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Potentials of the European Silver Economy

Starting: 01 Apr Ending

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We have successfully closed the first project phase of “Potentials of the European Silver Economy” with 95 ideas, 698 participants, 119 comments and 273 votes. We'd like to thank all participants for taking the time and contributing to our online ideation!

In a next step we validated these results with participants. These results are archived here. Please also visit our project website.

If you have any questions or feedback, please contact the Silver Economy study team at: silver-economy(at)technopolis-group.com

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Author: EASPD Date: 21 September 2016

Social services play a key role in ensuring the quality of life of persons with disabilities, in particular through quality care services. The ageing population has significantly increased the demand for quality care, in particular in community-based services. This has led to the health and social services sector become the biggest job creating sector in Europe since 2008 (EC sources).

Yet, this has been achieved despite significant cuts in public expenditure towards this sector (in real terms) in nearly all EU countries. This has placed additional pressure on social service providers to provide quality services; with obvious consequences on the working conditions and wages of the workforce. As a result, staff shortages in social services are significant in Europe, despite the significant job creation potential of the sector; a matter recognisied by the Social Protection Committee, the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee; as well as Social Services Europe and the European federation of Public Service Unions.

The European Union must launch an Action Plan to Unlock the Job Creation Potential of the Social Services sector to ensure high quality social services for all, including the elderly, in the future. Read the European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities' Position Paper for further information (attached)

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Social care, job creation, decent jobs
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Author: Telecentre Europe aisbl Date: 21 September 2016

Digital solutions (e-health apps and devices, digital platforms, etc. etc.) can indeed contribute to prevent social isolation, improve health and general well-being of older people, especially for those with reduced mobility. 

However, providing the solutions themselves will not be enough, because many older people lack the necessary skills to interact with and through digital technologies. Therefore, any technical solution should be accompanied with related trainings to equip the target group with those skills and make sure that they can take full advantage of the solutions. Telecenters (public enters where people can use computers and Internet) around Europe and similar organisations have done tremendous work in empowering older people to participate in the digital world. Some examples are: Get Online Week https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x08-ans13ek in UK, IT-guide https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOvdGtULJ_Y in Sweden, Silver Surfers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uv2YHC0Ai3I in Serbia, e-participation day https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5dS42j6-HE in Lithuania). These centers are places where older people feel welcome, less intimidated, where trainings are made for them and with them, tailored to their needs.

A particularly successful approach is the intergenerational learning where young people teach the elderly digital skills and they teach them life skills in return. This approach increases mutual understanding and tolerance and puts each individual in both roles at the same time – that of learner and that of mentor. 

 

How could policy makers help to scale-up your idea across Europe? (optional)
The digitally empowered elderly would potentially go on to further explore the opportunities provided by the digital world, engage in further training or economic activities available online. The young trainers-volunteers also improve their skills and gain invaluable experience (as mentors on one hand, and as beneficiaries of the life and professional experience of the elderly people on the other).
Do you have examples where your idea is already used or how it could be used in practice? Please also share links to further information if possible. (optional)
Since those centers are usually NGOs, libraries, community centres, open and accessible for everyone, publicly funded and non-profit, they are dependent on project-based funding and a big part of their efforts goes to ensuring sustainability and funding to run their activities.
What are the current barriers in implementing your idea? (optional)
In addition to the general examples above, the intergenerational approach has been successfully implemented by IT guide in Sweden and Maks vzw in Belgium. The story of Julien really happened and is the result of an intergenerational project in the District of Peterbos in Anderlecht: http://vimeo.com/92866569.
How can your idea create new jobs and businesses? (optional)
There needs to be targeted political and financial support from public institutions at national and European level. But also digital entrepreneurship and companies developing digital solutions should partner with such centers where they can introduce their products and provide trainings tailored to the needs of the elderly. Policy makers should put in place incentives and frameworks for encouraging companies to seek such collaboration with NGOs.
Category: Work & Training
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Author: Laura Buguñá Date: 21 September 2016

Currently, different stakeholders from both non-profit and private entities offer care services for elders in an uncoordinated way and paid through separate budgets. If a healthcare reference area could offer all such services in a bundled way, managed by one single provider with a focus on user-centred care, the care services for seniors could improve notably. The senior citizen can rely on one single care record and does not need to reexplain again and again personal needs and requests. Joint services, such as occupational therapy checks, can be done conjunctively, even for groups of seniors with shared needs.

