHA) was presented to a wide public at the Innovation Union Convention  this week, as our keen team members from DG Health and Consumers  and DG Information Society and Media  manned a display stand in the centre of the exhibition area.
The overall enthusiasm for this "long overdue partnership" – according to one interested party - was palpable and the response largely positive. We must emphasise that we had stiff competition when it came to attracting the crowd on our stand; with Hector  the new compagnable robot on our right and the latest innovative car  on our left.
As the event kicked off and participants curiously came to our stand to find out more about the Partnership, we soon realised just how interested people were. We made frequent references to the recently published Strategic Implementation Plan  of the EIP on AHA and to answer the, sometimes, tricky questions we were asked. Indeed certain questions about the EIP on AHA cropped up again and again, and this is where our leaflet came in handy.
Fortunately for us the most frequent questions were about engaging with the partnership: 'can I get involved?' If so, 'how do I get involved?' and 'how can I keep track of further developments in the EIP?'. Interested stakeholders from the public and private sector at the national, regional and EU level will in fact have the chance to express their interest in early 2012. The details will be published on the website: ec.europa.eu/active-healthy-ageing 
Such enthusiastic enquiries nicely demonstrate the level of demand for an initiative promoting active and healthy ageing in our increasingly ageing societies across Europe. With strong commitment and the leadership of all relevant stakeholders, we can join up resources, break silos and speed up the innovation process, in order to foster active and healthy ageing for all. Now, it is up to us to do more than just keep up with our eager stakeholders and get busy with the practicality of the partnership.