Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 114

I S S U E S I X
H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L
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S P E C I A L F E AT U R E : E U R O P E A N I N S T I T U T E O F I N N O V AT I O N & T E C H N O L O G Y
ageing rather their chronological ageing. We are
focusing on how well people are ageing and
whether the process is happening more quickly
than it ought to. The latter is an area of research
growth and is particularly important if we are to
introduce preventative interventions or
interventions that slow down the progression of
ageing-related conditions.
“Our research also has a focus on clinical
aspects in terms of new treatments and
management of chronic disease, which is closely
linked to ageing – age is the single biggest risk
factor for conditions such as diabetes, dementia,
cancer and liver disease.
“Technology plays a major part in the solution,
and we need to consider how we can deploy
technology in new ways. Technology can help
us manage our behaviours, maintain positive
outlooks, and support our ability to age healthily.
We need to consider how we can help ourselves
using technology and other mechanisms to
overcome the challenges we face.”
Armitage added that the public would help influence the direction of
research, encouraging open innovation.
“The public voice is always important, and this is what VOICENorth is
about. It is important that we have a relationship with businesses, local
authorities, and healthcare organisations to really make sure that the
learning and research we undertake can be turned into products and
services and delivered into the marketplace.”
Understanding the market
In addition to working with society to develop new products, the NASI will
work closely with both SMEs and larger businesses. The university has a
history of working with the private sector, facilitated in part by the EU.
“We have worked closely with SMEs before, using funding from the
European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The money has helped a
number of SMEs understand how this market could work for them and
how they can break in and shape their products and solutions to meet
market requirements.
“These activities will increase with the development of the new centre,
but we also want to work with bigger firms which are starting to
understand and identify that there is a business opportunity associated
with ageing; they need to recognise the fact that we are undergoing a
permanent change in social structure.
“We have an ageing society and that means the customer base is
becoming older. Products and services on offer therefore need to be
Newcastle-upon-Tyne:
the NASI will involve
the local public as part
of its research and
innovation activities
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