How could policy makers help to scale-up your idea across Europe? (optional)
The first goal is to maintain and improve labour conditions for current staff members, as the process may reduce some duplication but demand on value-based processes will increase the demando for labour. New jobs are likely to be created in the research and consultancy field, as well as at territorial level for coordinating the whole service platform and assess its impact for different stakeholders (administration, hospitals, senior associations, patient organizations, etc).
Do you have examples where your idea is already used or how it could be used in practice? Please also share links to further information if possible. (optional)
The reorganization could threaten the autonomy of current care service organizations, so the design and implementation needs to involve every entity and be focused on value of service at user level rather than on entity-level performance.
What are the current barriers in implementing your idea? (optional)
The delivery of integrated care services is currently being piloted through various use cases at EU level, but this idea focuses on a service specifically for seniors, and should measure its impact both at user level and at territorial (healthcare reference area) level
How can your idea create new jobs and businesses? (optional)
By initiating the necessary legal steps to protect the process, its governance and its costs to set it up, as well as by offering the methods, guidelines, models and tools to facilitate such process.
Category: Health & Care
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Author: Angela Kydd Date: 21 September 2016

When older people retire from the workforce their expertise in whatever roles they were employed for in the labour market are no longer utilised. The idea would be is to  utilise this expertise in the voluntary sector. For example, when structural problems occur with buildings, not only would employed engineers be called in, but a pool of retired engineers in the industry could be called in. The years of experience and crstallised knowledge would then not be wasted. Similarly, people who are expert in setting up databases could be called upon to help organisations manage the setting up of certain systems. Similarly, retired business people could be heavily involved in the implementation of a volunteer expert group. 

How could policy makers help to scale-up your idea across Europe? (optional)
The plan would involve people at a pre-retirement age, so that the fire service, medical services, educational services etc could make this organisation known to their workers in pre retirement workshops
Do you have examples where your idea is already used or how it could be used in practice? Please also share links to further information if possible. (optional)
The administration and monitoring could be difficult to arrange. There will be ethical issues concerning using older people for unpaid services and so no pressure must be put upon people to engage
What are the current barriers in implementing your idea? (optional)
I think this was mooted in the United States of America, but I am not sure if the idea was ever implemented. It may well be working in some countries
How can your idea create new jobs and businesses? (optional)
Policy makers could liaise with existing voluntary groups and perhaps provide funds to pump prime the implementation of harnessing expertise
Category: Connectivity & Social participation
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Author: CreAger Date: 20 September 2016

Let’s say goodbye to stereotypes, presuming that entrepreneurship is only for young people while elderly are inactive and/or less creative. This is the age of the CreAgers, tapping in to an undervalued source for innovations, ideas and start-up companies.

Why CreAger?

For too long, the ageing population has been framed as a financial burden on society, putting a distance between generations while solidarity and intergenerational interaction are essential for our future.

We have to take better into account the growing importance of elderly both as consumers, as a market for new technological solutions and – not least – as sources for new innovations and economic growth.

The public perception of being elderly must be changed from solely as someone who has to be taken care of for the costs of society into a group of influential persons with resources to affect our future and create gains for our present. With increasing living standards and the growth of expected healthy life years  the new reality predicts that former forties is today’s sixties.

In fact: We have the arrival of the CreAgers, the new creative class of elderly, who starts businesses, who assist as advisors for others or who in other ways are or desire to be active within innovation and entrepreneurship.

Special Envoy

At the end of 2014, the Dutch government turned to former EU commissioner Neelie Kroes – 73 years of age at the time – to strengthen the international position of startups in the Netherlands. ‘Her extensive experience and personality make her the ideal person to pursue and support this international ambition’ the Dutch minister of Economic Affairs explained.

