Centre of Expertise Healthy Ageing

Centre of Expertise Healthy Ageing

The Dutch government wants more innovation, today rather than tomorrow. One of the themes is Healthy Ageing.

The Dutch government wants more innovation, today rather than tomorrow. This is good for the economy and it could provide solutions for social problems, such as an ageing population and the risings cost of healthcare. It is important that Universities of Applied Sciences enter into stronger connections with businesses and institutions. This is already happening in more than 20 Centres of Expertise throughout the Netherlands, based on themes of the most important sectors. One of these themes is Healthy Ageing.

The Centre of Expertise Healthy Ageing intends to set up a sustainable network of about twenty-five so-called innovation labs in the north of the Netherlands. The Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen is a lead partner. Eighteen innovation labs have already been realized. In all these innovation labs eHealth and technology play an important role.

The innovation labs are testing grounds in which researchers, teachers, students, businesses and institutions for healthcare en wellbeing will be looking for joint solutions to problems they encounter daily in healthcare, growing up healthily and in healthy ageing. The aim is to arrive at a collaboration between the public and the private sectors which will be sustainable both financially and regarding contents.

The Centre of Expertise Healthy Ageing (CoE HA) is a network organisation of around 120 Partners such as:

•        education- and knowledge institutions

•        institutions for care and wellbeing

•        companies from various sectors (about 50)

•        network organizations Healthy Ageing

•        governments (provinces and municipalities)

1. Practice-based research

Practice-based research takes place in the innovation labs. Organisations can turn to the Centre of Expertise Healthy Ageing with questions or problems from their practice, related to the Healthy Ageing theme. The innovation lab researches the problem/question, designs and implements the innovation and evaluates the results. There is close collaboration between the researchers who have access to the fundamental knowledge and people from the professional practice. The research meets all methodological requirements for academic research. For students the innovation lab is a learning environment in which they gain experience doing research and the implementation of innovations in the professional practice.

2. Innovation

In the innovation labs work takes place on solutions  for practical questions in an optimal combination of institutions for care and wellbeing, companies, governments and knowledge institutions. Important is that innovations (products, processes and services) can actually be implemented in the professional practice and in education. The innovations will make substantial contributions to solutions for fundamental problems in care and wellbeing. The outcomes will be made available in the shape of practical implementations to partners and other interested parties. The CoE HA will set up a professional process for this, aided by a number of its partners. This process is based on a business-case approach, in order to realise projects and innovation labs in a responsible way and to be able to manage these.

3. Educational Development

With the knowledge provided by the innovations in the care practice (the market) and the innovations initiated in the innovation labs, the Centre of Expertise Healthy Ageing is giving an impulse to (question-based) innovations and educational developments in the comprehensive field of healthy ageing. The CoE HA supports the development of bachelors, majors, minors, programmes for excellence and masters. In addition the CoE HA offers students, teachers, pupils and professionals (from higher education; higher professional education and intermediate vocational education) the opportunity to participate in practical projects as they are being carried out in the innovation labs.

4. Business Development

The Centre of Expertise Healthy Ageing carries out a professional business development trajectory, in collaboration with companies and advisors in the field of business development. It comprises the entire business development trajectory, from generating ideas to making business plans and upgrading products and services in order to prepare them for the market. This allows us to implement and roll-out successful pilots of innovations in care and wellbeing on a larger scale and bring these on the market.
The CoE HA is a contact centre for various parties in the market of care and wellbeing and they can turn to the centre for questions and support concerning research and innovation Projects.

5. Information and advice

The CoE HA communicates the outcomes of the innovation labs and its teaching activities to those involved: professionals in care & wellbeing, entrepreneurs, policy-makers, teachers and students. Advice to citizens is part of the work of the CoE HA as well. With various means (website, advertising, articles in newspapers and specialist journals, radio and TV) the CoE HA informs relevant target groups about the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle. It also tries to stimulate young people to take courses in the field of healthy ageing by showing which interesting developments are taking place in the various sectors (care and wellbeing, but also in relation to economy and technology).

For more information: http://healthyageing.net/

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