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FP6

AGEACTION Report Summary

Project ID: 512053
Funded under: FP6-LIFESCIHEALTH
Country: United Kingdom

Final Report Summary - AGEACTION (Realising the potential of biological ageing research)

The ultimate aim of the AGEACTION project was to structure a process culminating in a high-level conference that would provide a unique opportunity to realise the potential of biological ageing research in Europe. This high-level conference examined how science could help to ensure that the extra years of life are years of good quality, independent and also productive. The specific objectives of the project were the following:
- set in motion a process that would enable researchers on scientific aspects of ageing to develop a stronger sense of common purpose and shared potential to deliver the knowledge base that would extend health, reduce dependency, and improve quality of life of European elder people;
- medicine: set in motion a process that would identify the links between research on scientific aspects of ageing and the underpinning mechanisms of a very wide range of medical conditions (disability, frailty, disease) for which age is the single biggest risk factor;
- social: set in motion a process that would identify links between research on scientific aspects of ageing and social factors such as nutrition, education, lifestyle, housing, transport and culture that would help to exploit synergies that can lead to extended health, reduced dependency, and improved quality of life for elder people;
- technological: stimulate new interactions between research on scientific aspects of ageing and technological innovation including information technology, nanotechnology and assistive technologies across a wide range that can lead to extended health, reduced dependency, and improved quality of life for elder people;
- stimulate closer engagement between research on scientific aspects of ageing and industry across a range of activity - including pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, diagnostics, nutrition, and lifestyle products - leading ultimately to creation of new business opportunities and particularly the formation of Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to exploit and develop the European growing research capability in biological ageing research;
- create closer interactions between research on scientific aspects of ageing and those involved in financial planning (actuaries, insurance companies, pension providers) in order to take better account of new insights into factors that affect life expectancy, health expectancy, and projected financial needs (including health and social support) for elder people;
- informing the policy makers: provide European policy makers a source of clearer understanding of the nature of the ageing process and of the potential arising from the above activities;
- raising public awareness: provide European elder people (and younger people - the future old) opportunities for enhanced awareness and more accurate reporting of advances in scientific understanding of the ageing process that could lead to informed decision making and empowerment to maximise opportunities for healthy old age.

Europe-wide expertise was recruited from areas associated with basic ageing research, including clinicians, social and economic scientists, industry, technologists, educational groups, research sponsors, medical charities, policy makers and stakeholder groups including and representing the interests of elder Europeans. From these experts, five sector panels were set up in the areas of biology, finance and industry, medicine, social science, and technology. Each sector panel contributed to the planning of the scientific content of the conference and prepared an authoritative position paper from each sector panel forming the background document for the conference. In addition to the expert panels, a distinguished list of international speakers from each discipline gave a perspective of the area and this contribution to the conference added to the overall debate.

The AGEACTION conference was held on 23 April 2007 and brought together the Sector Panels and other international experts in the fields of medicine, biology, social science, technology, finance and industry. Around 450 delegates from across the European Union (EU) with a few from other continents took part in AGEACTION.

Furthermore, the project succeeded in creating a valuable information resource through the AGEACTION website. An important aspect was the dissemination of important messages concerning the opportunities for biological ageing research within Europe to engage more effectively in clinical studies on age-related disability and disease, in studies regarding social and psychological factors involved in health ageing, as well as in industrial and technological groups and companies.

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UNIVERSITY OF NEWCASTLE
Kensington Terrace, 6
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE
United Kingdom
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