A pilot partnership on active and healthy ageing is one of the key elements of the "Innovation Union" adopted by the European Commission's on 6 October 2010. The aims of the partnership should be, by 2020, to enable citizens to live longer independently in good health by increasing the average number of healthy life years by two. Achieving this target will improve the sustainability and efficiency of our social and healthcare systems and create an EU and global market for innovative products and services, with new opportunities for EU business.

The ageing of the population is a pressing societal challenge having significant social and economic implications. It is therefore critical to renew our commitment to expand the lifespan spent in activity and good health, as well as contribute to improving the sustainability of our welfare systems, through more efficient healthcare and long-term care spending.

To achieve and measure an increase by two years of more healthy life, we will need to put in place better preventive measures, medical advances to combat chronic diseases, innovative and more integrated care systems, and develop and deploy innovative products and devices specifically aimed at elderly people.

The partnership could help bring to the market solutions such as those developed in the i2HOME project. i2HOME was originally financed by the EU's 6th Framework Programme for Research and Development. It developed a simple platform allowing elderly people who become forgetful to control home appliances in a very simple and centralised way. The partnership aims to shorten the time between the blue-sky research needed to develop these solutions in the first place and their integration in the daily life of individuals who want to benefit from them.