Search for prize-winning innovation for older people
A competition to find the best innovation to improve the quality of life for older people using the Internet of Things (IoT) has been launched today with a €50,000 cash prize for the winner.
The Active and Assisted Living Program (AAL) Smart Ageing Prize has been launched to encourage innovation with internet connected technology designed to empower older people to achieve the best possible quality of life, socially and independently.
Judges will be looking for solutions that improve connectivity between older people in any aspect of life – at home or at work, with transport and mobility or with any other service older people may want or need.
As well as meeting the needs of older people with their IoT innovation, entrants must also have a solid business plan in place to take it to market and must also have involved older people in the development and testing of the product or service.
This competition is being run by the AAL Programme, a €700 million funding initiative run by the Economic Community (EC) focused exclusively on developing ICT solutions for active and healthy ageing.
The overall objective of AAL is to enhance the quality of life of older adults while strengthening the industrial base in Europe through the use of ICT.
This is the first competition of this type to be run by the programme and due to the potential size of the market and the fast pace of growth of the IoT, judges are expecting many entries.
“It is expected that by 2060, one in three Europeans will be over 65,” says Karina Marcus, Director of AAL’s Central Management Unit. “As well as a challenge for society, this enormous demographic shift is also a huge and exciting commercial opportunity.
“Not only will we need innovative technologies to cater for the needs and demands of the older person, but we will need products and services people will actually want to buy and use. Those who get it right will be part of a massive new market.
“People want to live more active, healthy and independent lives – and the Internet of Things can help with that,” she concludes. “That is why we have launched this rich prize as we want to attract the very best entrepreneurs and inventors to bring something amazing to market.”
The competition will also help these entrants to develop their prototypes and business plans. Fifteen of the most promising applications will be chosen as finalists and will be invited to a dedicated social innovation mentoring academy in Brussels in July, where they will receive expert coaching and support to develop their ideas.
Following the academy, the finalists will be asked to submit a detailed plan of their idea. From these detailed plans, five applicants will be selected who will have the opportunity to attend the AAL Forum in St.Gallen, Switzerland in September 2016 (www.aalforum.eu).
Of the fifteen finalists, one winner will be awarded grand prize of €50,000.
The deadline for the first submission is Friday 13th May, 12pm (Europe).
See http://aal.challengeprizecentre.org/ for details about how to enter.
1 March 2016.