The concept of a European Innovation Partnership (an EIP) is of a partnership that can help strengthen EU research and innovation. A partnership brings together all the relevant actors at EU, national and regional levels across different policy areas to handle a specific societal challenge and involve all the innovation chain levels. The EIP on AHA was the first EIP created in 2011. It focuses on demographic change and the active and healthy ageing of the people of Europe.
Why focus on Active and Healthy Ageing?
The European population is ageing rapidly. Yet living longer does not necessarily mean living a healthier, more active and independent life. The number of Europeans aged over 65 will double in the next 50 years, and the number of over 80 year olds will almost triple. Life expectancy will continue to increase, yet unhealthy life years make up around 20% of a person's life.
Active and healthy ageing is a societal challenge shared by all European countries, but it is also an opportunity. It is a chance for Europe to establish itself as a global leader that is capable of providing innovative solutions.
Objectives of the EIP on AHA
The EIP on AHA aims to promote healthy and active ageing. Until 2020, its overarching target was to increase the average healthy lifespan of EU citizens by two years by pursuing a Triple Win for Europe:
- Improving the health and quality of life of Europeans with a focus on older people;
- Supporting the long-term sustainability and efficiency of health and social care systems;
- Enhancing the competitiveness of EU industry through business and expansion in new markets
Main pillars of the EIP on AHA
The EIP on AHA had, as its foundations, two main pillars: Action Groups and Reference Sites. The Blueprint, Innovation to Market (I2M) and the "Monitoring and Assessment Framework for the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing" (MAFEIP) are three, further, crosscutting horizontal initiatives that feed the EIP on AHA.
Since the beginning of 2021, the EIP on AHA is aligning its objectives closely with the life-course approach, illustrated in the Green Paper on Ageing. It focuses more concretely on scaling-up and deployment of digital tools for life-long health promotion and prevention, life-long learning, empowerment with digital tools, promotion of smart, healthy and age-friendly environments and enhancing the European Silver economy and digital health ecosystem. It has also adopted a more collaborative approach through the set-up of the community platform “Active and Healthy Living in the Digital World”.
An Action Group is a community of partners who are committed to work on specific issues related to active and healthy ageing. They do this by sharing their knowledge and expertise with their peers, increasing the added-value of their national and local experience, and identifying gaps that need to be fulfilled at European level.
Find out more about the Action Groups (archived content)
Reference Sites are inspirational ecosystems, delivering creative and workable solutions that improve the lives and health of older people and the whole community. Reference Sites are regions, cities, integrated hospitals or care organisations and their quadruple helix partners from industry, civil society, academia and government authorities that focus on a comprehensive, innovation-based approach to active and healthy ageing. They offer concrete examples of their positive impact in this field. The Reference Sites Collaborative Network (RSCN) represents and manages this constantly growing ecosystem.
Find out more about the Reference Sites (archived content)
Innovation 2 Market (I2M)
I2M targets the scale-up of digital health and care solutions in a cross-border context. This horizontal action is part of the Commission's strategy on Digital transformation of health and care in the Digital Single Market.
Find out more about Innovation 2 Market (archived content)
The Blueprint aims to innovate health and care in Europe. It is the follow-up of the EIP on AHA Scaling Up Strategy. It reflects the policy vision of the EIP on AHA partners. It is the channel for the EIP on AHA partners for giving and receiving policy inputs. A “back-and-forth” mechanism operates between the EC and stakeholders (policy makers and other key opinion leaders) to evolve, update and implement the Blueprint.
Find out more about the Blueprint (archived content)
MAFEIP is the Monitoring and Assessment Framework initially developed in response to the EIP on AHA specific monitoring needs. It is to be used as an impact assessment tool to support evidence-based decision-making process for all institutions and users in the health and care sector.
Find out more about MAFEIP (archived content)
Active and Healthy Living in the Digital World
This is a multi-stakeholder forum of EU citizens, patients, health and care providers, government authorities, innovators, researchers, civil society and policy makers engaged in discussion, exchange and dissemination of innovations, policies and challenges related to active and healthy living and aging with digital tools. If you wish to engage further with the EIP on AHA, you could join the platform or subscribe to its newsletter. You could also contact the IN-4-AHA project, which supports the EIP on AHA.