What we learned from the fourth AAL impact assessment

The results of the fourth edition of the AAL Programme impact assessment exercise are in. Here, we present you with some key findings.

Improving knowledge base and networking

  • The main learnings of participants in the AAL Programme are collaboration with users and adaptation to user needs.
  • Knowledge creation is mostly related to technological aspects, followed by regulatory and marketing aspects.
  • Participants who have launched a product or service learned more about regulatory and marketing aspects, and less about technological aspects. Further, their learnings on generating user-acceptance were stronger than on raising awareness.
  • 93% said the AAL Programme is an opportunity for mutual learning
  • 84% said the AAL programme broadens perspectives of national R&D in the field
  • 77% said learnings from participation are relevant for broader market-orientation
  • 70% of the participants said they currently benefit from the collaborations and networks established during their AAL project

Accelerating development of solutions

  • AAL funding accelerates the development of solutions: A strong majority found that funding acquired via an AAL project had accelerated the development of solutions to a moderate (20%) or great (64%) extent. This share is substantially higher than in the 2021 survey (68%)
  • Launched and expected AAL solutions have reached or are expected to reach on average respectively 4,268 & 2,844 end-users in 1 year, primarily informal carers and older adults. This is considerably higher than indicated in the 2021 survey.
  • In comparison to the 2021 survey, care organisations represent a higher share of (expected) paying customers while the share of older adults as paying customers has decreased
  • Without the AAL programme, respectively 100% of launched AAL products/services and 66% of components would not have been brought to the market or would have generated lower revenues. This pattern is similar to the 2021 survey findings.
  • Involving end-users in the development phase contributes to solutions’ adoption (82% of the respondents) and to improving solutions’ relevance (88%).

Reducing barriers to market

The AAL programme helped reduce barriers to bring a solution to market, with the main barriers being:

  • A lack of external funding in order to bring solutions to market
  • Insufficient level of product or technology maturity by the end of the project
  • Difficulties in the development of a business plan
  • Dependencies on consortium partners for components

Reducing these barriers was achieved by supporting business plan development, creating an ecosystem, facilitating knowledge sharing, giving testing opportunities, and increasing the level of technological maturity.

Better outcomes for older adults and carers

Confirmation that launched products and services contribute to:

  • Older adults remaining in better mental condition (67%)
  • Older adults participating in common activities with their network (67%)
  • Older adults independently interacting with their network (56%)
  • Older adults remaining in better physical condition (56%)
  • Carers starting to use (other) innovative solutions (56%)
  • Carers having more time for qualitative interaction with the older adult (44%)

Impact on broader ecosystem

Given the impacts on networking and the learning experiences (e.g. on how to bring AAL solutions to markets in other regions, countries and across the EU), the cross-border cooperation approach in the AAL programme is expected to strengthen the development of international AAL solutions and cross-border networks across Europe.

  • 80% of the participants think the AAL programme contributes to strengthening the wider ecosystem and community in the AAL field to a moderate (32%) or great (48%) extent.

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