As Special Envoy, Kroes spent 18 months providing ‘(…) a new generation of startups the opportunity to develop their talent, to innovate and to create jobs in the Netherlands’ to use her own words.

It worked out great. The – mostly young – entrepreneurs fully profited from the experience and exposure of Neelie Kroes.

Unfortunately, the idea that elderly entrepreneurs are an underrepresented group in the Start-up community, while the potential is unmistakable, was never really addressed.

More elderly establish start-ups

In Denmark in the period 2004 to 2012 there was an increase of 33 % of 60 – 64 years old who established start-ups. In the group of 65 – 69 years old the increase was 67 %[1]. More than 61.000 over 60 years of age were self-employed in 2013.

But these numbers cover the fact that many highly skilled elderly, like engineers, are released from their positions despite their qualifications[2] and therefore choose to work for themselves.

So it appears, that on one hand there is an increasing willingness and desire for elderly to establish own companies while a second group is composed of those who are doing so because they are not welcome on the labor market due to their age – or rather – due to the public perception of what age means.

These tendencies are certainly not unique to Denmark given here as an example but can be found widespread in the EU countries or even globally.

Initiate local or regional networks: CreAger Hubs

CreAgers form an innovation-loop: knowing people’s needs, turning this into concepts, products, businesses and using the user experiences to adjust or develop new concepts, etc.

We should therefore strongly consider how to give the CreAgers the best working conditions. This would be a huge benefit for the individual CreAger and for society as such.

However, despite that elderly harbor a huge potential for innovation they suffer from the disregard by society, the lack of focus on CreAgers and even bureaucratic rules which may punish CreAgers for wanting to earn their own income or supplement their pensions. The public perception and policies thus have to be targeted.

Part of the solution may be the establishment of local or regional CreAger hubs. In particular we propose that the triangle between CreAgers, elderly as a market for new technologies and as consumers and the communication dealing with the public perception and the policies should be inter-linked.

Fig 1: Local or regional triangle collaboration, example of a CreAger Hub

CreAger Triangle Final

 

A CreAger Hub may ensure an efficient working level coordination and concrete results can be measured to document the effect and justify the investments. Additionally cities and regions can brand themselves as being CreAger friendly, having an attractive CreAger environment, which again may influence on the decision of where resourceful elderly decide to live.

Concrete activities and International Collaboration

As indicated concrete activities may for example focus on (1) elderly as inspirators and entrepreneurs; (2) new services and new technologies targeting welfare for elderly; (3) changing the public perception of elderly and promote better conditions for CreAgers.

Many well proven concepts are already available which can easily be adopted to serve the local hubs and new ones may be developed when necessary. There also exist efforts directed towards elderly and creativity but these are scattered and mostly not contained within an overall strategic view on the importance of CreAgers.

The CreAger hubs may again be interconnected in a wider network as this can assist to e.g. learn from best practices, enhance market access for CreAgers, influence national or EU policies and attract external funding and private investments. And the oter way round, an international CreAger network may assist to establish regional or local hubs.

CreAger may even be a global network and initial discussions have in fact revealed significant interest in e.g. India and the US. It would be truly exiting if so many countries and cultures could be brought together as this may create a learning environment with a high critical mass.

Finally, CreAgers should be a topic of inter-disciplinary research between e.g. innovation research, gerontology, and socio-economic research to provide deeper knowledge about the CreAgers. This would be a very good investment for society as it may assist to provide solutions and policy recommendations.

Welcome to the CreAgers – Time is on their side.

 

Contacts:

Peter Frank, pf@scanbalt.org

Daan Bultje, daan.bultje@hannn.eu

Jaanus Pikani, jaanus@biopark.ee

[1] Ældresagen, report 2013.

