Skip to main content

Supporting the Recognition of the Silver Economy in Europe in the Digital Era

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - SEED (Supporting the Recognition of the Silver Economy in Europe in the Digital Era)

Reporting period: 2017-10-01 to 2018-09-30

By developing and setting-up a European-level award scheme, SEED aims at rewarding excellence in ICT-enabled innovative products and services for the ageing population. Through its carefully conceptualised, multi-stakeholder driven and peer-review based award concept, SEED is set out to highlight the opportunities that a growing ageing population can generate. The award scheme is designed to effectively address a wide range of stakeholder groupings throughout Europe, thereby shedding light on innovative solutions that have already shown positive impacts for the target group of older people. Solutions may be found in enterprises, social innovation initiatives, local and regional governments and other stakeholder groupings.

Awards categories are:
(1) Public Authorities
(2) Non-for-profit Organisations
(3) For-profit Organisations
For the first edition, the European Silver Economy Awards have been able to attract a high number of innovators dedicated to supporting and improving the quality of life of older people with the help of ICT. 95 applications from 22 countries have been submitted for consideration of being honoured as the first Silver Economy Awards’ winners. The laureates have been selected following a three-staged selection process, involving over 40 Silver Economy experts. The 1st Awards Ceremony was held on 3rd May 2018 in Brussels, kindly hosted by the European Committee of the Regions.

Long-term sustainability of the Awards scheme depends on a number of aspects that received specific attention right from the beginning of the SEED project, throughout the whole project duration and beyond. Sustainability starts with the sustainable design of organisational processes as well as the online platform. Of utmost importance is also the availability of a legal entity that takes over the responsibility for the Awards scheme after the end of the SEED project. With the official handover of the Awards Scheme to the Covenant on Demographic Change in September 2018 and the stated commitment from its board members, a huge milestone was reached when it comes to the sustainability of the Awards scheme.

A dedicated strand of work was also directed towards developing and implementing a sustainable communication concept. It relies upon different communication channels and means enabling SEED to address a diverse range of stakeholders in a tailored manner, thereby focusing on communicating content according to different thematic foci related to different stages of the overall project.
"SEED established “a widely recognised European annual award scheme for innovative solutions that demonstrate a significant impact improving the quality of life of the ageing population, for both women and men, and sustaining a viable and promising business model.

""Sustainable establishment and widespread recognition of a European Silver Economy Innovation Award scheme""- SEED was specifically been designed as a European-level action that achieved wide recognition across Europe, including a wide range of stakeholders who have a contribution to make. Widespread recognition was achieved in several ways:
• SEED contributed to developing a positive narrative of the digital Silver Economy in Europe through the successful implementation of the 1st edition of the awards scheme.
• SEED targeted a very wide audience covering the entire EU and the H2020 Associate Countries, through amongst others the AER, AGE and advisory board reach-outs. The operational outreach into such a wide geographic area relied upon a carefully tailored communication strategy, but also on a range of key networks directly involved in SEED. Through this unique partnership, the action had direct outreach to a multitude of entities (e.g. enterprises, occupational umbrella organisations, non-profit organisations, public administrations and regional/national governments).It thus achieved high visibly and wide recognition not only across the geographic area to be covered, but across a diverse range of stakeholders.
• The 1st edition of the awards scheme reached widespread recognition in Europe. In total, 165 guests were registered to awards ceremony that took place in May 2018. 95 total applications from 22 countries were submitted to the 1st edition of the awards, which is a remarkable result for a new awards scheme.

""Increased interest by social entrepreneurs, investors, retailers, brands, designers, and public authorities in supporting the development of innovation for active and healthy ageing""- SEED activated a wide range of stakeholder groupings, all having a role to play if the potentials generally provided by the Silver Economy are to be fully realised across the EU. A sustainable impact in terms of increasing their interest in the awards scheme was achieved by different means:
• The envisaged awards concept focused on rewarding in particular innovative solutions that have already gained a certain level of maturity (i.e. no research projects) and thus have shown that they provide a tangible benefit to the relevant target group. The award scheme focused on highlighting innovations that show a proven potential for wider mainstreaming, up-scaling or market penetration.
• The broad thematic scope of the partnership brought together for the purposes of SEED ensured that the new awards scheme was conceptualised right from the beginning in a way which makes it indeed attractive to many different stakeholder groupings, rather than being dominated by the perspective of few interest groups or a single umbrella organisation.
• SEED’s communication concept relied upon communication to both a disperse audience and a wide range of dedicated multiplier organisations.

""Increased public awareness about the opportunities and potential of demographic change and innovation across Europe"" - As a Europe-wide action, SEED targeted both dedicated stakeholder groupings and the general public throughout the entire EU and the H2020 Associate Countries. A positive impact in terms of increased public awareness of the opportunities and potential of demographic change and innovation was achieved:
• A range of online communication measures was carried out to reach out to the general public. These were specifically tailored towards addressing different sections of the European overall population, as detailed in the work plan. These measures were augmented by channelling communication content to a large number of individuals and citizens through multiplier networks the consortium partners and advisory board members are involved in.
• All content to be communicated was carefully prepared, relying on a positive narrative for demographic change and ICT innovation developed and consolidated within the framework of the SEED action. Care was taken that this narrative convincingly communicates not only to specific stakeholder groupings - e.g. ICT industry, designers, investors, public authorities and the like - but to the general public as well. By feeding this positive narrative into dedicated communication measures, the awareness of the positive potentials associated with demographic change was hopefully increased rather than in terms of anticipated challenges.
• The awards scheme is based on a unique concept of peer-reviewing, involving members of the Covenant on Demographic Change and other experts in the area. A total of 27 peer-reviewers have scored all 71 eligible applications.