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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 2 July 2013

Active & Healthy Ageing: EU cities and regions get star ratings to recognise excellent projects

32 cities and regions across Europe have been rewarded for new ways of helping older people. These award-winners have been implementing innovative technological, social or organisational solutions to enhance the efficiency of health and social care systems, and have been presented with awards from European Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes, responsible for the Digital Agenda.

Star winners came from the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands and the UK. 13 Reference Sites have received three stars, 12 two stars and 7 one star (see Annex and catalogue for full details).

Neelie Kroes said: “Everyone wants to be independent as they age, and everyone in Europe should have an equal chance at that. By rewarding the most successful ideas we can spread them and give ever older person that opportunity.”

European Commissioner for Health, Tonio Borg, said "I am delighted that the people who made these 32 sites a success have come to Brussels to share their ideas and insights. It is important that such cases of how innovation is already being used to help our older citizens live healthy and active lives serves as an inspiration to us all. Large scale deployment of such solutions is the next step."

There are six categories of innovation in the Commission’s Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing: medication adherence, fall prevention, frailty and malnutrition, integrated care, independent living and age-friendly environments. Some examples of the good practices are:

  • Andalusia, Spain has electronically integrated the health information of all its 8,5 million inhabitants, optimised the coordination of their health and social carers and improved social welfare for their nearly 1.3 million citizens aged 65+.

  • Scotland has rolled out a risk prediction tool for anticipatory care to help achieve its goal of everyone living longer, healthier lives at home, or in a homely setting by 2020. The result has been fewer hospital admissions, shorter hospital stays, and a net saving of £190 per patient.

  • The Basque region in Spain is using 14 ICT projects to implement its strategy for chronic conditions. So far this has seen a 38% reduction in hospitalisation for highly complex cases and a 26% fall in emergency room visits.

  • The University of Coimbra, Portugal, supports a holistic ecosystem of stakeholders to implement innovative practices. The area of cognitive ageing, dementia and vision impairment has shown positive results with 1350 patients per year being evaluated by specialists, and the creation of over 100 jobs.


In December 2011 the European Commission launched its first Innovation Partnership, on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP AHA) with the headline target of increasing the number of healthy life years in Europe by two by 2020. The Partnership's Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP), sets out three lines of work: Action Groups, Reference Sites and a digital Market Place for Innovative Ideas.

Reference Sites are coalitions of regions, cities, integrated hospitals or care organisations that aim to provide concrete examples of innovative services with proven added value to citizens and care systems in EU regions. Some of them have contributed to growth and job creation in their areas, many have extended elements of their best practice from local to regional or national level.

A Digital Market Place for Innovative Ideas has been launched to engage wider stakeholders in the EIP-AHA innovation process, to help disseminate and share results, ideas and initiatives and to facilitate cooperation within and between the Action Groups. International connections have been created with the OECD Silver Economy initiative and with WHO (cooperation in several ageing-related areas and specifically in the Action Group on Age Friendly Environments and Cities).

Relevant links

The European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing

On Twitter

On Youtube

Get involved here.

Action Plans of 6 EIP Action Groups

Reference Sites Guidebook

Digital Agenda

Neelie Kroes

Follow Neelie on Twitter

Contacts :

Ryan Heath (+32 2 296 17 16)

Frédéric Vincent (+32 2 298 71 66)



Reference Site





University Hospital Olomouc (with its unit Czech National eHealth Center - NTMC)

The University Hospital Olomouc is a major regional hospital providing general and specialized healthcare services. They are in particular focusing on telemonitoring of patients with advanced heart failure or heart infarct (of myocardium/ AMI).



Region of Southern Denmark

Agreement on collaboration between health sectors based on digital technologies, aiming at higher quality, efficiency and patient satisfaction, and better collaboration between all health and social care players in the Region.



City of Oulu

Oulu aims at being a global pioneer as a user and developer of wellness technology.



