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EIP Active & Healthy Aging Reference Sites: Oulu

Oulu has been chosen as a reference site for European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing, coordinated by the EU commission. Oulu received a three-star status as a reference site, when in 2012 it received two stars. Additionally, two Finnish cities were named reference sites, Helsinki with two stars and Kuopio with one star.

“Oulu has a history and plans for long-term international cooperation on technology, e.g. in robotics, to aid elderly people to live at home and maintaining a healthy old age”, City of Oulu’s Head of Well-being Services Kirsti Ylitalo-Katajisto says.

The status as a reference site for European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP on AHA) is not permanent, but the evidence justifying the status must be resubmitted. Oulu’s evidence for status as a reference site is largely based on the OuluHealth ecosystem and its OuluHealth Labs operation. According to OuluHealth network director Noora Jansson, OuluHealth Labs is the linchpin behind Oulu’s status as a three-star reference site.

“It is a central exposition of our potential for ecosystem cooperation as well as our potential to produce innovative, scalable and marketable solutions. It is not about a funding application and there is no requirement for funding from partners. By applying to be a reference site, we gain visibility for our operation on a European level, an entry and contact point to a peer network, i.e. other Health sector ecosystems in Europe, opportunities for co-financed projects with other EIP on AHA partners, and a channel for influencing European policy making regarding this theme”, Jansson says.

EIP on AHA is a network-like structure facilitated by the EU commission and coordinated by EIP on AHA partners, the goal of which is to raise awareness of innovative and possibly scalable solutions for this theme from amongst its actors. The project also aims to lengthen the average life expectancy by two years in the EU by 2020. To achieve this goal, e.g. health and quality of life is to be increased, and the sustainability and efficiency of healthcare and social security systems needs to be ensured.

Innovation partnership helps forward these goals by bringing all relevant stakeholders together to develop innovative solutions for bettering the wellbeing of the ageing populace and advancing the broader utilization of existing solutions in Europe.

Innovation partnership reference sites have proven to advance and develop innovations in the area of active and healthy ageing.

For more information:

Anne Rännäli-Kontturi – International Affairs Manager, City of Oulu, tel. +358 44 7031316
Jaana Kokko, Technology Specialist, Welfare Services, City of Oulu, tel.  +358 44 703 4030
Noora Jansson – Network Director,  OuluHealth, BusinessOulu tel. +358 40 7532 917

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