Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 44

are looking at what exists in practice as a kind
of a bottom-up approach, and we look in reality
at what exists and we try to scale up and diffuse
the knowledge around all the regions of the EU.”
Adding his thoughts, Constantijn van Oranje-
Nassau, the then head of cabinet of former
European Commission vice-president Neelie
Kroes, commented: “The EIP has a really
important role to broker interests, sectors and
expertise around active and healthy ageing.
That’s the thing we have been seeing and
what’s happening at a regional level, national
level and at a European level.”
In 2012, the partnership launched six action
plans to implement its goals: ‘Prescription and
adherence action at regional level’, ‘Falls
prevention’, ‘Prevention of functional decline
and frailty’, ‘Integrated care’, ‘Independent
living’, and ‘Age-friendly environments’.
The EIP-AHA plays a specific role in helping to
determine the direction of Horizon 2020,
feeding into the development of its work
programmes, in particular the ‘Health,
demographic change and wellbeing’ Societal
Challenge, as well as helping to increase the
impact of the framework programme. In
addition to contributing to Horizon 2020, the
EIP-AHA has a close relationship with the Joint
Action on Chronic Diseases (JA-CHRODIS).
Both the EIP and joint action share similar aims
and objectives, and both build upon each
other’s work.
Bottom-up
In February, Portal travelled to Brussels to
attend the first JA-CHRODIS General Assembly
meeting. During the event, we heard the
thoughts of Eibhilin Manning, external relations
project manager, Innovation for Health Unit,
Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety
in the European Commission.
T
he European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy
Ageing (EIP-AHA) was set up as part of the European
Commission’s goal of enhancing European competitiveness and
tackling societal challenges through research and innovation. Part of the
Innovation Union and a Europe 2020 strategy, the EIP has three joint
goals: firstly, to enable EU citizens to lead healthy, active and independent
lives while ageing; secondly, to improve the sustainability and efficiency
of social and healthcare systems; and finally, the EIP-AHA aims to boost
and improve the competitiveness of the markets for innovative products
and services, responding to the ageing challenge at both EU and global
level, thus creating new opportunities for businesses.
The overarching target of this partnership will be to increase the average
healthy lifespan by two years by 2020. According to the European
Commission, the EIP-AHA seeks to address these issues by tackling
current gaps in European research and innovation, including a lack of
investment, fragmentation and duplication, and by encouraging the
development of a favourable environment for investment.
The Commission has ‘identified active and healthy ageing as a major
societal challenge common to all European countries and an area which
presents considerable potential for Europe to lead the world in providing
innovative responses to this challenge’.
New way
In a video on the European Commission website, Paola Testori Coggi, the
now former head of DG Health and Consumers in the European
Commission, said: “The EIP-AHA is a new way of making policy. Instead
of deciding at a central level, top-down, what are the best solutions, we
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
44
N E U R O D E G E N E R AT I O N
Two more healthy years
From Brussels,
Portal
carries the thoughts of
Eibhilin Manning
at the first JA-
CHRODIS General Assembly meeting, where she provided an update on the
EIP-AHA and an overview of aims for 2015
The ultimate goal of
the EIP-AHA is to
increase the average
healthy lifespan of EU
citizens by two years
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