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H2020

GRAGE Report Summary

Project ID: 645706
Funded under: H2020-EU.1.3.3.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - GRAGE (Grey and green in Europe: elderly living in urban areas)

Reporting period: 2014-12-01 to 2016-11-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The EU has to face many challenges in achieving a more balanced regional development and sustainable economic recovery. Challenges include ageing population trend, urbanization and environment preservation. These issues are frequently tackled from a technical perspective, without due attention to social processes and the needs of elderly people. GRAGE aims to fill this gap by increasing the availability of interdisciplinary and intersectoral studies. Researchers will provide an overview on urban solutions for an ageing society and develop ideas to promote an inclusive citizenship for elderly people living in urban contexts. The research and innovation program is focused on themes such as green building, food and urban agriculture, information and language technology. The cooperation among partners can have a series of returns ranging from a more effective solution to strategic issues to new business opportunities for European firms. The specific objectives of GRAGE are the following:
1.Excellence in research
- to enhance scientific knowledge and research skills of participants, overcoming barriers among disciplines and Academic and Non Academic sector;
- to boost staff skills and careers perspective of ERs and ESRs from academic and non academic bodies by developing transversal competences.
2.Impact
- to build lasting knowledge and cooperation networks;
- to provide the non-academic sector with practical solutions to respond to the issues related to the elderly needs;
- to release reports as guidelines to support policy-makers at European level.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The work carried out so far is in line with the Annex1 of GA. The deliverables and milestones due by M24 were submitted. Each WP performed secondments and the scientific activities and have set the ground of the future deliverables. Initial unbalances within the Consortium have been solved by an Amendment, which allowed the inclusion of partners in UK and Netherland. Ukraine seems to be recovering from the political problems, and several secondments took place in Ukraine in the second year. During the next two years, GRAGE team will strengthen scientific achievements and improve outreach initiatives. Status of single WP is reported below.
Activities related to project management (WP1) ensured proper coordination of partners and tasks.
In WP2 the work of researchers was focused mainly on the task 2.1 and 2.2 in order to release deliverables D2.1 and D2.2. The objectives were fully achieved. There was a slight delay in the submission of deliverable 2.2 (20 days), agreed with the PO. The reason is that most of the offices of UniMC were closed because of the earthquake occurred in the Marche Region.
WP3 is focused on the analysis of some legislative, technical and economic aspects of green buildings within an urban context. The WP has fully achieved its objectives and deliverables were submitted on time.
WP4 is linked to the role played by the food supply in an urban context and on the opportunities of urban agriculture to improve security of urban food. The action has fully achieved its objectives and deliverables were submitted on time. Several training events and outreach activities were organized to ensure transfer knowledge among researchers from different disciplines and contexts.
In WP5 (on Information and language technology for green and healthy behaviour in cities), research teams carried out an analysis of the state of the art and set the basis for the relevant data collection. Some internal training events were organized. The activities done so far are in line with the workplan.
In WP6 (on Europe as a global actor in green and grey business), deliverables were submitted on time and objectives of the first two years were reached. Researchers are currently working on the preparation of the future activities to be carried on into both Task 6.2. and 6.3
As for dissemination activities (WP7), the project was promoted in multiple ways/channels: presentation at events, social media interactions, meetings with stakeholders and activities in the frame of the mobilities, press and publications. More than 50.000 people were reached across Europe. Deliverables were submitted in a timely manner.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

GRAGE has been developing a good scientific knowledge base. All WPs are boosting interdisciplinary research and stakeholder engagement. Those approaches are reflected in ongoing research achievements that will be translated into scientific papers, report, and book chapters. Expected results until the end of the project include:
• deliverables due from M25 to M48;
• scientific papers and book chapters;
• Phd final dissertations on GRAGE topics;
• Report for policy recommendations.
As for potential impact of GRAGE, it is important to highlight the following expected results:
1. Strengthen the potential of individuals providing new skills and career perspectives.
Scientific knowledge and professional development are boosted by geographical, intersectoral, inter-and trans-disciplinary and mobility. The latter is allowing ERs and ERSs to experience mobility and gain new knowledge and expertise. Secondment periods spent abroad are having a strong impact on knowledge background, on academic/business and personal skills and on carrier development of researchers. A key role is played by ERs who are devoting particular attention to their role as supervisors. Researchers are acquiring new skills both in methodology approach/design for interdisciplinary research and in melting academic and non academic perspective.
2. Develop new and lasting research collaborations.
The transfer of knowledge among partners and stakeholders has been constant so far. Main vehicles of knowledge transfer are the secondment opportunities and the related collaborations. A key role is played by the network activities involving participants such as: internal training events and scientific meetings; external conferences and workshops; joint research outputs.
GRAGE has been boosting the network relations among partners. Participants from Academic bodies committed to sign MoU to strengthen cooperation for research and teaching. As a result of cooperation, a new RISE proposal was successfully submitted by Ulster University involving UniMc and Militos (H2020-734560-Alice: AcceLerate Innovation in urban wastewater management for Climate change). Other joint research proposals are expected to be developed in the next two years.
3. Maximize impact of communication strategy and outreach activities. We strongly intend to:
- raise awareness on the opportunities related to the “silver hair” from a social, economic and cultural perspective;
- raise awareness of professionals and firms/SMEs in the urbanization sector on the importance of including elderly people perspective in urban solutions;
- raise awareness on the importance of “silver hair” from a business perspective, even in the light of the role that SMEs can play in the global economy;
- improve the understanding of the ICT, language technology tools and food and urban agriculture solutions.

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