23 September 2018 13:00

AAL FORUM will hold the largest European debate on digital transformation and active ageing in Bizkaia

Social Action

AAL PROGRAMME, an initiative funded by the European Commission and 21 EU and non-EU countries to develop and implement digital technology applied to improving the quality of life of the elderly, will bring together the most influential technology professionals and companies in the sector at the Euskalduna Conference Centre in Bilbao. During the Forum, the projects on which companies, technology centres and universities from all over Europe are currently working will be presented. Any breakthroughs will be pioneering in the active ageing sector. The Provincial Council of Bizkaia has framed the Forum within “Bizkaia Silver Week”, a week dedicated to in-depth analysis on creating friendlier and more accessible societies and cities in which to grow old.

Next week, Bizkaia will host the most important European Forum in the active ageing sector. AAL PROGRAMME (www.aal-europe.eu) will hold its annual meeting at the Euskalduna Conference Centre in Bilbao from September 24 to 26.

More than 400 professionals from SMEs, universities and European technology centres will come to the province of Bizkaia to debate responses to the future of digital transformation in the sectors of health and the social Inclusion of the elderly.

In an ambitious three-day programme, more than thirty specialist workshops will take place during AAL FORUM, all of which will focus on developing projects related to research into solutions for the active ageing sector and the inclusion of the elderly in the digital economy.

The chairman of AAL PROGRAMME, Peter Saraga, stated that the Forum is a meeting point for the AAL sector that makes a difference. We cannot achieve real objectives if we are not capable of creating an ecosystem with the main technical, industrial, social and economic actors.

For those who are doing research and working to make the digital age accessible to one of the sectors that is furthest removed from this new demographic reality, the elderly. Peter Saraga assured that the European Union is making a great effort in terms of research and development; AAL PROGRAMME has funded more than 220 projects, which are already on the market, to improve the quality of life and promote active aging in our society.

Isabel Sánchez Robles, the Provincial Council Representative for Social Action, pointed out that Bizkaia, its people, organisations and institutions want to be active agents in the global conversation on demographic change, active ageing and the silver economy so we can develop specific solutions together.

AAL Forum 2018 programme

This year’s AAL Forum, the tenth, is entitled "Ageing well in the digital age: a growing community of change makers". The forum organisers plan to actively involve each delegate in an ecosystem that fosters a new economic and social approach aimed at developing a more inclusive ‘silver economy’ that benefits people, society and the industrial sector.

Another of the AAL Forum objectives is to promote new business opportunities by means of new products or services designed or adapted to improve the quality of life of the older person segment, enabling an independent life, and where the technology has a significant impact to overcome the functional limitations, improve accessibility or care.

On the opening day, the afternoon of Monday 24, there will be a Keynote speech by Jeremy Myerson from the Royal College in addition to the opening speeches. The Smart Ageing Prizes 2018 will also be awarded on that day with prizes going to five projects. Subsequently, there will be a drinks party hosted by the event's host authorities for the delegates and representatives.

The  AAL Forum programme  (English will be the language of the different plenary sessions and workshops) consists of two plenary sessions in which 10 speakers will take part and give their vision of active ageing from a triple perspective:

  • The perspective of the end users (the older persons)
  • The institutional perspective (the European Union itself, the different EU countries, European regions and local councils)
  • And the industrial perspective.

The focus of the plenary sessions will be on discussion and interaction between speakers, along with the interactive participation of the audience. The Forum programme will also include 26 workshops (workshops on a specific theme) and over 75 speakers and experts will be taking part on the 25th and 26th.

The idea is to promote the interaction and participation of the event delegates by means of participative dynamics such as task forces, panel discussions with experts, world café, etc. Those 26 workshops have been organised around three main themes:

  • Theme 1: Life after AAL (active and assisted living): to guarantee that the AAL solutions reach the market
  • Theme 2: From company to consumer: the silver economy dimension
  • Theme 3: AAL-related ecosystems

Finally, there will an area at the Forum with up to 40 'posters' or specific examples of what is happening in Europe in this field and which will be presented at 10-minute sessions during the breaks.

The organisers have also set up a space to facilitate ‘matchmaking’ (direct communication by means of one-to-one appointments or meetings between the professional delegates based on their preferences). This will ensure face-to-face contact and meetings between interested entities attending the Forum. The organisation of these 'matchmaking' sessions will be facilitated by means of an AAL FORUM 2018 app that can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.

During the Forum there will be seminars, specialist courses on developing businesses focused on start-ups in the silver economy sector and awards will be presented to the best European technological development projects. These awards include funding and support by AAL PROGRAMME to the winning teams to develop projects focused on the elderly.

Official website of the Programme www.aalforum.eu

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