Region Ile de France: Assistance Publique-Hopitaux de Paris (APHP)

HTLA: Health Territory Local Agreement. T4H (Technology and Human Help at Home after Hospitalisation)


Region Languedoc-Roussillon: Contre les Maladies Chroniques pour un Vieillissement Actif et en bonne sante en Languedoc Roussillon (MACVIA-LR)

The Dossier Pharmaceutique

Early management and coaching for frailty

Interoperable Integrated Care Pathways (ICPs) for co-morbid chronic diseases in the elderly


Region Pays de la Loire: Centre D’Expertise National des Technologies de l’Information et de la Communication pour l’Autonomie (CENTICH)

Regional House for Autonomy and Longevity and the Living Laboratory « Lena»

Hearing Impairments and Low Vision Regional Centre


The Lower-Rhine Council

« Innovative policy for active and independent ageing » public policy



Saxon State Ministry for Social Affairs and Consumer Protection



Collaboration on Ageing (COLLAGE

The CARTS (Community Assessment of Risk and Treatment Strategies)

Programme aims to delay or prevent functional decline and frailty and 3adverse outcomes: institutionalisation, hospitalisation and death.



Regione Liguria

The Memory Training (MT) programme

The Adapted Physical Activity (APA) programmel


Campania Health Care Authority

The “Campania nel Cuore”

The Campania Electronic Health Record (eHR)


Regione Emilia Romagna: Agenzia Sanitaria e Sociale Regionale dell’Emilia-Romagna (ASSR)


SOLE (Healthcare online) and EHR (Fascicolo Sanitario Elettronico - FSE Emilia-Romagna)

ARIA project


Regione Friuli Venezia Giulia : Istituto Regionale Rittmeyer per i Ciechi

The Institute provides services for blind and visually impaired people of all ages in education, rehabilitation, social and labour integration, recovery and development of skills.


Regione Piemonte: Assessorato Regionale alla Tutela della Salute, Sanita, Edilizia Sanitaria, Politiche Sociali e per la Famiglia, Coordinamento Interassessorile per il Volontariato(AReSS)

University ‘nurses advanced learning programme’



University of Coimbra (Ageing@Coimbra, consortium)

The University of Coimbra, together with the other members of the consortium “Ageing@Coimbra“ supports a holistic ecosystem of stakeholders and it implements innovative practices to manage cognitive ageing, dementia, vision impairment, human kinetics and mobility.



Regional Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Andalusia

Andalusian e-Health Strategy (AeHS)

Andalusian Strategy on Active Ageing (ASAA)


Basque Country

Basque Strategy for the chronic conditions

Extean Ondo pilot project


TicSalut/InnohealthHub Catalunya

TicSalut/InnohealthHub Catalunya

NEXES project

MECASS project



IANUS system

“Innova Saude” and “Hospital 2050” strategic programs


Region de Madrid-Consejeria de Sanidad-Hospital Universitario de Getafe

Falls and Fractures Clinic for integrated care programme for older in- and out-patients


Departamento de Salud Valencia-La Fe

Electronic Health Care Record and Integrated Information Systems

Integrated Chronic Disease Management Model (GECHRONIC)



Region Skane

Action plan to encourage, strengthen and intensify cooperation between home care, primary care and hospital care for the most ill elderly people.



Province of South Holland: Medical Delta

Leiden Lab on Health&Wellbeing

Walcheren Integrated Care Model (WICM)

Network for integrated falls prevention andManagement

For further information:


2 /

Nijmegen: Health Valley

Nijmegen Model of Networking for Active and Healthy Aging

AchterhoekConnect system

Innovation Living and Care Programme

For further information:


Northern Netherlands Provinces Alliance (Samenwerkingsverband Noord-Nederland)

Healthy Ageing Network Northern Netherlands (HANNN)

Groningen Active Living Model (GALM)

EurSafety Health-net

Embrace (SamoOud)

For further information:


Province of Noord-Brabant: Cooperatie Slimmer Leven 2020 U.A.Innovation network for Active and Healthy Ageing

Care Site online platform

“Zorgcirkels” (Circles of Care) initiative

For further information:


Region Twente: Municipality of Enschede

The Region Twente builds on the integrated neighbourhood approach to combine social innovation with supportive technology for healthy ageing.



The Ageing Well in Wales Programme

Welsh Government Strategy for Older People in Wales 2003-23


Yorkshire and the Humber Digital Health Community

Yorkshire and the Humber Regional Telehealth Hub

For further information:


Read a patient’s story:

Liverpool: Mersey Care NHS Trust on behalf of More Independent (Mi) partnership

More Independent (Mi) programme


NHS24, Acting on behalf of the Scottish Government / NHSScotland

National Telecare Development programme

SPARRA risk prediction tool

National Falls Programme


Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, Northern Ireland

Integrated Medicines Management (IMM) service


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