[2] Politiken, 23 November 2014: Ældre fyres fra det offentlige – nu ansætter seniorerne sig selv

How could policy makers help to scale-up your idea across Europe? (optional)
By promoting: (1) elderly as inspiratory and entrepreneurs; (2) new services and new technologies targeting elderly; (3) changing the public perception of elderly and strengthen conditions for being CreAgers; (4) International collaboration
Do you have examples where your idea is already used or how it could be used in practice? Please also share links to further information if possible. (optional)
Lack of funding for initiating a 3-year pilot project based on Region Northern Denmark as a model region and to be implemented for the entire Denmark and internationally
What are the current barriers in implementing your idea? (optional)
For the international dimension of the CreAger network see http://scanbalt.org/creager/
How can your idea create new jobs and businesses? (optional)
Improve framework conditions for retired persons in order to make it easier become an entrepreneur incl incitaments to create income other than retirement funds.
Category: Work & Training
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Author: davidjepson@civileuroperspective.org.uk Date: 20 September 2016

Older people have ideas, experience, knowledge, networks and in some cases access to capital. Although this is happening already, we need more older people to set up businesses. This can include professional services, businesses built on previous hobbies and passtimes as well as socially innovative business models aimed at meeting the needs of other older people. It can also include self employment and micro enterprises. keep older people active and engaged in society, it will help keep older people financially independent of state benefits, it will help provide needed goods and services and make sure that valuable knowledge and networks are not lost. Also in some cases older people have capital (property, inheritance, pension pots etc) and we need to find new ways to unlock this wealth for mutually productive uses. 

How could policy makers help to scale-up your idea across Europe? (optional)
By promoting the idea of older people setting up businesses, providing targeted advice and information, removing perceived and real barriers, offering case studies and mentors additional businesses, incomes and employment can be generated.
Do you have examples where your idea is already used or how it could be used in practice? Please also share links to further information if possible. (optional)
The role of older people is largely defined as service users, patients and consumers of leisure rather than citizens active in the economy or society. The silo approach of public sector delivery at all levels gives only very limited recognition and support to older people and enterprise. Development Agencies and business support bodies do not regard older people as a significant target group. Modest additional resources are a barrier to this but the primary barriers are the silo approach to the delivery of public policy, attitudes towards the role of older people.
What are the current barriers in implementing your idea? (optional)
Workshops have been held in the UK (Bristol), Bielsko Biela (Poland) and in Brussels via European Association of Development Agencies on this topic. Drop in sessions for older people have been set up. In NW England a scheme to offer older people direct help in setting up businesses and wishing to volunteer for small businesses to gain experience.
How can your idea create new jobs and businesses? (optional)
We can set up a series of case studies and good practice models for older people who have set up enterprises, we can also exchange good practice and ideas in how marginal shifts in approach by development agencies etc can facilitate older people and businesses. We can also set up EU wide mentoring schemes and networks,
Category: Other
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Author: V Blessing Date: 20 September 2016

An alarm system should be installed in the public bathrooms, for example in the form of a cord connected to an alarm bell. This would ensure that older people can use these bathrooms with the security that they could call help at any time, should it become necessary. 

What are the current barriers in implementing your idea? (optional)
In Italy, there exist technical norms for the design of accessible bathrooms that aim to improve visibility and adaptability. One of the norms is an alarm system in the bath (http://www.disabilinews.com/articolo/151/normative-tecniche).
How can your idea create new jobs and businesses? (optional)
Norms regarding safety and security in public bathrooms that take into account the needs of older people are underdeveloped. EU wide certifications schemes for safer bathrooms should revise safety and security risks and increase the numbers of such bathrooms.
Category: Safety & Security
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Author: V Blessing Date: 20 September 2016

Online platforms and technology can be used to make the process of accessing financial services easier for older generations.  The focus should be on new products or services relevant to older clients, for example for managing and transferring funds. Solutions should combat issues such as decreased independence and mobility by removing the necessity to physically visit a financial provider in person. This idea could also keep older people from being exposed to abuses or scams.  

