Join a radical alliance of ‘unusual suspects’ to form large scale demonstrators 

“A child born today can expect to live to 100 years – so now we must seize the opportunity to improve the quality of lives lived longer and transform the way we think about our work, our housing, our health, our finances and our communities.”

These are the words of Caroline Dinenage, Minister of State for Care. Speaking at the launch of the Industrial Strategy (ISCF) Grand Challenge. Business Secretary Greg Clarke added: “We are investing over £300 million into developing new technologies that will revolutionise the way we age and provide everyone with the best possible chance to grow old with dignity in their own home”.

On the face of it, this is great news. But public funding for new technologies does not necessarily translate into revolutionary products and services which people want to buy. Furthermore, UK housing stock is not well adapted to older adults, and there are many mismatches between their needs and their environment.

Necessity is the mother of taking chances

The burden of evidence for adoption of disruptive solutions is a significant barrier to innovation. Companies struggle to experiment and scale because of risk averse providers and regulators. We need more space to take risks and build evidence of the case for digital health and care solutions.

AAA’s “Neighbourhoods of the Future” white paper set out a manifesto for change. We pointed out that the ageing society challenge cannot be addressed through the lens of a single sector or discipline and called for a more collaborative approach to: R&D, improving user experience, interoperability, data exchange, risk sharing and commercialisation.

It would be disingenuous to underestimate the scale of this challenge, or indeed the opportunity to move away from outmoded conceptions of age that will lead to a richer set of possibilities in later life.

That said, we believe that a passionate group of like-minded individuals in the same room, talking the same language, sharing the same ideals, and committing to the same overarching goal, can transcend the barriers which generally impede progress.

If you would like to be in that room, take a look at the agenda below and register here.