Neighbourhoods of the Future: Empowering the Art of the Possible

The European Commission invites you to join a “Meeting of Minds”, where we will take a fresh look at innovating smarter new build and retro-fit home environments, with a view to empowering an ageing population to live more meaningful, independent, connected lives with dignity and autonomy. Participants will inform development of an emerging European social movement which aims to boost knowledge & investment in a demand-led vision for digital innovation – fostering creative, active lifestyles and social engagement in later life.

  • Meet experts and share your views on the most exciting developments in smarter homes, new financing models and urban retrofitting
  • Contribute to an emerging evidence base that defines positive ideas of ageing in more measurable terms and take advantage of private and public sector funding opportunities
  • Be in the driving seat to develop a European Reference Framework, identifying market potential and investment opportunities to realize growth and impact in Europe’s health/care, ICT and smart home/construction sectors
  • Learn about new Horizon 2020 funding opportunities, network with like-minded stakeholders and join forces in a collaborative effort to identify and capitalize on new routes to market and clear business models that work and scale

A European Reference Framework for Age-friendly Housing

Europe is experiencing a demographic shift to a majority older population. The housing market is having big trouble keeping up. At present, 75 per cent of European housing stock is not considered to be age-friendly. Over the last decade or so the Commission, together with Member States, has invested in numerous Research and Innovation projects to address this challenge, and support active and healthy ageing at home and in the community. These initiatives have substantially increased our knowledge relating to technological opportunities and their feasibility.

The many innovative solutions emerging are however faced with major barriers when meeting fragmented market forces and the muddled complexities of everyday life. It is therefore time to join forces across Europe to elaborate a demand-led paradigm for digitally enriched built environments which can provide clear return on investment by supporting active and independent living.

Following a successful launch event at the European Commission this “meetings of minds” will be the first in a series interconnected Open Innovation Workshops to engage key stakeholders and thought leaders from the digital, construction, health/social care, finance, security and 3rd sectors in an ongoing and sustainable dialogue. The roadshow will engage national initiatives and key stakeholders in mutual learning, and explore the benefits of a Europe wide approach to leveraging the necessary investments into age-friendly digital homes and Smart Neighbourhoods of the Future. The results will inform the development of a European Reference Framework for Age-friendly Housing, which must make clear:

  • How corporates, SMEs, entrepreneurs, citizens, research institutes and other public, private and 3rd sector stakeholders can work together to facilitative innovation and establish disruptive and sustainable new business models
  • How citizens can be encouraged to invest in age-friendly digital homes, based on sound evidence about agile ageing solutions that are healthy, creative, enriching and socially engaging
  • What guidelines/standards need to be developed to allow effective solutions to be transferred across and beyond the European Union and which can stimulate a scalable European market of relevant products and services

Our open innovation workshops will connect individual end-users and organisational stakeholders on the demand side and established players in the ICT and construction sectors with small agile businesses that share a passion for commercial success and social impact. Our mission is to enable a new generation of European entrepreneurs to challenge the status quo through smart venturing and clever collaborations, and to create positive imaginaries of agile ageing at home and in the community.