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What was the EIP on AHA?

The EIP on AHA (European Innovation Partnership in Active and Healthy Ageing) was an initiative launched by the European Commission, as part of the “Innovation Union”, one of seven flagship initiatives of the Europe 2020 Strategy to address major societal challenges. It was the first EIP created in 2011 and it focused on the challenge of active and healthy ageing of Europe’s population. The goal was also clear: to increase the average healthy lifespan of EU citizens by 2 years by 2020. This has to be achieved by strengthening research and innovation and create synergies between all relevant actors at an EU, national, or regional level, to tackle the issue. The EIP on AHA has two main pillars since its foundation, the Action Groups, and the Reference Sites.

The EIP on AHA’s Goals and Activities

The Action Groups were smaller communities of partners and stakeholders who focus on pressing matters in active and healthy ageing. The strategic implementation plan for EIP on AHA illustrates how the Action Groups were established according to the principles of engagement, inclusiveness, critical mass, partnership, delivery, and advocacy. The Groups worked on individual actions and were independent and self-governed by a group of coordinating partners, with their own action plan and committing themselves to achieve the goals. The Action Plans of the Working Groups were renewed in the time period 2018-2020 to fit priorities of the Digital Transformation of health and care in the Digital Single Market. The six EIP on AHA Action Groups have had more than 1000 stakeholders and partners working together to tackle key issues related to active and healthy ageing.

Reference Sites are ecosystems that deliver creative and workable solutions to improve the lives and health of older people and the whole community. After 2019, there are 103 regional and local organizations with a Reference Site Status. All reference sites are cities, regions, integrated hospitals/care organizations and their partners from the industry, civil society, academia, and governmental authorities. These ecosystems are pioneers in the most advanced innovative digital solutions that improve the lives of elderly throughout Europe. Partnerships and networking are a fundamental aspect of becoming a Reference Site. 

Also important are the three horizontal initiatives that fed the EIP on AHA: Blueprint, Innovation to Market (I2M) and MAFEIP. These reflected EIP on AHA’s policy vision and allowed for inputs to be exchanged between this community and the European Commission (The Blueprint). They also implemented measures to promote scaling-up and cross-border cooperation of innovative digital solutions for active and healthy ageing, with a focus on SMEs and Start-ups (I2M) and lastly, promoted a common methodology for measuring the impact of digital innovation for health and care (MAFEIP).

Governance and IN-4-AHA’s Role

EIP on AHA was managed by the European Commission during its early years and then subsequently by CSA’s (Coordination and Support Action), such as the PROEIPAHA between 2015 and late 2016, and the WE4AHA consortium between late 2017 and until the end of 2020. Currently, and for the 2021-2022 period the IN-4-AHA consortium will manage the community, give continuity to many of its actions and forms of collaboration, but also find new ways to enhance innovation uptake at a European level through new initiatives. The staple documents developed by the community – good and innovative practices, news and studies –  are now accessible on Futurium, a new platform where all stakeholders can participate and collaborate. 

The EIP on AHA community, its Action Groups and Reference Sites, are all built upon the Quadruple Helix concept, which involves four major groups of stakeholders: suppliers, end-users, policy makers, researchers. Each of these groups will have different roles in participating, implementing and enhancing actions within the community and during the duration of the IN-4-AHA project. We are always looking to receive new stakeholders in our community so if you want to be a part of our network, please join below!