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Conference of Partners 2019 highlights: Blueprint&SHAFE, scaling up regional innovation


After an action packed first day, we would like to share with you the main highlights from the different sessions and workshops. We were joined by experts and high-level representatives from the field of active and healthy ageing from across Europe and beyond…..here’s some of what they had to say:



Smart Healthy Age friendly Environments (SHAFE) and the Blueprint for Digital Transformation of Health and Care


“Digital is not the only solution, there are plenty of other elements and activities needed too”


A packed room came together to discuss two key initiatives including the White Paper on Smart Healthy Age friendly Environments (SHAFE) and the development and widening of the Blueprint on the Digital Transformation of Health and Care for the Ageing Society. The SHAFE initiative is preparing a White Paper for Spring 2020 which will have an increased focus on working with the building sector. Furthermore, there will be a greater involvement of stakeholders including industrial players, multi-stakeholder platforms, professional and civil society organisations, and regional authorities. Meanwhile, our Blueprint colleagues will expand coverage of the document to include SHAFE-related initiatives. A revised version will be released in 2020. A Call for Engagement for Stakeholders to help finalise the Blueprint will be launched in the coming days. Stay tuned!


Download the presentation on SHAFE

Download the presentation on the Blueprint



Policy and philosophical implications of the ageing demographic revolution


“It takes a whole village to take care of an elderly person”


Demographic change is one of the main societal challenges of today’s era. The debate tackled how to face this challenge and it was hosted by television anchor, Fernanda Freitas. The speakers focused around three key questions: What people must do to prepare for ageing throughout the life-course; what regions/local areas must do to support individuals and what regions have already been doing – practically – in terms of preventing ill health, developing health care strategies and introducing digital solutions. Many examples were given of practical solutions being carried out locally including:


  • ACTIVA Programme: An initiative being carried out in Murcia Spain to promote physical activity through the prescription of physical exercise for older adults.
  • Culture Coffee: A project being carried out in Portugal called that stimulates conversations between people with dementia and their families, friends and carers.



Scaling up of Regional Innovation


“As a region, knowing another region has achieved something, helps you to become braver with regard to your own ambitions.”


More than 100 people joined together in the Congress Hall to discuss the scaling up of regional innovation. There are a variety high-quality services available to the 77 recently awarded Reference Sites of the EIP on AHA including partnering, funding opportunities, early intelligence, institutional relationships. These services will enable a

 ‘marketplace’. This marketplace which will offer numerous opportunities to collaborate across regions and scale up innovation through twinning programmes, information exchange and especially decentralised events. Mutual learning will be key.


The ProMIS network of Italian Reference Sites is a great example of how to improve collaborative initiatives in active and healthy ageing at national level, foster the scaling up of innovative activities & align investments in health innovation. The network uses simple techniques such as the organisation of information days, thematic workshops, and newsletters. ProMIS has enabled the number of Italian regions active in the EIP on AHA Reference Sites to grow from 10 to 15 and there are many opportunities for this model to be replicated in other countries in Europe.


Moving down the regional level, the Campania region Reference Site in Italy faces considerable demographic challenges. Inspired by contemporary challenges, Campania is working on nine working groups. It also has ambitions to launch a digital innovation hub on which it is working closely with Confindustria Campania.


The European Commission presented the concept of Digital innovation hubs and highlighted their importance within the future Digital Europe programme. These hubs will provide technological expertise and experimentation facilities to enable the digital transformation of industry and the public sector in the Digital Europe programme.

Many hubs are already supported by the European Commission. In the future, between 130-280 digital innovation hubs planned. They will be able to seek grants which can last for at least seven years and in which the Member States will co-invest. It is a great opportunity to start preparing and organising yourself locally, regionally and nationally!


Funka discussed the need for accessibility in ICT projects. The World Health Organisation says up to 15% of people have a registered disability. If we are lucky enough to live a long life, our functional abilities may nevertheless still change. Accessibility is key! Including accessibility measures reduces the cost of digital implementation projects. For example, when the Swedish National Health Service improved the accessibility of its website, the costs of its phone calls went down by 23%. Accessibility is also the law. Since 23 September 2019, all websites need to comply with the Web Accessibility Directive. All Member States will be monitoring this as from 1 January 2020.


Download the presentation on the Reference Sites

Dowload the presentation on ProMIS

Download the presentation on Campania RS

Download the presentation on Digital Innovation Hubs

Download the presentation on ICT accessibility and ageing



Thanks to all of the amazing speakers and exhibitors, we look forward to more tomorrow! Good night from Aarhus!

Related action groups: 
A1 Adherence to prescription, A2 Falls prevention, A3 Lifespan Health Promotion & Prevention of Age Related Frailty and Disease, B3 Integrated care, C2 Independent living solutions, D4 Age friendly environments
Relevance to partnership: 
Active ageing and independent living, Care and cure, Horizontal issues and framework conditions, Prevention, screening and early diagnosis