To confront the challenges of an ageing population, the Swedish government has published a document titled an Ageing Population: National Strategic Research Agenda Final Report. Funded by Vinnova, Sweden’s innovation agency, the agenda explores the challenges and opportunities of an increasingly elderly population in regards to Sweden’s society, businesses and entrepreneurs. Over 30 public and private organisations have contributed to workshops in order to create a diverse and multidisciplinary agenda.
On the 29th November 2016, the Mobilising the Potential of Active Ageing in Europe (MOPACT) Final Conference will be held in Brussels, Belgium. The conference will present the findings of the MOPACT project, a consortium of 32 partners funded for four years by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Programme. MOPACT was created as a response to the increasing demographic changes of Europe and with a belief that the approach to ageing must be rethought in order to realise the social and economic potential this change can bring for Europe.
The Flemish government is committed to removing age based discrimination and social exclusion from their society through inclusive, coordinated and coherent policies. The Flemish Senior Citizen Policy Plan 2010 – 2014 was developed to support these goals, as a follow up to the previous Flemish senior citizen policy which covered the period 2006 – 2009. The government actively involved the elderly in the development of this policy through consultations supported by local and provincial councils across Belgium.
The European Public Health Conference (EPH) is an initiative of the European Public Health Association (EUPHA). The 9th Conference under the topic “All for Health, Health for All”, will be held in Vienna, Austria from the 9th November - 12th November 2016. The goals of this conference are to help develop health-oriented structures in societies and policy, which provide good health and quality of life and focus on social inclusion, security and poverty reduction.
In France, national standards are already being implemented in regards to the Silver Economy. The Silver Economy Sectoral Agreement is a key example of France’s commitment to incorporating the Silver Economy into its political and economic agenda. It was created in 2013 under the authority of Arnaud Montebourg, Minister of Productive Renewal, and Michèle Delaunay, the Minister responsible for seniors and autonomy.
Signed on 12 December 2013, the Silver Economy Sectoral Agreement is currently developing 49 actions in the following six areas:
Between the 28th - 30th September 2016, the 19th European Health Forum Gastein (EHFG) will be held in Bad Hofgastein, Austria. The EHFG is an institution dedicated to European Health Policy and its annual conference provides a meeting point for various stakeholders of differing expertise within the health system, to meet and discuss the future of European healthcare strategies and policies. It is a key forum in the health-care field as it provides a diverse insight into European healthcare.
Ireland has begun to strategically implement policies to ensure an efficient engagement of their economy with the Silver Generation. Through the creation of businesses, rising exports and increased employment Ireland hopes to access the opportunities of a Silver Economy and in particular Smart Ageing. One strategy to reach these goals is the Ireland Smart Ageing Exchange (ISAX). ISAX is a new independent network, aiming to fast-track the R&D and commercialisation of solutions for the global Smart Ageing economy.
The Active and Assisted Living (AAL) Programme will hold its annual forum in St. Gallen, Switzerland between the 26th – 28th September 2016. This programme funds projects in public-private partnership to promote healthy ageing through the use of information and communication technology. The AAL annual forum allows the products and projects it has been supporting to be showcased in one interactive arena.
The Estonian government is currently promoting the importance of older adults’ contributions to society and the labour market. This included the creation of The Active Ageing Development Plan 2013 – 2020. This plan is the first comprehensive policy document, including a vision for strategies and initiatives, relating to older adults published in Estonia.
With the changing demographics of European society, there is an increasing need for housing solutions that will support the independent living of an older population. Currently such solutions are lacking, yet the demand for suitably designed and equipped homes is pushing age friendly technologies to the front of the public agenda. As a result, age-friendly homes have become a key concern for public policy, in particular because of the potential for social and economic benefits they present.
The German state of Baden-Württemberg is one of the largest German states, and a traditionally strong innovation region. It has a growing older population of 2.1 million citizens aged 65 or above, of a total population of 10.7 million. The regional government’s aim is to change the perception of old age in order to realise the opportunities this demographic shift can bring.
As a society we should define strategies and policies which actively involve an ageing population, including a thorough consideration of future technologies and innovations. One such innovation is autonomous vehicle technology. It promises countless benefits for road safety, social inclusion, emissions and congestion if incorporated appropriately into the legal and regulatory frameworks of society. Fehr & Peers, a transportation consultancy, predicts that between 2040/2050 half of all traffic in the US will be autonomous.