Giving seniors access to smart technologies
Brussels, 13 November 2013 – A presentation of two AAL JP projects, AALuis and Relaxed Care, took place during an event promoted by Austrian MEP, Heinz K. Becker, yesterday at the European Parliament in Brussels. The presentation saw the participation of the Vice President of the European Commission and EU Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes and of MEP Lambert Van Nistelorooij.
The initiative was promoted during the period of discussion in the European Parliament and in the European Council about the continuation of the AAL Joint Programme and it was a remarkable opportunity for showcasing the concrete achievements of this European programme. MEP Heinz K. Becker opened the gathering at lunch time by presenting the great challenges and opportunities offered by an ageing society. ” The Ambient Assisted Joint Program does not only promote technological innovation, but also social innovation. And this field offers a future potential for growth and job creation, especially for young people.”
But ageing isn’t just about being active. It also about keeping its own dignity in society. This was one of the arguments of the Vice President of the European Commission and leader of the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes who spoke in front of a highly knowledgeable audience. “It is a fascinating moment – she claimed – as technology has given us a lot of opportunities to come closer to the citizens. This is what I like about the AAL JP.” She went on saying that “the AAl JP has succeeded to bring over some 130 projects, involving many users and it made possible that 25% of its consortium found financing to go to market. This is why we are supporting the continuation of such programme.”
MEP , Lambert Van Nistelrooij, who attended as an invited guest, also pointed out how “older adults care will be key for the future of the EU and that the AAL JP has been producing deployable solutions that are gradually getting their places in the market.”
Peter Wintlev-Jensen, Deputy Head of Unit at the DG Connect of the EC and Karina Marcus, Director of the AAL Association shared with the attendees the future plans for the continuation of the JP and presented its integration in Horizon 2020 and the EIP on Active and healthy Ageing. The two projects were explained in their practical aspects by Christopher Mayer and Martin Morandell, from the Austrian Institute of Technology.
The attendees were finally asked to discuss some aspects of the programme, like the funding mechanisms for the end users; awareness raising about the solutions in use and barriers that prevent AAL solutions to go to market. The outputs of these working groups will be shortly made public by the office of MEP Heinz K. Becker.