The overarching goal of AFE-INNOVNET is to set up a large EU wide community of local and regional authorities and other relevant stakeholders across the EU who want to work together to find smart and innovative evidence based solutions to support active and healthy ageing and develop age-friendly environments across the EU.
Many innovative solutions supporting active and healthy ageing have been developed as pilots across the EU, but they often remain isolated and do not get scaled up, not even in their own country. This means that their impact on addressing challenges of demographic change in Europe is limited.
There is at present no open EU network which enables local and regional authorities and other stakeholders to join, link up, benefit from each other’s experience and work together on shaping the EU agenda on active and healthy ageing.
The AFE-INNOVNET consortium and supporting partners have joined forces to:
- mobilise a wide range of local and regional authorities and other stakeholders – industries, including SMEs, research centre/universities, civil society organizations – to link up, benefit from each other’s experience and work together to promote initiatives on age-friendly environments across the EU;
- 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 ICT and services solutions with associated socio-economic evidence;
- facilitate pilot projects clustering to stimulate local/regional investment in ICT and services innovation and thus local/regional economic activity (with a focus on SMEs);
- facilitate public access to research/expertise and generic methodologies in the field of age-friendly environments;
- ensure convergence and strong coordination with WHO Age-Friendly Cities and Healthy Cities initiatives;
- facilitate information sharing between all interested stakeholders in the field of age-friendly environments;
- 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 the EU who want to cooperate and implement smart and innovative evidence based solutions. The proposed Covenant will be inspired by the existing Covenant on sustainable energy.
All in all, the thematic network will support and enhance the operational implementation of the work plan of the EIP AHA Action Group on age-friendly environments. (so-called D4 Action Group.)