How could policy makers help to scale-up your idea across Europe? (optional)
First, providing new financial services can create jobs and businesses, as such services need to be developed and run. Secondly, the convenience of such financial services could also lead to changes in the consumption, such as older citizens buying more products online.
What are the current barriers in implementing your idea? (optional)
‘Paym’ is a service run by the Payments Council, the industry body responsible for UK payment mechanisms (www.paym.co.uk). The service lets consumers send money to friends, family and small businesses through only knowing a mobile phone number. Although not explicitly aimed at older people, this would allow for older people to take care of their finances more easily and from their own homes.
Category: Financial services
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Author: V Blessing Date: 15 September 2016

The gaming industry does not currently consider older people as a main target group. Older peoples’ mental age can be improved via cognitive training games that are designed to improve memory. There is an opportunity for the gaming industry to have a greater focus on the needs and interest of older people and to design apps that have mental health benefits and are fun. 

How could policy makers help to scale-up your idea across Europe? (optional)
The gaming industry is already a big market and it is likely that the market will grow strongly in the future. New apps and/or interactive games can become more accessible for older people.
Do you have examples where your idea is already used or how it could be used in practice? Please also share links to further information if possible. (optional)
There may still be an information gap about what games older people would like and how to market to the older people.
What are the current barriers in implementing your idea? (optional)
The Ambient Assisted Living Joint Programme supported the development of Join-in. This project sets up a comprehensive  social networking platform for older people to encourage and support communication and socialising, and is led by the Helmholtz centre Munich. The project includes for example Memofix, a computer game for older people and a game  that makes the use of the  stationary bike  more fun (http://www.helmholtz-muenchen.de/en/join-in/home).
How can your idea create new jobs and businesses? (optional)
Policy makers can challenge industry to develop apps tailored to the interests of older people that link physical and brain training for improved cognition. There may be opportunities to create links between research about older peoples’ cognitive development and the gaming industry. Also there may be opportunities to implement living labs where games can be tested by older people and to design an improved marketing approach to reach older people that currently do not play any cognitive games.
Category: Physical & Cognitive Abilities
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Author: V Blessing Date: 15 September 2016

With older age, many people need increasing support with daily tasks. While nursing homes are one solution to provide such support, most people prefer to stay in their own home if possible. Support can then be provided by carers who come to perform certain tasks. Alternatively, some of the support such carers provide can be supplied by smart home solutions. This care can be supplied remotely, and monitoring systems can ensure that swift action can be taken should there be a medical issue. Smart home solutions can help increase both the security and comfort for older people in this situation.  

How could policy makers help to scale-up your idea across Europe? (optional)
Smart home solutions need new technologies and building solutions, which have to be developed, manufactured and installed. In addition, the technologies will need to be serviced. This will create both new jobs, including potentially new job profiles, and economic growth for companies offering parts for and planning and installation of such solutions.
Do you have examples where your idea is already used or how it could be used in practice? Please also share links to further information if possible. (optional)
The costs are still relatively high and the motivation of end-users to carry those costs depends on how much they would have to pay for alternative forms of care. Also, regulations can be a barrier as smart homes relate to both building regulations and electronic communication regulations, and as a result there may be gaps and overlaps between regulations. Furthermore, the issues of data protections and data security have to be adequately addressed.
What are the current barriers in implementing your idea? (optional)
The German state of Baden-Württemberg has published a compass on their policies regarding senior citizens (http://sozialministerium.baden-wuerttemberg.de/de/soziales/aeltere-menschen/kompass-seniorenpolitik/). This includes initiatives which aim at capitalising on the market for smart home solutions, including setting up a network initiative for companies, institutions, networks, associations and research centres involved in developing and providing such solutions.
How can your idea create new jobs and businesses? (optional)
Regulations could be harmonised on a European level to address the current gaps and overlaps between different regulations. This would help smart home solutions to be marketable more widely in the common European market.
Category: Living & Building
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Author: V Blessing Date: 15 September 2016

Mobility needs change with increasing age, some old people cannot drive cars themselves anymore to the same extend they used to - they could profit from new mobility solutions.  

