EC consults about challenges of Innovation Partnership on active and healthy ageing

The European Commission has launched a public consultation focused on gathering the opinion of public and private organisations, companies and individual citizens on the challenges created by the ageing population in Europe, and in particular on a pilot European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on active and healthy ageing. Results of this consultation, which will run until 28 January 2011, will be the base to shape the content of this EIP which is part of Commission's "Innovation Union" strategy.

The pilot European Innovation Partnership EIP on Active and Healthy Ageing, which is part of EU's "Innovation Union" strategy put forward by the Commission in October 2010 as one of the Europe 2020 flagship initiatives, is expected to be launched in 2011. This EIP will seek to meet three main goals, sxuch as to improve the health and quality of life of older people, enabling them to live active and independent lives; to contribute to the sustainability and efficiency of health and social care systems; and to foster competitiveness and business opportunities.

In order to gather the opinion and points of view of all parties involved in the shaping of this EIP, the European Commission has launched a public Consultation on the pilot European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing. Through this consultation Commission invites interested stakeholders, such as organisations representing the elderly and patients, hospitals and care service providers, health and care professionals, insurers, Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) and health companies, public authorities and individual citizens, to help identifying current barriers to innovation and opportunities in the field of active and healthy ageing.

The European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing, as a headline target,

aims to increase the average healthy lifespan in the EU by two years by 2020

. It seeks to improve older people's quality of life and to lead to more efficient care solutions. It will focus on applying innovation on a larger scale than today in areas such as health promotion, prevention, early diagnosis and treatment, integrated and collaborative health and social care systems, independent living and assistive technologies for older people.

The Commission will analyse the responses to the consultation, in order to obtain a clear view of the innovation potential and capacity in the multiple areas that affect ageing today. The responses will help the Commission to plan the next steps for the EIP on active and healthy ageing, a topic which has also been proposed by the European Commission to dedicate year 2012.