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Coordination Action for implementation and alignment activities of the Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) 'More Years – Better Lives – the Challenges and Opportunities of Demographic Change'

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - J-Age II (Coordination Action for implementation and alignment activities of the Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) 'More Years – Better Lives – the Challenges and Opportunities of Demographic Change')

Reporting period: 2017-03-01 to 2018-05-31

J-Age II is the Coordination Action for implementation and alignment activities of the Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) 'More Years Better Lives – the Challenges and Opportunities of Demographic Change'.

J-Age II will essentially continue the work of J-Age. J-Age II will support and foster the overall management of the JPI, update the Strategic Research Agenda and support implementation through joint activities between Member States. The Consortium consists of 9 countries; Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

One of the main objectives of J-Age II is the implementation of the Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) of the JPI More Years Better Lives (JPI MYBL). This includes the alignment of national, European and international policies and programs and issuing calls and other joint activities in the field of demographic change as well as updating the SRA and SRA implementation strategies on the basis of experience with joint programming.Furthermore the work plan includes dissemination and information exchange with scientific and societal stakeholders, policy makers and research funders as well as an evaluation and monitoring exercise. Ultimately, the project and the JPI seek to stimulate the alignment of relevant national programmes and EU initiatives, strengthen the base of multi-disciplinary and holistic ageing research in Europe and to provide scientific evidence for policy responses to demographic change.
In year 3 of the project the focus was on securing the long term sustainability of JPI MYBL. The J-Age II project contributed to this through all its activities starting with the update of the Strategic Research Agenda (SRA), entitled More Years, Better Lives: An Evolving Agenda, which was approved by the JPI MYBL General Assembly in October 2017. The Future plans of JPI MYBL are introduced in the evolving agenda. The JPI secretariat, the steering committee and the JPI MYBL research Policy group prepared the financial sustainability discussion prior to the General Assembly meetings. The JPI MYBL agreed on a sustainability scenario that includes Secretariat, Communication, Website and Advisory Boards. This is a minimum scenario and can be expended if necessary. Currently the Steering committee and the secretariat are working on the draft contract and MOU to be discussed during the GA meeting in June in Oslo.

The third joint call (JTC 2017) resulted in 8 funded projects. Instead of a midterm evaluation the call secretariat on the initiative of the societal advisory board organised a progress dialogue with the funded JTC 2015 projects aiming to support the projects also regarding stakeholder involvement. The fast track on Migration was started and resulted in a lively report including next steps. The advisory boards advised the GA on future activities. The Demographic change, Equality and wellbeing programme is one of the joint activities resulting from the advisory boards advice. The purpose of the programme is to better understand what can be done, in the context of demographic change, to promote a society in which the distribution of resources and opportunities is more equitable, and which promotes the wellbeing of all its people

The alignment activities evolved and the JPI MYBL got globally connected with The WHO, Brazil, Australia and recently Taiwan. Brazil is close to becoming a member. On European level the collaboration with EIP on AHA was taken up again and is moving towards an umbrella mission, JPI MYBL attended and contributed to two JPI Urban Europe workshops and the JPI MYBL members all filled a template to give insight in their national alignment landscape.

Regarding communication. Several newsletters were distributed. The JPI secretariat also send the first internal JPI MYBL newsletter to the members of the different JPI MYBL bodies to keep them up to date on the ongoing joint activities. The JPI MYBL corporate design received an update, the website content was improved. The year ended with the external evaluation of JPI MYBL which includes several recommendations to be considered by the General Assembly.

In year 2 of the project the implementation of the SRA continued with the third joint call (JTC 2017); the decision about the projects to be granted shall be taken during the 3rd year.
The standard operating procedures have been further adapted in collaboration with both advisory boards. The alignment activities of J-Age II, on European and international level, have been turned into concrete actions.
Decisions have been taken about the way to proceed with the update of the SRA and the first experiences with SRA implementation have been elaborately discussed with all JPI bodies (GA, SC, SAB, SOAB) to help further developing the work program and long term strategy.

The website of the JPI MYBL is improved, a JPI MYBL Conference was held on past work and future challenges, and an external newsletter was developed and disseminated twice during this year.
The evaluation work package focused this period on an analysis of the JPI MYBL's progress towards meeting its objectives and it established an Evaluation working group to help advice the JPI MYBL on any actions required from the recommendations from the ongoing monitoring and (internal and external) evaluations.

In year 1 of the project the implementation of the SRA started with the first joint call of the JPI(JTC2015) being processed and five projects received grants. The second joint call(JTC 2016) was prepared in collaboration with the scientific and the societal advisory board and launched in spring
2016. The work also resulted in the documentation of the standard operating procedure for joint calls. Preparations started for the alignment of policies and programs, European networking and international networking, the data profiles were validated and enriched and taken into account for the
mapping exercise.

Work towards the SRA update started with the first version of the thematic database. The advisory boards of the JPI wrote work programmes for 2015-2017 and these were aligned with the J-Age II description of Actions and the planned action and event of the General Assembly into the work
programme of the JPI MYBL. The website of the JPI was updated and a private area was created where the members of the different boards could find relevant documents and meeting papers for future meetings are available.

A communication and dissemination plan for the JPI was written and a preliminary target audience and stakeholder’s list was established. The progress of the JPI MYBL will be evaluated during this project. A first monitoring report and a paper documenting data gathering and how the activities from
the JPI and its bodies will be tracked were delivered.
The updating of our SRA demonstrated that the process of SRA implementation has to be responsive to feedback from changing priorities given by national needs and emergencies of member states. JPI MYBL has the opportunity to function as an important knowledge hub by promoting more coherence across member states and beyond, but at the same time tailoring results to the actual situation that each participating country faces.