How could policy makers help to scale-up your idea across Europe? (optional)
There may be economic benefits due to reduced healthcare costs and enhanced activities of older people. In addition, the automotive and IT industry could profit from sales of such cars.
Do you have examples where your idea is already used or how it could be used in practice? Please also share links to further information if possible. (optional)
The consumer trust in driverless cars is low at the moment and technical solutions are not mature yet.
What are the current barriers in implementing your idea? (optional)
The UK Ministry of Transport has published a Pathway to Driverless Cars Summary and Action Plan (https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/401562/pathway-driverless-cars-summary.pdf).
How can your idea create new jobs and businesses? (optional)
Technology is still in its early stages and there are challenges to gain the trust of the consumer, especially older people as a key target group. The EU can play a role in generating greater public awareness and about the safety of driverless cars.
Category: Mobility & Transport
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Author: V Blessing Date: 15 September 2016

There is a need for a more wide-spread diffusion and integration of technologies that are user-friendly for older people and help overcome social isolation. A number of technologies exist that allow fostering a creative support system and interaction of older people with a community. Applications can connect older adults, caregivers, health care providers, and social services via an online platform in a more flexible way.

How could policy makers help to scale-up your idea across Europe? (optional)
A better integration of support provided by professional caregivers and family members may increase information sharing and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of care.
Do you have examples where your idea is already used or how it could be used in practice? Please also share links to further information if possible. (optional)
Digital platforms exist but improved targeting may result in a more use of digital of technology by older people.
What are the current barriers in implementing your idea? (optional)
The Spanish Vincles BCN project involves the development of a digital platform using a tablet (http://smartcity.bcn.cat/en/vincles-bcn.html).
How can your idea create new jobs and businesses? (optional)
Policy makers can contribute to the development of a social network for older people ensuring that no one is left behind.
Category: Connectivity & Social participation
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Author: V Blessing Date: 15 September 2016

Older people have a potentially longer medical history and a higher likelihood of several illnesses at once, which all need to be taken into account when treating a patient. Some older people may also not be able to express their health status, for example because of dementia. In addition, older people may receive care in different setups such as hospitals and care homes. Electronic and mobile health solutions could aid in increasing the quality of care for older people, also across such different setups.

How could policy makers help to scale-up your idea across Europe? (optional)
Electronic and mobile health solutions present opportunities for ICT companies in the health field, including developing standards, data maintenance and mobile devices. Furthermore, an increased quality of care leads to better health and well-being for older people.
Do you have examples where your idea is already used or how it could be used in practice? Please also share links to further information if possible. (optional)
The acceptability of electronic and mobile health solutions by both practitioners and patients can be a barrier as well as the lack of common standards. Issues of data security and protection also need to be addressed.
What are the current barriers in implementing your idea? (optional)
Digital patient records are for example piloted in the English Nation Health Service Rotherham Foundation Trust (http://www.therotherhamft.nhs.uk/Electronic_Patient_Record/EPR_Frequently_Asked_Questions/).
How can your idea create new jobs and businesses? (optional)
EU policy-makers could support pilot projects for electronic and mobile health in different European regions, this way systems can be developed which works for the whole of Europe. In addition, legislation could also help address the data security and protection issues.
Category: Health & Care
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Author: V Blessing Date: 15 September 2016

Ageing populations offer opportunities for education and diversification in the workforce. This relates to older people as consumers as well as producers. Life-long learning can be promoted and the resources of older employees and entrepreneurs should be recognised and benefits drawn from that. ‘Age-friendly’ universities and workplaces should be developed and rewarded. This may include ergonomics and design at the physical workplace or increased opportunities for e-learning and distance working to facilitate participation of older people who are less mobile or have other health issues. Furthermore, with e-learning solutions participants can themselves determine at which pace they want to learn.

How could policy makers help to scale-up your idea across Europe? (optional)
E-learning can become a big market in the future as universities in the EU will be able to market their courses world-wide. By promoting and age-diverse culture in the workforce, the EU can also draw on the experience of older workers to improve service (e.g. in the care sector) and successful ‘silver entrepreneurs’.
Do you have examples where your idea is already used or how it could be used in practice? Please also share links to further information if possible. (optional)
There is a lack of awareness about older people’s continuous interest in education and how to best address it. The valuable contributions of older people to the workforce are not always valued and supported enough.
What are the current barriers in implementing your idea? (optional)
Dublin City University has developed a set of principles for ‘age-friendly universities’ which are now being adopted more widely (http://dcu.ie/agefriendly/index.shtml). In Denmark, reformed pension systems give older workers increased incentive to stay in work for longer (http://www.pensionfundsonline.co.uk/content/country-profiles/denmark/119).
How can your idea create new jobs and businesses? (optional)
By establishing an exchange of best practices and a standardised accreditation to develop the European market for e-learning which could, in turn, facilitate overseas sales of online courses.
Category: Work & Training
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Author: V Blessing Date: 15 September 2016

