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Evaluation of the Active and Assisted Living programme (AAL2)

The European Commission transmitted the evaluation report presenting the results of the final evaluation of the Active and Assisted Living research and development programme - AAL2 - to the European Parliament and the Council.

Vectors of seniors using technology for different activities

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The Commission conducted a final evaluation of the AAL2 programme and prepared a report presenting the results of this evaluation. The AAL2 programme was set up in 2014 as a successor initiative of the Ambient Assisted Living Joint Programme. The programme is jointly undertaken by 21 participating countries and the Commission through a public-public partnership (Article 185 TFEU initiative), leveraging national, regional and Horizon 2020 funding.

The final evaluation, covering actions from 2014 to 2021, documents the positive impact of the research and development programme, which addressed the double challenge of demographic change and digital transformation. The programme was designed to foster the development of innovative ICT-based products, services, and systems that meet the needs of our ageing society. It involved stakeholders all along the entire value chain and demonstrated that the EU intervention has been both necessary and effective in delivering digital innovation in active and healthy ageing in a variety of fields, including health and care; communication and information; safety and security; leisure and culture; work and training; travel and transport.

AAL2 actions actively contributed to developing a positive perspective on ageing and the programme created a neutral space, bringing together stakeholder groups that previously had little or no interaction, both private and public, including SMEs, end-user organisations and also all relevant levels of government responsible for the sustainability and transformation of health and care systems.

In total, 151 collaborative research and innovation projects were funded through AAL2. The programme supported 705 beneficiaries, of which 40.3% were SMEs, 26.8% universities and research institutes and 26.3% end-user organisations. The evaluation showed that AAL2 brings together top research bodies in Europe with SMEs and end-user organisations that do not typically participate in Horizon 2020. The latter proofs a strong complementarity between AAL2 and other parts of the Horizon 2020 programme in terms of participants’ profiles: 56.2% of AAL2 participants have not participated in a Horizon 2020 project (outside AAL2); for SMEs, that rate is 62.8%.

The Commission believes that future policy actions should build further on the commitment of the community of stakeholders created by AAL2, promote the potential of digital solutions for the silver economy, and combine service innovation, business innovation and digital innovation to empower people to take care of their health and make well-informed health choices. The swift deployment of innovative digital health and care solutions can best be achieved by working together at EU level, sharing experience in deploying, measuring impact and transferring innovation across Member States and regions. It is clear that there is no one-size-fits-all approach.

The COVID-19 pandemic changed Europe and the world within the blink of an eye. It clearly demonstrated the importance - and significantly accelerated the uptake - of digital services in our society. This will leave a lasting impact on the way we live and work, with the ubiquitous presence of digital technologies. The pandemic showed us how health, wellbeing, and social inclusion are intertwined and often overlapping. The report recommends drawing on experience, lessons learned, and rethink policies and practices providing for, and intervening in wider sectors of society, and include traditional and new stakeholders. While zooming in on the reality on the ground and adapting to regional differences, the active engagement of all parties, as in the AAL2 programme, is essential if we are to succeed in creating a ‘triple win’ that benefits people, health systems and the market.

Additional insights on the initiatives and actions supported by the AAL2 programme and the detailed evaluation of the programme achievements are available on the programme website and in the Commission report to the European Parliament and Council on the Final Evaluation of the Active and Assisted Living research and development programme

No new initiatives will be launched under the AAL2 programme, however it will still continue its activities till at least mid-2025, since 40% of the projects are still ongoing. The programme is expected to close by the end of 2027 the latest.


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