The 261 projects were submitted by groups of stakeholders spanning the public and private sector. In addition, 54 regions and municipalities offered themselves as 'reference sites', to exchange good practice and to share knowledge and experience on past successes in this domain.
The massive response from stakeholders shows a real drive in Europe to ensure better lifestyles, higher quality of care and recognition of the business potential of our ageing society.
Commissioner for Health and Consumers, John Dalli, conveyed his satisfaction at the resounding stakeholder response: "The number and the quality of commitments have far exceeded our expectations. The particularly high level of interest from Member States and regions proves the urgency and determination to make active and healthy ageing a reality."
Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes, also voiced her satisfaction at the results: "Technology can help us to live long and independent lives. I am glad that regional authorities get this idea. By joining with companies and care providers, we now have the political momentum to shake the status quo and get our care systems onto a sustainable track."
Six meetings are being held in Brussels, in which stakeholders are starting to define the implementation details of the specific actions. They will form action groups for each specific action, which will be tasked with agreeing action plans to be presented at the Conference of Partners to be held on 6 November. The first indicators of the process will also be available later this year. The Partnership will assess the results of its work, and the first report will be published in 2013.
The ageing population is set to increase significantly in the coming years. This situation could have a major impact on the wellbeing of society, public policy and the sustainability of health and care systems.
In order to respond to this challenging demographic shift, the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing aims to increase the healthy lifespan of EU citizens by 2 years on average by 2020.
Stakeholders were asked to submit commitments to work on the following six specific actions for the 2012-2014 period. Some examples of the many submissions are listed under each specific action:
The commitments were submitted by a wide array of stakeholders, with particular high participation of universities and research groups (37%), public authorities (17%) and health providers (8%).