How can we transform the challenges of ageing populations into opportunities for regional economic growth and personal wellbeing? This is the question that motivates Biz4Age.

Our core value is that citizens and their needs should be the drivers of social and technological change. Our approach combines user-led innovation and living laboratories, open innovation, triple and quadruple-helix collaboration and cross-border collaboration. Business Opportunities for Healthy Ageing (Biz4Age) is a cluster project funded by the INTERREG IVA 2 Seas Programme.

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Bruno de Oliveira Alves, Policy Advisor, European Commission DG Connect participated in Biz4Age Workshop

Biz4Age final workshop was held in Kent on 8 September 2015 where Bruno de Oliveira (Policy Advisor at the European

Commission Directorate General Communication Networks) provided expert advice on  e-health data issues and European

policy and funding for technology and demographic change. 

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Biz4Age presented at AAL Forum in Ghent

Arend Roos (pictured) and Petra da Braals (Economische Impuls Zeeland) and Anne Tidmarsh and Robert Stewart (Kent County Council) organised a lively interactive session on Biz4Age at the AAL Forum on Ghent on 23 September 2015.

Our projects

From March – September 2015, Biz4Age is undertaking 3 projects: ROOMforLIFE; Vital Living Environment; Co-Creating Solutions for Independent Living. Our focus in these projects is on independent living. Our aim is to explore how to design and build homes and neighbourhoods that truly meet the needs of residents at the same time as enhancing the local economy. In particular we explore the transferability of the Zeeland Living Room approach to new contexts and regions.

ROOMforLIFE (R4L) is a living laboratory that is exploring the transferability of the Zeeland Living Room’s approach to user-led innovation to a care home in Kent. Two rooms in the care home are being prepared for independent living with innovative solutions provided by local SMEs. In July and August, volunteers will be invited to move in and give their feedback on how the rooms do, and do not, meet their particular needs.

This Biz4Age project is extending the Zeeland Living Room process from interiors to the surrounding neighbourhood.  The concept of a Vital Living Environment (VLE) was developed at University College in Bruges. Through interviews and ethnography, VIVES researcher Lisa Kerckhof is mapping the built environment in the neighbourhood of the ZLR in Rilland from the perspective of the residents.

Co-Creating Solutions for Independent Living is closely linked to ROOMforLIFE.  Whilst ROOMforLIFE is initiating the setting up of the rooms and recruitment of the first volunteers for the living laboratory, Co-Creating Solutions is exploring how this initiative can be fully implemented and sustained beyond the end of Biz4Age. This involves engaging SMEs and other regional stakeholders with this approach, and finding ways for them to collaborate.

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Our trusted partners

Biz4Age is a ‘cluster’ project led by Anglia Ruskin University. It brings together partners from two previous INTERREG IVA projects, “CURA-B” and “2 Seas Trade”, plus other organisations and initiatives that want to combine healthy ageing and independent living initiatives with the creation of regional economic growth.

Watch our videos

Biz4Age - Healthcare sector as an emerging market - movie 1

Healthy Ageing: Regional challenges and strategic opportunities for smart specialisation

The challenges and opportunities of ageing populations are not just related to healthcare, but include other sectors too.  Moreover, rather than focusing on the elderly as a separate group, we should orientate our regional economies towards healthy ageing as a lifelong process. 

Biz4Age - Benefits of triple helix collaboration in the healthcare sector - movie 2

SMEs: Challenges, support and engagement

SMEs can play a vital role in contributing to regional economic growth and healthy ageing.  Yet they face a number of obstacles.  The 2 Seas Trade project developed a range of measures to support SMEs to trade across borders.  However, additional incentives are needed to engage SMEs in triple-helix consortia towards strategic goals. 

Biz4age - Health care market internationalization - movie 3

Approaches: Triple-helix collaboration, catalysts, open innovation, and living laboratories

A variety of initiatives in our regions are creating economic growth and improving social welfare through innovative care solutions. Success depends on triple-helix collaboration; regional network-builders; and user-led innovation.  The Zeeland Living Room is one example of a new approach. 

Biz4Age - Co Creating Solutions for Independent Living: Biz4Age Workshop

Co Creating Solutions for Independent Living

Co-creating Solutions for Independent Living takes up the difficult challenge of engaging SMEs and other stakeholders in regional, triple-helix consortia in Kent

Biz4Age - ROOMforLIFE: a Living Laboratory in Kent

ROOMforLIFE: a Living Laboratory in Kent

ROOMforLIFE” initiates the process of translating the Zeeland Living Room’s user-led approach to innovation to a care home in Kent.

Biz4Age - The Zeelandic Living Room in the Netherlands

The Zeelandic Living Room in the Netherlands

Interview with Gabrielle Davits (Director at SVRZ) about the Zeelandic Living Room (de Zeeuwse Huiskamer) in Netherlands

Biz4Age - Vital Living Environment: moving the Laboratory outdoors

Vital Living Environment moving the Laboratory

In a “Vital Living Environment in Zeeland”, Lisa Kerckhof (VIVES), Petra de Braal (Impuls) and Arend Roos (Impuls) extend the Zeeland Living Room concept from individual dwellings to the neighbourhood.