Improving the quality of life of the elderly An EU-funded project integrated researchers in the field of ageing with the upper goal to extend health and improve quality of life for Europe’s elderly population. Climate Change and Environment © Thinkstock In the majority of countries, the percentage of elderly people is rapidly increasing due to enhanced life expectancy rates. Although this is considered a medical success, at the same time it poses a challenge for maintaining the health, functional ability and security of elderly citizens. The EU-funded project ‘Realising the potential of biological ageing research’ (Ageaction) aimed to ensure that the potential of biological ageing research in Europe is appropriately realised and disseminated. For that purpose, a conference was organised which brought together scientists from across Europe, building a stronger sense of common purpose to deliver the appropriate knowledge. The Ageaction project also focused on medical and social parameters of ageing. More specifically, members aimed to identify the links between biological ageing and the underpinning mechanisms of a very wide range of medical conditions. Additionally, ageing was associated with social factors such as nutrition, education and lifestyle. Collectively, this information has promise for leading to improved practices and assistive technologies for extended health, reduced dependency and improved quality of life for elderly people. Through the Ageaction website important information regarding opportunities for biological ageing research and clinical studies within Europe was disseminated. The Ageaction initiative succeeded in raising public awareness, informing policymakers and stimulating closer engagement between industry and science on ageing issues. The contribution of the project towards the understanding of the ageing process is expected to maximise opportunities for a healthy old age.