The word ’gérontopôle’ does not really exist in English but is in its essence the entire ecosystem supporting healthy, active, autonomous ageing. In the Gérontopôle Project, the region of Nouvelle Aquitaine aims to create a forum of discussion, reflection, proposals and action between health care stakeholders based on the quadruple helix-model.
The mission of the ’gérontopôle’ is among other to integrate both the health dimension and the social dimension in research, get bright ideas from companies financed faster, attract new talents to age-related jobs and get policies that accommodate the needs of informal caretakers.
Like many European regions, the population in Nouvelle Aquitaine is still getting older and there are many disparities within the region, the health care ecosystem is quite fragmented and the need to support and upscale concrete, affordable innovation is ever more present.
After the Peer Evaluation, it was clear that there was a need to focus more on the needs of end-users and patients and to introduce new models of governance to support knowledge-sharing and to promote dialogue among stakeholders of the ecosystem.
By bringing together researchers, living labs, decisionmakers, health care companies, users, care professionals and many others together, the goal is to create:
- A lever for interdisciplinary research that will be directly applicable to improve the quality of life,
- A centre of expertise promoting healthy and active ageing and fighting against age-related diseases.
- A regional policy tool for prevention and support for autonomy and active ageing
- Support for innovation and economic, social and territorial development.
Now the work of asking stakeholder what they need for the mission to become a success has begun. Autonom’Lab, a partner in the ITHACA project, has sent out questionnaires to stakeholders in innovation, care and support and public policy. The answers are followed up in workshops in autumn to reveal where the common interests are.