SHAPES: supporting independence and enhanced quality of life for Europe’s ageing population
SHAPES (Smart and Health Ageing through People Engaging in Supportive Systems) is an Innovation Action funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme involving a total of 14 European countries. It aims at creating an integrated IT platform that will bring together a wide range of digital solutions focused on improving the health, wellbeing, and independence of people as they get older. This interoperable Platform will offer a network of large-scale interconnected digital services and products, that will empower older adults, families and caregivers, to solve real and meaningful problems. These solutions are intended for older adults facing a temporary or permanent reduction of functionality and capabilities, whether physical or psychological, but also to help those who are healthy to maintain their health and well-being for as long as possible.
SHAPES will foster European industry and policymakers to find a means to successfully face the challenges of an aging population. In addition, it will push towards the development of value-based business models to open and scale-up the market for innovative digital health and care solutions and services, supporting and extending healthy and independent living. The programme will also impact on the long-term sustainability of health and care systems in Europe, in which current 25% of the population is represented by older people, according to the United Nations (UN).
The project is a collaboration between 36 organisations, led by the ALL (Assisting Living & Learning) Institute, University of Maynooth, Ireland. The project will last 48 months (from November 2019 to October 2023) and will involve a range of activities that go from the creation of the digital platform itself, to the development and improvement of 15 technological and social solutions aimed at supporting older people. These solutions will be tested by more than 2,000 older adults across the countries involved in SHAPES, so as to ensure that they are meaningful and suitable for users from different countries and cultures. SHAPES provides for the collection and analysis of participants’ health, environmental and lifestyle experiences, in order to identify needs and provide personalized solutions, and in a way that upholds data protection requirements and ensures the user’s trust in the overall approach.
SHAPES will also involve hundreds of professionals from different areas of knowledge and practice, including health and social care, government, academia and industry. With an investment of almost 21 million Euro, SHAPES is a broad initiative to encompass the needs and expectations of older adults, a population group that, according to the United Nations, grows 3% on average per year.
An energetic and focused communication and dissemination plan will be used to promote the visibility of the project’s results among different stakeholders.
SHAPES’s member countries: Ireland, Belgium, Greece, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, United Kingdom, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Germany.
Overall project value: EUR 20,944,318.75 of which EUR 18,732,468.25 is direct EU contribution.