The Pilot European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing is now launched

The European Commission has launched a pilot Partnership with the aim to enhance European competitiveness while tackling societal challenges by bringing together key stakeholders from the demand and supply side. The initiative is part of the preparatory work for the 2012, European Year for Active Ageing.

The Commission has launched this Partnership because it has identified active and healthy ageing as a societal challenge common to all European countries, and an area which presents considerable potential for Europe to lead the world in providing innovative responses to this challenge. The pilot Partnership aims at improving the framework conditions for uptake of innovation, as well will seek to leverage financing and investments in innovation and improve coordination and coherence between funding for research and innovation at European, national and regional level in Europe. This altogether will foster innovation in products, processes and services, and in parallel facilitate the innovation chain and reduce the time to market for innovative solutions. Therefore, this will produce benefits for innovation's final users, the older people and care providers. The initiative is part of the preparatory work for the 2012, European Year for Active Ageing.

Additionally, enabling EU citizens to lead healthy, active and independent lives while ageing will be one of the Partnerships goals, as well as improving the sustainability and efficiency of social and health care systems and boosting and improving the competitiveness of the markets for innovative products and services, responding to the ageing challenge at both EU and global level, thus creating new opportunities for businesses.

In order to achieve the mentioned objectives, there will be three policy areas of prevention and health promotion, integrated care, and independent living of elderly people. The overarching target of this pilot partnership will be to increase the average healthy lifespan in the European Union by two years by 2020. The European Commission has already set up a high level Steering Group to assist with preparatory work for the pilot partnership.