[Press release from AGE Platform Europe, Brussels, 4 March 2014] According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), physical and social environments are key determinants of whether people can remain healthy, independent and autonomous long into their old age. Creating age-friendly environments is therefore one of the most effective approaches to respond to demographic change. To support this approach, the AFE-INNOVNET thematic network on innovation for age-friendly environments (AFE) kicked off today with the support of the European CIP ICT PSP Programme and will run for two years.
“These past years, we have witnessed the development of many innovative solutions to address Europe’s demographic change. Unfortunately up until now we lacked a Europe-wide structure bringing together local and regional authorities and other stakeholders to support their scale-up. This is what we want to achieve with this network and we believe it will play a key role to support the objective of the European Innovation Partnership on active and healthy ageing which is to extend by 2 years the healthy life year expectancy,” said Anne-Sophie Parent, AGE Secretary General.
The overarching goal of the AFE-INNOVNET thematic network is to:
mobilise a wide range of local and regional authorities and other stakeholders – industries, research centres, universities, civil society organizations – to link up, benefit from each other’s experience and work together to promote initiatives on age-friendly environments across Europe;
develop methodologies to help local and regional authorities assess the socioeconomic impact of age-friendly environments and the benefits of involving older people in the co-production of age-friendly environments solutions;
develop a repository of notable and replicable practices in innovative solutions for age-friendly environments with associated socio-economic evidence;
launch an EU Covenant on Demographic Change to create the necessary political and technical framework to bring together in a more formal and long-term structure local and regional authorities – and other stakeholders - across Europe, using the model of the existing Covenant of Mayors on sustainable energy.
The consortium is composed of 28 partners from 16 EU countries and includes 12 cities and 5 regions. The project is led by a Steering Group composed of AGE Platform Europe, CEMR (Council of European Municipalities and Regions), TNO (Dutch Research Centre), Polibienestar Research Institute – University of Valencia, PAU Education and the Louth County Council. The project will run in close cooperation with WHO Europe.
The project will open up to new partners in April. Interested? Please visit the project website. You will soon be able to subscribe to the AFE-INNOVNET monthly newsletter, contribute to the blog, and to join the Network. You can also join the conversation on LinkedIn and Twitter.
For more information, please contact Julia Wadoux, AFE-INNOVNET Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tel.: +32.2.280.14.70.