The cross-border silver economy accelerator fosters the development of innovative SMEs and services in territories facing similar challenges.
The silver economy accelerator was developed within the project SEAS 2 GROW, an Interreg 2 Seas Mers Zeeën project willing to remove commercial barriers to the development of services and products in the silver economy sector. To set-up a proactive silver economy ecosystem, SEAS 2 GROW created a cross border accelerator.
Its functioning is based on calls, to which SMEs of the silver economy can apply. 4 calls have already been organised. Selected companies can use the accelerator as a full-scale test for their products. Within the accelerator, 30 experts in technology and silver economy can advice SMEs and more than 200 seniors are testing products, giving feedback and participating to the improvement of services.
Within the cross-border accelerator, selected SMEs can benefit from advices of in-country experts specialised in the needs of elderly persons on a specific territory. At the same time, they can boost their commercial activities by sitting with potential buyers and becoming a member of a regional silver economy professional network.

Resources needed

The Programme is part-financed by the ERDF and has a total of €241m ERDF to co-finance projects in the 2014 – 2020 period. Interreg 2 Seas finances 60% of the global SEAS 2 Grow project. In 2017, it was also supported by CARSAT Nord Picardie and by the North county in 2018.

Evidence of success

4 calls were organised and 20 SMEs benefited from the accelerator. A follow-up is organised once SMEs’ testing period in the accelerator is over, to assess the usefulness of the accelerator. Since the first tested products left the accelerator, one of them, Freya Lévaté, is going to be distributed in France. Another one, Cutii, will be promoted through a partnership with a local municipality. Some are also benefiting from an international outreach, with E-wear attending the CES in Las Vegas.

Potential for learning or transfer

Silver economy is a global market but needs at the same time to adapt its offers to the needs of territories and elderly persons. Where in some regions, mobility may be the main problem for seniors, it can be housing in other ones. The cross-border accelerator offers a relevant support to SMEs in order to shape their products depending of seniors’ needs. It is also a crucial help in building knowledge of the market and creating professional networks and opportunities.
Such initiatives could be implemented in cross-border regions facing similar challenges such as in the Pyrenees or the Alpine region, in order to create an appropriated ecosystem for SMEs and innovations. This project however requires an important funding.

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Main institution
Clubster Santé – Leader of SEAS 2 Grow
Nord - Pas-de-Calais, France
Start Date
January 2014
End Date


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