SIforAGE sought to count on the active involvement of end-users in fields of research regarding their own care. Mindful of the fact that every person is naturally at some stage or other in the ageing process, SIforAGE partners encouraged all citizens, of all ages, to engage in the task of providing elderly citizens with the opportunity to contribute to their own good health, to active lifestyles, and to their creativity and innovative spirit, for as long as possible.
SIforAGE worked towards the provision of efficient solutions: healthier late-lifestyles, sustained mental quality, enhanced social capital, social protection systems and technologies for better ageing at home.
1. Inter-generational cooperation activities and the involvement of civil society organizations in active and healthy ageing research
2. The introduction of evidence-based policy-making, through training activities with practitioners
3. Awareness raising among the scientific community of the importance of social responsibility and ethics in ageing research
4. The provision of analysis and improvement of innovative products and solutions for older people
The SIforAGE partners and cooperating participants set out not only to enhance European Union competitiveness in the promotion of innovative products for longer and better lives, but also to work for changing minds and attitudes towards elderly persons as full contributors to the socioeconomic development of the European Union.
The project aimed at reaching out to and engaging universities and research centres, private firms, policy-makers, civil society organisations and the general public.
SIforAGE expected to be more than just a roadmap: rather, an important part of its mission was to raise questions and influence existent thinking. For this reason, it developed a wide range of communication tools that were designed to augment and improve participation and cooperation between research communities, policy-makers, private firms and civil society.
Recommendations formulated by the Vienna NGO Committee on Ageing on the basis of its deliberations during the event organized to mark the 2014 International Day of Older Persons on "Social Innovation Solutions and Technology for Active and Healthy Ageing":
1. For successful implementation of new technologies, an extended PPP concept (Public-Private-Partnership) has the potential to be particularly beneficial as it can, at the same time, effectively generate profit, users' satisfaction and added social value
2. The PPP concept in this sense should be understood as close cooperation between public structures (responsible for the common good, for regulations, etc.), private market actors (dealing with production and commercialization of goods and services) and also, very importantly, organised civil society (representing consumers/users and accumulating knowledge about their needs, wishes, preferences and limitations)
3. New technologies, in terms of hardware and software, must be truly useful for older persons (added value for life), correspond to their needs and wishes, must be designed according to their taste and correspond to their preferences
4. Not only hardware and software must meet needs of older persons but also, and in particular, they must be supported by instructions that can be easily read, understood and applied (in language, in the way of thinking, etc.) and thus consider their capacities and limitations
5. Consequently, it is absolutely key to consult older persons not only after products (goods and services) have already been produced and are ready to be marketed (in order to test them) but already associate them closely in the phase of conception and design
6. Help lines have to respond immediately to requests from older persons (waiting loops discourage them and they will never use the device again), endeavor to understand the individual problem or question and speak their language and help by a "step-by-step" process