NHS European Office

European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP-AHA)

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The European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (the Partnership) was initiated in October 2010 to tackle the common challenge of an ageing population in Europe.  It brings together public and private stakeholders to develop new innovations which can improve the quality of life of older people, whilst simultaneously creating market opportunities for businesses. 

English regions celebrate being named EU Reference Sites following 2nd call

Five English regions have been successfully recognised as European Reference Sites in Active and Healthy Ageing, celebrating their proven track record in developing, adopting and scaling up innovative digital solutions for their populations. Greater Manchester, North West Coast and North East England have been successful for the first time, while it’s second time success for Liverpool and Yorkshire and the Humber.

European Reference Sites are coalitions of regions, cities, integrated hospitals or care organisations, industry organisations, SMEs and research institutions that jointly aim to provide concrete examples of innovative services with proven added value to citizens and care systems in EU regions. Being a Reference Site is recognition of the leadership necessary to form a comprehensive, innovation-based approach to active and healthy ageing across many sectors.

The 32 award-winners from the first call have been implementing innovative technological, social or organisational solutions to enhance the efficiency of health and social care system and foster innovation and economic growth. All Reference Sites have committed to sharing their achievements with others and transferring knowledge across Europe. 

Background to the Partnership 

The Partnership aims to:

  • increase the healthy lifespan of EU citizens by 2 years by 2020 
  • improve the health and quality of life of older people 
  • enhance the sustainability and efficiency of care systems 
  • create growth and market opportunities for businesses.
The Partnership has three key areas: 

  • prevention, screening and early diagnosis 
  • care and cure 
  • active ageing and independent living.
The European Commission, in discussion with stakeholders, identified a number of actions within each of the key areas and these are now in the process of being developed and implemented. These actions aim to find innovative solutions to:
  • personalized health management, including fall prevention among elderly people 
  • health literacy, patient empowerment and adherence to treatment programmes 
  • the prevention and early diagnosis of functional decline 
  • integrated care systems, particularly for chronic diseases 
  • promote active and independent living amongst the elderly

The focus of this Partnership is on linking together organisations, resources and expertise to produce short-term, demonstrable results which can encourage the uptake of innovation.

European Reference Sites: first call

On 1st July 2013, Yorkshire and Humber was one of five UK regions to be named as a 'European Reference Site', a well-earned reward for putting innovative ideas into practice to help older people. Information on all 32 references sites can be found on the European Commission website.

European Reference Sites are coalitions of regions, cities, integrated hospitals or care organisations that aim to provide concrete examples of innovative services with proven added value to citizens and care systems in EU regions. Some of them have contributed to growth and job creation in their areas and many have extended elements of their best practice from local to regional or national level. 

The 32 award-winners have been implementing innovative technological, social or organisational solutions to enhance the efficiency of health and social care system and foster innovation and economic growth. All Reference Sites have committed to sharing their achievements with others and transferring knowledge across Europe. 56 candidate Reference Sites applied and 32 underwent an extensive self-assessment and peer review covering three criteria: innovation, scalability and replicability, and outcomes of good practices. 

Marketplace for innovation now open

The European Commission has established a digital platform to enable interested organisations to share ideas and practices, access data, find partners, and link to other innovation and active ageing platforms. It is free to join, and may be of interest to NHS bodies which are not in a position to become involved in the Partnership, but wish to be kept up to date with its activities. Visit the webpage for more information.

Conference of Partners: presentations available

Presentations from the first annual Conference of Partners of the EIP-AHA are now available. Six Action Groups presented Action Plans which tackle a specific challenge in this field from falls, which account for almost one third of fatal injuries amongst older people, to tele-monitoring, which enables chronically ill patients to live longer at home.

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