Ecosystems and networks are extremely important in the exchange of best practices, experience sharing and enhancing deployment of digital solutions for Active and Healthy Living and Ageing, empowerment of citizens and patients and health promotion. Ecosystems promote the adoption of digital innovation in health and care provision and contribute to the sustainability of this innovation, as well as of health and care systems as a whole. The European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing has established an increasingly growing network of Reference Sites (currently 104). It is a coalition of regions, cities, hospitals or care organisations and their quadruple helix partners from industry, civil society, academia and government authorities, committed to invest in innovation for active and healthy ageing and supporting the transfer and scaling-up of successful innovations across Europe. They are currently represented by the Reference Sites Collaborative Network.
Since 2008, the Active and Assisted Living programme has been funding digital innovations that keep older people connected, healthy and active. The programme has supported over 250 projects, next to organising an annual networking and exhibition Forum and providing specific support measures, such as mentoring and coaching projects or providing market intelligence. 1 out of 8 projects achieved market entry and thus contributed to the development of an age-tech sector in Europe. More than 1.200 SMEs, tens of thousands end-users and 100shundreds of research performing organisations from over 20 countries in Europe and internationally (Canada and Taiwan) have participated, providing a rich source for learning and networking towards emerging European healthy ageing eco-system.
In addition, there are many different European networks, eco-systems and accelerators focusing on digitalisation of health and care systems and promoting the scale-up innovative solutions for in active and healthy living and ageing on local, regional and national level, such as: EIT Health, Euregha, ERRIN, The European Clusters Alliance, eHealthHub, Council of European Bio Regions and many more.
This platform focuses on the work, achievements and challenges of European local, regional, national and cross-border digital health ecosystems. Synergies and collaboration between these different networks are important, as well as seizing the opportunities offered by EU funded mechanisms, such as EU funded Digital Innovation Hubs and other funds to allow for more efficient deployment of digitally enabled solutions.