Smart Silver Economy

We will provide timely and hopefully interesting posts about the latest news and insights from our study, commissioned by the European Commission Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content & Technology and aimed at exploring the economic opportunities (and the related policy options) that activities and needs of older adults in Europe can bring about.

Initially, we are preparing an inventory of major Silver Economy policy initiatives, at the national and regional level, to demonstrate the variety of sectors, geographic coverage and potential for social and economic impact in Europe. Therefore, we will portray some of the most interesting policies we have identified. Moreover, we would like to ask for your support in collecting the most important policy initiatives across Europe with relevance to Silver Economy – whether you are an expert or an interested citizen.

But what is Silver Economy? It is basically the part of the economy that concerns Europe’s older citizens. Thus the Silver Economy is closely linked to current trends in Europe’s demographics, and the effects on older adults’ quality of life and on the wider European economy. Yet the aging population has largely been seen as a threat rather than an opportunity! Older people are often linked to the rising healthcare cost which must be covered by constrained public finances supported by an ever shrinking working-age population.

However, an ageing society should be considered a sign of social and economic progress that, as a result of increasing longevity, brings about further opportunities for economic, social and cultural development. The ‘older people’ (defined here as adults over 50 years of age) are better educated and in better health than generations ever before. They want to live independently, continue to contribute to their communities and enjoy their later lives in good health.

Businesses are potentially unaware of the changing needs of their customers and the perceived averseness of older people to innovative technologies may simply stem from a lack of available products and services considering inclusive design principles. Alternatively, there may be current barriers to develop and scale up new solutions for older people that are also financially profitable.

This study aims to explore the largely untapped economic potential offered by a ‘silver generation’ in Europe. Along the way, we hope to develop realistic scenarios where the corresponding economic opportunities can be unleashed by new policies at the European level. We also hope that the growth of the Silver Economy will be connected to a positive and socially inclusive identity for older adults.

If you would like to support our study, please get in touch with us at: http://www.smartsilvereconomy.eu/contact

We look forward to engaging you in this exciting journey and explore together the opportunities for and with a growing number of older citizens in Europe.