European Summit on Innovation for Active & Healthy Ageing
9 March 2015 | Brussels, Belgium
The Summit on Innovation for Active and Healthy Ageing (9 and 10 March 2015) aimed to engage Europe's policy, services and market leaders to co-create a shared vision on how Europe can address the challenges and seize the opportunities arising from demographic change through ICT and innovation and in that way contribute to economic recovery.
Central topic: how can technology, innovation and new ways of cooperation help Europe to turn this major challenge into an opportunity? Live demonstrations, sand pits and an interactive exhibition showed in action what is being discussed and highlighted in thematic debates and knowledge-sharing sessions. A wide variety of meetings and side-events with one goal: to turn the opportunities of demographic ageing in growth and jobs for Europe. Several European Commissioners, national ministers, regional authorities and leaders from industry, including SMEs and startups, as well as civil society took the floor and lead the debates.
The EU population is changing dramatically because of a higher life expectancy and a lower fertility: longer lives and fewer newborns. The number of European citizens over 80 will double by 2025 while the labor market is shrinking. Demographic change constitutes a colossal societal challenge and affects everyone. The ageing of our population can undermine the foundations of Europe's health and social care systems. Our labor markets, workforce and overall our cohesion as a society is at risk as the ratio of active vs. inactive people is shifting dramatically. But demographic change also offers new opportunities for innovation, growth and societal transformation that can benefit many millions. In our fast-paced and interconnected world, driven by breakthrough technologies, the right innovations for active and healthy ageing can help our citizens stay active and independent for more years, while savings costs for governments and creating profits for businesses. A Digital Single Market can support a fairer, more sustainable and prosperous society and the opportunities offered by the Silver Economy are immense.
Leaders and front runners from industry and government, politics and finance, medical and pharmaceutical sectors, social and health care, civil society and consumers came together to share insights and innovations that meet the needs of Europe's ageing population. RTEL participated in the event.