In October 2010, the European Commission launched the “Innovation Union", one of the seven flagship initiatives of the Europe 2020 Strategy for a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy. The Innovation Union is supported by strategic European Innovation Partnerships (EIP) to address weakness in the European research and innovation system. Active and Healthy Ageing has been identified as one common societal challenge for European countries and has been selected for the first pilot of the EIPs.
The overarching long-term objectives of this Active and Healthy Ageing Innovation Partnership (AHAIP) are to expand healthy life years by two years by 2020, improve the sustainability of the European healthcare systems and create a market for innovative products and services.
The pilot project pursues a triple win for Europe:
At its meeting of 7 November 2011, the high level Steering Group, set up by the European Commission to assist with launch and implementation of the pilot partnership, adopted the Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP). The SIP outlines a common vision and a set of 14 operational priority actions to address the challenge of ageing through innovation.
Six Action Groups were identified to begin in 2012 and each presented Action Plans which tackle a specific in the 1st AHAIP Conference of Partners on 6 November 2012 challenge.