The social and economic impact of population ageing is of concern to European Union (EU) authorities. So much so that that the consequences of the equation “Health, demographic change and wellbeing” were considered one of the social challenges to address within the Horizon 2020 framework programme. To try to find specific solutions to this problem, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) decided to create a Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) on active living and healthy ageing. Various European consortiums have submitted their KIC proposals. The University of Barcelona (UB) forms part of one of the proposed communities.
Its members are based in the United Kingdom, Sweden, Holland, Belgium, Germany, France and Catalonia
Innolife is the name of the consortium that includes the UB and leading education institutions such as Imperial College, the Karolinska Institute or the Catholic University of Louvain. Its members are based in the United Kingdom, Sweden, Holland, Belgium, Germany, France and Catalonia. Madrid and Valencia also participate in the Catalan node, which is coordinated by Dr. Josep Samitier, director of the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) and the UB rector’s delegate for this project. The main partners in the Catalan node are Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, IESE Business School, the Technical University of Madrid, the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), the CERCA Institution, the Institute of Biomedicine of Valencia, Laboratoris Ferrer, Abbott and Atos. Catalonia’s involvement in the consortium has been promoted and managed by the HUBc, the University of Barcelona’s health campus. The proposal was officially submitted on 10 September, and a decision is expected to be announced in December.
The EIT is a European institution concerned with integrating three areas of knowledge – training, research and innovation. Knowledge and Innovation Communities are the tools used to obtain the EIT’s objectives. The EIT has established that each KIC must be comprised of at least three independent institutions from a minimum of three EU Member States. One entity must work in the field of higher education, and another must be a company. Currently, there are three active Knowledge and Innovation Communities: Climate KIC (on climate change), ICT Labs (on information and communication technologies), and InnoEnergy (on sustainable energy). In addition to the call for a KIC on active living and healthy ageing KICs, the EIT has launched a call for KICs that address food and raw materials.