The Italian Region, Friuli Venezia Giulia, joined the AAL Association on the 8th of November 2017 and it will now be eligible to participate as a full member of the AAL Programme. The recently signed agreement provides proof of the relevance of the AAL programme to regional/local administrations next to the national level. This regional membership strengthens the objective to be closer to the real needs and wishes of European citizens, particularly the older adults.
The Friuli Venezia Giulia companies, end-user and research organizations will be eligible to participate in the AAL Call 2018 “Smart Solutions for Ageing well”.
The aim of this call is to support innovative, transnational and multi-disciplinary collaborative projects. The AAL Call 2018 has the following key features that differ from previous AAL calls:
- AAL Call 2018 is open to collaborative projects developing ICT-based solutions targeting any application area(s) within the AAL domain, with a focus on clearly targeted markets.
- AAL Call 2018 allows for more flexibility regarding the scope, size and duration of the proposed projects (including small collaborative projects – please see below).
“Collaborative projects” (carried out by consortia composed of at least 3 organisations from 3 different countries including an end user organisation and a business partner) will continue to be funded through this call.
The AAL Programme funds applied research for developing ICT-based (Information & Communication Technologies) innovation in order to enhance the quality of life of older people. Together with the other 18 national and regional funding agencies, the Friuli Venezia Giulia will become now a partner in a fast-moving market environment for age-friendly technologies.
“We are delighted to bring on board this forward-thinking Italian Region. With its 1.2 Million inhabitants and its privileged geographical location at the crossroads between Italy, Slovenia and Austria, the Friuli, Venezia, Giulia region provides a great opportunity for the AAL programme for developing more regional partnerships between member countries – said Mr Rafael de Andres Medina – president of the AAL Association.
Friuli Venezia Giulia Region is characterized by a very peculiar demographic context, with the presence of one of the most elder population in Europe.
In 2014 the Region, one of the first in Italy, adopted a specific law (RL no. 22/2014) dedicated to Active Ageing, in order to strengthen integrated interventions to enhance the active presence and social inclusion of elderly people.
Besides, Friuli Venezia Giulia is renowned for being a hub for science and technology. In particular, Trieste will be the European Capital of science in 2020. AAL represents a strategic trajectory of development identified also in the regional Smart Specialisation Strategy, in particular in the area of specialisation dedicated to “Smart Health”.
The Region is already a member of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing. In fact, in 2015 the European Commission appointed Friuli Venezia Giulia as a reference site for Active Ageing.
For the Regional Councillor for Research Loredana Panariti, “The involvement of the Region in the AALA represents a great opportunity for our territory to develop contacts, networks and new projects in the European context in a very promising sector, both at a social and economic level. We hope and believe that our scientific and innovation system together with our enterprises will take on this new challenge for the best to create new positive impacts”.
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