The European Innovation Partnership in Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP on AHA) is an initiative launched by the European Commission to foster innovation and digital transformation in the field of active and healthy ageing.
The concept of a European Innovation Partnership (an EIP) is of a partnership that can help strengthen EU research and innovation. A partnership brings together all the relevant actors at EU, national and regional levels across different policy areas to handle a specific societal challenge and involve all the innovation chain levels. The EIP on Active and Healthy Ageing was the first EIP created in 2011. It focuses on the active and healthy ageing of the people of Europe.
The European population is ageing rapidly. Yet living longer does not necessarily mean living a healthier, more active and independent life. The number of Europeans aged over 65 will double in the next 50 years, and the number of over 80 year olds will almost triple. Life expectancy will continue to increase, yet unhealthy life years make up around 20% of a person's life.
Active and healthy ageing is a societal challenge shared by all European countries, but also an opportunity. It is a chance for Europe to establish itself as a global leader that is capable of providing innovative solutions.
The EIP on AHA aims to promote healthy and active ageing. Its overarching target is to increase the average healthy lifespan of EU citizens by 2 years by the year 2020.
It pursues a Triple Win for Europe:
The EIP on AHA has its foundations on two main pillars: Action Groups and Reference Sites. The Blueprint, Innovation to Market (I2M) and MAFEIP are the three crosscutting horizontal initiatives that feed the EIP on AHA:
Register on the EIP on AHA portal
The portal is a platform for cooperation and engagement that can help you develop innovative ideas and initiatives within the EIP on AHA.
Members are invited to upload strategies, initiatives, projects, events and documents, which will be validated by the website moderator. Newsworthy items are submitted to the news feed by the moderator. So, if you have any relevant news, innovative practices, or recent project achievements that you would like to be highlighted on the news feed, please send an email!
All of these activities can help you build your network, develop ideas and initiatives, and make healthy and active ageing a reality.
Take action with an Action Group
The European Commission periodically launches Invitations for Commitment, that are open to all stakeholders, for the submission of projects or initiatives that support the specific actions identified in the Strategic Implementation Plan. Candidates meeting the criteria (explained here) have joined a dedicated Action Group working on a Specific Action.
Invitations for Commitment were first launched in 2012, with the adoption of the Communication relating to the EIP on AHA. The second Invitation for Commitments was held in 2013. The third Invitation ran in 2016. The next Invitation to commit will be launched by 2019. Although regular invitations are sent out, both EIP on AHA current and future members can submit their commitments at any time. This activity has led to a growth in members from some hundreds to around 3,500 today.
What does making a Commitment involve? A Commitment is a measurable and concrete engagement, such as a project or initiative, in support of an action, or a group of actions, that help achieve the objectives and deliverables identified in the Strategic Implementation Plan.
There is one Action Group for each specific action. Participants commit to running a number of activities that contribute towards the headline target through the development of an Action Plan. The EIP on AHA started with a large number of Action Groups. Over the years, these groups have collaborated together to focus on a core set of priority commitments for Europe.
Become a Reference site
Reference sites are regions, cities, integrated hospitals or care organisations that focus on a comprehensive, innovation-based approach to active and healthy ageing. They offer concrete examples of their positive impact on active and healthy ageing. Reference Sites demonstrate synergies between different actions, breakthrough solutions within a short time frame, and the added value of taking a holistic approach.
The first Call for Reference Sites took place in 2016. You can find more information about that call document here. To find out more about getting involved in twinning activities among Reference Sites, regional representatives should contact EC-AHA-RS@ec.europa.eu indicating their expertise and needs for knowledge transfer. The next Call for Reference Sites will be launched in 2019.