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EU offers fresh funds for healthy life expectancy boost [Print to PDF] [Print to RTF]

Efforts to increase the number of years Europeans live in good health are about to get stronger thanks to a EUR 4.2 million injection of funds made available by the EU to researchers. Under the European Commission's Active and Health Ageing Innovation Partnership, healthy life...
EU offers fresh funds for healthy life expectancy boost
Efforts to increase the number of years Europeans live in good health are about to get stronger thanks to a EUR 4.2 million injection of funds made available by the EU to researchers. Under the European Commission's Active and Health Ageing Innovation Partnership, healthy life expectancy will increase by two years between now and 2020, effectively mitigating people's concerns about ageing and well-being.

Researchers willing to meet this challenge head on can submit their bids for funding for Europe's first joint call for ageing research: ERA-AGE 2 ('European Research Area on Ageing 2'). This initiative is funded under the ERA-NET scheme, helping Europeans deal with the issue of ageing by consolidating research resources and know-how, and by optimising the impact of research on policy, practice and product development.

'This is a giant step for ageing research,' remarks Alan Walker, professor at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom and coordinator of ERA-AGE 2. 'It is Europe's first such programme and is aimed directly at providing the research knowledge that will help European countries to respond to population ageing and ensure the maximisation of health and well-being in later life.'

The ERA-AGE 2 call gives researchers from diverse fields the opportunity to put in applications addressing 'Active and healthy ageing across the life course'. Ultimately, the funding afforded the researchers will help them piece together the puzzle of how people can live healthily and actively despite getting on in their years.

It should be noted that the UK-based Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) have joined agencies from Canada, Finland, France, Israel, Luxembourg, Latvia, Romania and Sweden to support multidisciplinary teams that include up to five of the partner countries.

'The ESRC is proud to be playing a leading role in this new European programme,' says Adrian Alsop, director for research and international strategy at the ESRC. 'It will build on our excellent national research, and begin to address what is a key challenge for the whole of Europe. It creates an opportunity for the best UK social scientists to collaborate with experts from other countries and will benefit the wider society.'

Commenting on how significant it is for European researchers to collaborate, the BBSRC's Director of Research, Professor Janet Allen, says: 'Partnerships between researchers across Europe are very valuable. By encouraging this way of working we aim to ensure that some of the biggest challenges we face can be addressed through the highest quality research. It is hoped that ERA-AGE 2 will bring together some of the best expertise and resource from across Europe to generate knowledge that will ultimately improve health and well-being in later life for many people.'

Swapping information and fostering partnerships between leading multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary researchers worldwide will result in positive outcomes not only for the ERA-AGE 2, but ultimately for Europeans of all ages as well.

Researchers can submit stage-one pre-proposals until 3 October 2011 under the following areas: (1) generating new knowledge on the biological, clinical, behavioural, social and environmental factors that enable individuals to live actively and healthily into later life; (2) investigating comparatively different models, methods, approaches and good practices in societal responses to increased longevity that emphasise both social inclusion and sustainability; and (3) engaging in effective knowledge-exchange activities that will assist countries, both in Europe and abroad, to meet the target of boosting healthy life expectancy by two years by 2020.
Source: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

Related information

Programmes

Countries (8)

  • Canada, Finland, France, Israel, Luxembourg, Latvia, Romania, Sweden
Record Number: 33673 / Last updated on: 2011-08-01
Category: Project
Provider: EC