Tourism is a major source of revenue for many EU countries and there is a growing number of international tourists. There is increasing focus on visitor ‘experience’ and niche markets and the cohort aged 50 and older is one of the most active demographics in travel and leisure and spend €120bn per year globally. The EU should identify the 50+ cohort as a main target audience. This would address the need for an improved infrastructure, accessible transport, age-friendly hotels and B&Bs including ICT solutions.

How could policy makers help to scale-up your idea across Europe? (optional)
By helping local providers of hospitality and experiences with the tools they need to improve their offer and increase revenue. This can include training of staff on how to build technology into services, joint marketing and branding of destinations, ‘age-friendly’ certification of hotels and facilities, incentives for innovative entrepreneurs to invest in these services.
Do you have examples where your idea is already used or how it could be used in practice? Please also share links to further information if possible. (optional)
Insufficient strategic focus from governments and insufficient coordination between regions and countries are current barriers.
What are the current barriers in implementing your idea? (optional)
Ireland have taken several initiatives to boost tourism for the older demographic (http://www.ireland.com/en-us/about-ireland/once-you-are-here/senior-citizens/). Since 2009, the Spanish Europe Senior Tourism (EST) programme has promoted Spain as a tourist destination for people over 55 travelling outside the summer season (http://www.europeseniortourism.eu). The European Commission’s COSME programme for SMEs provides programme funding for projects aimed to facilitate EU transnational tourism flows for seniors and young people in the low and medium seasons (https://ec.europa.eu/easme/node/55).
How can your idea create new jobs and businesses? (optional)
Mutual learning and exchange of best practice in the development of local facilities. Networking between EU regions to provide EU-wide offerings Joint action to promote the brand European travel overseas. Facilitate travel operators’ organizing package trips across several European destinations.
Category: Entertainment, Culture & Tourism
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Author: V Blessing Date: 15 September 2016

Foods or food components that may provide benefits beyond basic nutrition can be custom designed to deliver personalised nutrition. There is an opportunity to identify the specific age-related needs in the current global functional food market and to develop products related to prevention/treatment/management of particular diseases or condition. Diseases such as dehydration, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s that are more prevalent amongst the older generations could, to some extent, be prevented or treated by means of personalized nutrition.

How could policy makers help to scale-up your idea across Europe? (optional)
Foods that offer health benefits and promote disease prevention may help avoid the long term health and care costs. The global demand for functional food and drink is increasing and specific sectors within functional food, such as nutricosmetics represent a growing market.
Do you have examples where your idea is already used or how it could be used in practice? Please also share links to further information if possible. (optional)
EU and/or national regulation may pose potential barriers for health claims for functional food products.
What are the current barriers in implementing your idea? (optional)
The Swedish National Research Agenda - “An ageing population”, funded by Vinnova, identified nutrition and health as one of three areas of priority (https://www.sp.se/sv/centres/strategiska/aldrande/Documents/Agenda_%C3%85ldrande%20befolkning%20(2013)_Svenska.pdf). The agenda summarise a number of aspects and highlights welfare technology as a tool to take preventive actions and accomplish individual solutions for older people. The Irish National Positive Ageing Strategy Goal 2 recognises the role of nutrition (http://health.gov.ie/healthy-ireland/national-positive-ageing-strategy/). Also, there are various EU policy programmes that link on food and health, such as the the Joint Programming Initiative: Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life which investigates the relationship between diet, exercise and health (www.healthydietforhealthylife.eu).
How can your idea create new jobs and businesses? (optional)
There may be opportunities to improve the link between producers and suppliers across Europe and globally. The EU plays a role in food labeling and food safety.
Category: Food & Nutrition
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